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Thursday, September 21, 2006

Storm surge at Swansea Bay

I guess some will call me foolish for doing so, but I took a walk along the seafront this evening. Conditions were rather bracing, to say the least, as a gale shrieked ashore, the tail end of Hurricane Gordon. Like all storms, it brought a sea surge with it. To say it was rough, would be like saying Pete Burns is mildly eye-catching.

As soon as I crossed the road, near the old Slip Bridge, I was literally slapped in the face by a harsh, gritty, salt-laden sandstorm. I wished I'd taken my sunglasses with me, not because it was especially sunny, but to protect my eyes, which are still stinging and gritty. This first shot belies the true nature of the conditions I encountered.

These folk seemed to be enjoying the squally conditions and high tide.

I saw this family on the beach, and my first thoughts were, what a dangerous place to be, in such conditions, especially with small children.

You can imagine my horror when I saw this. Look at the size of the approaching swell.

The smaller of the two girls actually went into the roiling water, to catch some of it in her bucket. Her parents seemed oblivious to the fact that their children were in serious and imminent danger of being swept away. It would have taken an unusually strong swimmer to have defeated those currents, in order to rescue them. I really wish people would wise up about the dangers of the sea. Its might is immense, and we have no hope, when it turns on us. Small kids and high seas do not mix.

As I approached this spot, near County Hall, a young man warned me that I wouldn't be able to go much further, due to the spray coming right ashore.

He wasn't kidding. A few metres on from where I met him, I felt like I was walking through drizzle.

Despite the truly hideous conditions, I was quite enjoying myself, as were several other pople on the prom. Then, a family arrived, with two dogs. First of all, the dogs alarmed a few people, myself included, by fighting quite viciously with each other. Then, as I was taking photographs, one of the hellhounds crept up behind me and bit my inner thigh, and kept snapping at me. When I demanded the owner removed them, he was quite obnoxious to me, before calling them off. He even had the gall to say they wouldn't hurt me, when one of them already had. By that time, I'd had enough. I wasn't going to be any hound's supper.

I was unable to go any further along the sea front. I was worried that my camera might get damaged by the rough weather, and it would have been sheer madness, camera or no camera, to have ventured through that spuming surge. So I headed through the car park of County Hall, towards my next destination, Tesco. I was so glad I had my camera with me, because I was able to capture a truly gorgeous sunset, when I aimed my lens towards the old Vetch.

I hope to head for Gower, or maybe somewhere further afield tomorrow. But if Gordon and his tail are still with us, that trip will have to wait until another day.


The Pig's Lip said...

That sounded like fun - some great shots too. I can't wait to get out and about again. If the sun is shining, I hope to take to to the hills at the top of Penclawdd on Saturday to get some good aerial pics of the village. Bet it rains though -

Tom Saunders said...

Nice pics, Sian.