The Heart of the Sea – click any image for full size
The Heart of the Sea is a marvellous homestead region design by Elyjia (Elyjia Baxton) and Brayan Friller (Brayan26 Friller) that Caitlyn and I were (once again!) pointed towards by Shakespeare (SkinnyNilla) as a result of one of our regular exchanges of landmarks with one another. For those wishing to spend it in idyllic, natural surroundings rich is a sense of peace and tranquillity, I thoroughly recommend a visit.
As you might expect from the name, water features strongly in the design, the region comprising the gentle sweep of a rocky island sitting within shallow waters, accompanied four rocky islets, together with a smaller island which forms the landing point. On this sandy hump, lying across the wild grass holding the sand in place, lies the broken finger of a candy-striped lighthouse; once it may have warned passing vessels about the rocks laying on the eastward side of the isle, but no more.
The two islands are connected – by way of one of the smaller rocky outcrops – by an old board walk – almost. But while at one time it may well have linked the three sandy beaches it passes between, now it lays broken and sagging into the shallow waters in two places. However, in the lee of the middle islet sits a rowing boat draped with a cuddle blanket, while the sand of its beach has a message written upon it; the first indications that romance is welcome here.
Rising from a ribbon of sand that almost entirely encompasses it, the main island comprises three low, flat-topped tables of rock. Two of these are home to a small farm. On one, horses and sleep graze on a rich thatch of grass, a nearby barn offering some shelter should the elements turn. On the other sits what might be the farmhouse, reached by crossing a natural stone bridge spanning a narrow channel of sand below.
More horses graze near the house, while the broken frame of a greenhouse looks out over the sea. A well stands close by, and flowers, though wild, appear to subject to care even as grapes ripen on the vines strung to one side of the old greenhouse. Even so the house sits deserted, bereft of all furnishings save for a single porch swing.
The last of the island’s three low-slung plateaus is home to another lighthouse, possibly a replacement for the one broken near the landing point. Tall and white, as if newly painted, it rises from a broad, square concrete plinth, also home to a little keeper’s cottage. This lighthouse stand, sentinel-like over the westward curve of the island, overlooking three little beach houses offer for rent, each sitting within its own parcel.
A short walk across another board walk from these and snuggled by the rocks of another of the islets, sits a Romany caravan, a little camp fire and rug set out on the sand offering a place for sitting and / or cuddling. It is one of several such places awaiting discovery around the island, both on the beaches, on wooden decks and rocking rowing boats. Keep an eye out, as well, for the dance machine tucked under the shade of a tree.
Set against an early morning’s light – the Sun just tipping over the eastward horizon, an old boat shack offering the ideal point from which to observe it – Heart of the Sea feels like a place caught in a moment of time. Tranquil, softly lit, enriched by a gentle soundscape, it is perfect for gentle meandering, and unhurried exploration. Should you enjoy your visit as much as we did, please consider making a donation towards its upkeep via the jar at the landing point.
- Heart of the Sea (Catalina, rated: Moderate)