These last few weeks have been pretty dramatic along the south coast and a new daily pastime of mine and many others has emerged. Our new love of Wave Watching is fast catching on.
The massive swells from these 70 - 90mph winds have given us some seriously tumultuous seas.
I have been amazed at the numbers of people down at Freshwater Bay. After discussion with fellow onlookers it would seem that the sea brings out many things in us all. Its sheer power and wildness , its breathtaking energy and force is exhilarating and thought provoking, but the fact that it brings out the child in us all has been the major joyful revelation.
Fully grown men and women shriek in delight alongside the children, as a massive wave hits the sea wall then showers down on the onlookers, sending them bolting for shelter and giggling at their soaked clothes and shoes.
Photographic & Beachcombing Opportunities
The crowds bring photographers in their hoards, not just iPhone snappers, but professional photographers all trying to capture the awesome ocean power.
Maybe some visitors are in search of treasures in the flotsam. Recent huge bounties of beautiful wooden planks have been washed up on our shores and been eagerly grabbed by locals and visitors alike.
Sadly though, the whole area is taking a battering. The beach at Freshwater Bay has been shoved up onto the promenade and down onto the road behind. The tarmac surface has been lifted, part of a retaining wall has collapsed, all the planting behind the promenade has been ripped out by the roots and there are stones everywhere intermingled with plastic, polystyrene and other beach debris.
Farewell to 'The Thimble'
I mustn’t forget to mention the sad passing of 'The Thimble’ after 103 years. The Thimble was a thimble shaped man-made stack on the rocks off Hanover Point, originally used as a marker for the guns at Fort Redoubt. It listed over for a few days amid local speculation about its future and then fell into the waves last week. Just like the iconic Arch Rock at Freshwater Bay it is now gone forever.
But in the meantime with more storms brewing, we gather at our favourite viewing points, awaiting high tide for the most dramatic displays from the sea. Excited but mindful of the danger and always heeding the safety cautions when things just get too wild or the road becomes closed.
See you there fellow wave watchers!