For the second weekend in a row Wales has been battered by gales and persistent heavy rainfall, last nights deluge resulting in severe flooding across communities both local and further afield. With the ground already sodden and rivers filled to capacity there was simply nowhere else for the water to go other than straight through the increasingly fragile illusion that we are masters of our environment. Thankfully we’ve escaped relatively unscathed here and spent yesterday locked inside watching sheets of water being blasted up the valley whilst willing our internet and electricity not to cut out (they didn’t). We woke to slightly improved conditions this morning and in need of some fresh air headed down the coast to Porthcawl. Even if you’ve never visited the town yourself you’ll have probably seen images of waves crashing over its breakwater and lighthouse, iconic symbols of extreme weather which of late has become ever more common.
As soon as we arrived a huge wave sent almost unfathomable amounts of raging white water skywards, mother nature flexing her muscles as if it was nothing. The gathered crowds stood in awe as barrage after barrage was thrown landwards, the sea a boiling cauldron with waves breaking in any number of directions and the wind whipping up foam to be thrown like projectiles. I’ve seldom experienced such raw power and hopefully a little of that comes across in the following images.
Just after high tide we were forced to retreat as another bank of heavy rain moved in but by then I was well and truly frozen. Even standing behind the promenade wall had afforded little protection from the gale force winds and yet some photographers had chosen to forego even that. In search of a better angle several had made their way down onto the rocks leaving themselves completely exposed to any rogue waves which would have snatched them away in an instant. Perhaps unsurprisingly the watching coastguards were far from impressed, volunteers whose lives would be put on the line if the worst were to happen. If you are out and about over the coming days and with the weather remaining stormy, please don’t forget to apply a little common sense.