For those of you in the UK, the storms of recent weeks are all too familiar. For those further afield who may not be aware, the UK has been battered almost relentlessly for the last 6 weeks at least, with unusually deep Atlantic depressions creating winds of storm force 9 or more. Heavy seas and spring tides have meant misery for many as sea defences are breached. The main rail link between Cornwall and the rest of the country has now been severed as seas washed away the line at Dawlish in Devon.
You may have seen the photos I took in Porthleven back at the start of January. Little did we know then that the storms would continue, making landfall every 3 or four days. This coming week shows yet more storms hitting the coastline and with spring tides once more, many are beginning to wonder if the damaged and seriously weakened sea defences will hold.
I took the video below yesterday morning at Portreath on the North Cornish Coast. As huge waves, dwarfing the 30 – 40ft sea wall, crashed relentlessly ashore. It is estimated that around 100 tons of granite have now been ripped for the wall and perhaps this video will give you some idea as to why. It is difficult to appreciate just how powerful and damaging these seas are. A few have sadly underestimated the force of the water crashing onto the beaches and harbour walls and have been swept to their deaths.
As I’m sitting here typing, the wind is howling outside and I can hear crashes as yet another pane of glass in the greenhouse gets blown out. I don’t think the greenhouse will last the week, nothing compared to the huge losses and difficulties others are facing. There are always winners and losers though. As huge, barnacle covered rocks are smashed about in the surf, the seagulls are having a field day as the shells are crushed freeing up the creatures inside. As for the hotel trade, it’s difficult to find a room anywhere as people flock to Cornwall to see the storms for themselves.
For a brief moment this morning the sun came out creating a rainbow in the sea spray. It was all rather beautiful, belying the deadly force behind it..
The tiny figures on the cliff in this picture help lend some scale to these pictures..
Please forgive the lack of editing in the video, oh and the video is better than the preview picture suggests. No way to change that it seems. I discovered video on my D800 for the first time yesterday. I hadn’t realised the video would be saved using the .mov extension. .mov video files use a proprietary codec belonging to Apple and I have yet to find any software on my Windows based system that will convert the video in any decent enough quality to edit. Hence the video is huge and rough around the edges. My apologies to those of you with slower Internet connections.