I don't think I've ever seen the Red Arrows before today. Unfortunately, I still can't say I've seen a Red Arrows display, but I did see a "flypast". Don't get me wrong - it was still an incredible thing to witness, but it wasn't what I was expecting.
I made the effort to get to Bude with plenty of time to spare. The Red Arrows were scheduled to fly over at 17:52, after travelling from Newquay to the Scilly Isles and doing a display there. The town was busy and the car parks were full. People waited bathing on the beach or enjoying entertainment by the canal. Money was being raised for the RNLI so there was lots going on.
The spot that I picked to watch the flypast was on the Breakwater on the west side of Bude. Strangely, I was only one of few at this location, even though it was the perfect viewing area. Nonetheless, I took a set on the sea defence and turned my camera on so it was ready to go.
I didn't have to wait long before the jets entered my line of sight. The trouble was that they sounded just like a wave crashing behind me so I almost missed them. When I realised it was them, I brought my camera straight up to my face and started clicking away, following them across the sky. It was amazing (the formation, sound and speed) but, they didn't stick around. They zoomed past and they weren't coming back, and they definitely weren't going to be doing a display.