Strong winds and the highest tides of the year have combined this week to give our coast a battering. A quick scan of the local paper shows that some significant damage has been inflicted upon the defences at Blackpill and Langland, whilst huge volumes of sand have been shifted around to increase the height of Cefn Sidan’s beach by up to six foot in places. I’ve always loved an angry sea and popped down to Burry Port on Wednesday evening to witness events for myself. Despite arriving at least half an hour before high water the harbour was already full to bursting and the Coastguard had closed off access to the main breakwater. Their reason for this soon became clear with waves breaking over and along its entire length. On the opposite side of the harbour we joined a group of like minded individuals and watched as the sea steadily rose until waves were regularly spilling into the car park. Each rush of water would be accompanied by the rumble of rocks being ripped from the protective mound in front of us, several of which were carried up onto the footpath and beyond. All very impressive considering this is the Burry Inlet and not the open ocean.
The Coastguard soon joined us to keep an eye on proceedings, their flashing blue lights only adding to the party atmosphere. Indeed if it wasn’t for various people illuminating the water with their car headlights we wouldn’t have been able to see much at all as it’s almost pitch black there at night. Surprisingly the sea was at its highest for only a few minutes before dropping back down to a less invasive level. Even so there is a lot of clearing up to do over the coming days but recent improvements to the defences seem to have done a good job. We can probably consider ourselves lucky however as the wind was not as strong as first forecast and didn’t coincide with the very highest tide. It would have been interesting to see the results if they had.