Wednesday 25 December 2013

More sand than Santa

Merry Christmas, folks!

Following an overnight storm, Christmas morning was greeted with a wind that had lessened to a mere and more normal 35mph (31 knots). After a leisurely breakfast, Our Lass and I decided to hit the beach, though in all fairness, it was more a case of the beach hitting us!

We drove the short distance to Glimps Holm, a small, uninhabited island connected to its neighbours by Churchill Barriers 2 and 3. Parking by Barrier 2, we watched the waves driven in by the North Sea, breaking on the block ships that were some of the Scapa Flow defences before the building of the barriers.

Mast of block ship just visible left of centre
At this point, we set off along the eastern shore of the island, into the wind which now contained a goodly helping of rain and hail. Our Lass thought it would be a good idea to indulge in a Christmas selfie.

Mr and Mrs Selfie
Undeterred, we pressed on and were rewarded with a brief dry spell, where we were able to enjoy the views across to Barrier 3.

In the absence of any precipitation, the strong wind whipped up sand particles instead, so that the beach ahead of us took on a fuzzy, blurred appearance. Where small stones were laid on the beach, strange mini-dune sand sculptures appeared downwind - not easy to capture on a phone and definitely not a place for sensitive optics.

When we felt that we had experienced sufficient face lashing for a Christmas morning, we headed back to the cottage, just in time to capture some more scenic weather.

Rainbow in Scapa Flow, sun on Glimps Holm


Martin said...

Ah, sand sculptures :). It is possible to use your body as a wind defense and photograph the sculptures downwind. I would recommend good waterproofs, rapid composition coming back when there is less wind or dry sand... and has the hazard of creating other sculptures of yours truly if you are there too long. Happy snapping.

Imperfect and Tense said...

It certainly wasn't a day for hanging about too long. We had another sand experience today when we visited the dunes adjacent to Barrier 4. The wind and the high tide had covered a huge area of tussocky dune grass with sand. Unknowing, we blithely walked up the beach, and then suddenly our feet discovered it was difficult to predict where the ground surface was.