2007-8 part 2: Storm Odyssey - Aberystwyth!
- the giant seas of December 1st-2nd
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Following on from my trip to
Pembrokeshire, the urge to get the films off in Monday's
post prompted a lunchtime trip to coincide with high
water at Aberystwyth. The big ground-swell was still with
us and the wind was still strong. Aberystwyth is an
excellent place for wave photography - something I had
learned many years back as a student, especially on
spring tides. Would a neap deliver the goods?
I headed straight down to the Harbour area at the
S end of Aberystwyth. Here, there are the twin
breakwaters - the Stone Jetty and the shorter
Wooden Jetty. These guard the Bar at the mouth of
the Harbour - a tricky spot in rough conditions!
This is not a place to go astray - just to the
north lies the notorious Trap - an area of
bouldery shallows where it's easy to get
shipwrecked in poor sea conditions.
Once again the light conditions were quite good!
The swell was huge and it wouldn't be long before
a wave got the timing right and broke over the
With dense cloud to the south and the sun peeping
over it, light conditions were perfect for
looking southwards to the corner of the Prom
where the road ends and the Wooden Jetty begins.
Here, there is a turning-circle. Check out that
car L - it appears in the next two....
The angle of the sunlight silhouetted the globs
of foam thrown up with the breaking waves...
I've often oberved this - cars drive up and let
the saltwater and foam crash down on them!
Inadvisable as pebbles are often thrown up with
the waves, not to mention the enhanced corrosion
threat due to the salt! But it makes good
One final shot from this vantage-point. I was
back a little along the prom and using a
telephoto to get a close-in effect yet still have
everything dry. Nevertheless it was still
necessary to wipe my UV filter free of salt every
other shot - the air was so full of spray!
As high tide passed and the light was lost, I
drove round to the S side of the Harbour for a
different perspective, but the skies gradually
clouded up as the tide began to ebb. This was the
last photo of the day, and the end of the third
film, and a weekend of many results following
such a quiet Autumn.
Now, writing in mid-December, we are back to
cold, frosty nights and clear days. That swell's
still there, though, not as massive as it was,
but enough to affect the fishing. The local
beaches fish best in a wind-driven chop: big
swells seem to push the fish out to sea a bit. So
the bait stays in the freezer and the cameras in
their bags, waiting for the next set of
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