High Tide 12:04 PM 8.83 Metres


I want to show you a photograph. It’s of our local beach when the tide is out…and why would I want to do this?

Storm Damage

Because I’m now going to show you another photograph when the tide is in.

Groyne Marker

This week sees higher tides than normal hitting our coastline, here in North Wales. Todays high tide at 12:04 pm was calculated to be 8.83 metres (28.97 feet) and combined with very strong on-shore winds probably means it will be higher than that. Which means our coastal defences are going to take a bit of a battering. Those defences serve two purposes, one to protect the town from storms and high tides and two they act as a nice walking and cycle way right along the coast. This part stretches away in the distance to the Beaches hotel.  It’s a sort of tiered effect as the walkway is bordered by a low wall and the sand dunes.

Dog Walking

But of course when we get really high tides or storms, it’s a different matter. Those defences are shaped to break up the incoming waves but the sea does still get over them and that’s why we have that second wall.

Sun Is Out

My motto has always been “never put yourself in harm’s way to get a photograph”. I broke it once and paid the consequences by ending up in Accident and Emergency. So all of my photographs today have been taken with zoom lenses. I have no desire to get close to the action.

But some people do and I can never understand why. What makes you want to get close to breaking waves that can easily suck you right back out to sea?

Not Me

To show you what I mean…..just under two years ago I took this photograph of a man fishing on the sea-front during particularly stormy seas. That wave and the subsequent one behind it almost washed him off his feet.

Gone Fishin'

Only the retaining wall stopped him going. It was pretty hairy at the time and I couldn’t have helped him because I was some distance away using a zoom lens.

Stormy Seas

But back to today. It almost 12:04 pm and high tide. The waves are breaking right over the front part of the storm defences now, but the second wall is doing what it should.

Breakers

However, nothing changes, despite the waves breaking pretty high and the walkway being under water at times, people were still walking along, taking a chance. The thing is, if a rogue wave comes along, they’ve nowhere to go. They’re trapped between the sea and the second wall and the dunes. Admittedly the second wall is low about 1.2 metres (4 feet) and if a big wave did come along they should be able to scramble over it onto the dunes. But it’s all concrete there and by now it’s wet and slippery.

We're Brave

And then a cyclist came along…..

Cycling Along

So that’s it. Just a little insight into our coastal paths and see defences and how we cope with storms and exceptional high tides – Mike

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13 Comments

    1. We get some rough seas here, especially during winter. As the beaches are long and wide it allows the breakers to build up well in advance. But only if the wind is in the right direction. If you go in I would be very surprised if you survived.

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    1. Of course it’s OK to comment Jessica, and always appreciated. For me there is no other way to take photographs of the sea when it’s stormy. I live by the coast so know the power of the sea. I have ssen “rogue” waves hit higher and faster than any other wave. Not only that by using a zoom lens your gear doesn’t get so wet. My camera and lenses are all weatherproof so can handle, dirt,dust, rain etc but the spray gets on the front of the lens so you have to keep cleaning it if you get too close.

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  1. Great photos and information. The ocean is nothing to mess with and some people are sheer idiots to take such chances. Or maybe they have no idea of how treacherous the tides are. I just don’t understand.

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    1. They don’t check tide times, height of the tides, wind speed etc. I always do, I make sure I have an exit route if a big wave comes in. It’s the same in the mountains, Yvonne. One of my camera buddies was coming down off Snowdon yesterday and was on the lower slopes. There’s thick snow and ice up at the higher levels with a wind chill factor dropping the temperature even more. He met a party of Chinese tourists going up in trainers, jeans and light jackets. He tried warning them but they just continued on. They must have got down ok because there were no reports of the Mountain Rescue team being called out

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  2. I was thinking about you this past week after I heard about the fierce storms hitting Europe. Glad to see you here today. It’s a hardy people who live so close to the sea, sometimes wisely, sometimes not. I was amazed at the people who stayed on the Florida beaches as a hurricane tracked the coast. A braver man than I, Gunga Din.

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    1. Fortunately Jane we didn’t really see that much of the storms or the snow. Our part of the country didn’t really suffer. We had high winds but nothing to worry about, at least I’ve not heard of any coastal damage.

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