The Seventh Wave

Sting – Love Is The Seventh Wave

Hearing the weather forecast predicting high winds this morning my intention was to head for the coast in the hope of giant waves breaking over the pier, and more impressively, the lighthouse.  The tide was almost at its high point when I arrived, but there was no sign of monster waves, just more of the bright sunshine that challenged me yesterday.

Still the sun at least provided some backlighting for the spray that the wind was whipping off the wave tops.  This was one of those occasions, in contrast to yesterday, where I think it’s acceptable to have the highlights burn out to pure white as you can see on the left of these images.

Deciding not to go for a portrait in this harsh light I returned later in the afternoon as the sun was starting to set.  It was now at me back as I faced out to sea, giving perfect lighting for the white wave crests and breaking foam.

The sun’s position in the sky had another benefit; casting shadows that revealed the patterns on the sand created by other waves.

Yet it was something else caught by the light that please me most.  A large “cloud” of sea birds, too distant to identify but probably dippers like these, was wheeling about the sky.  Initially impressive for the black shapes they were throwing against the sky’s blue backdrop, as I raised the camera they turned again and the sun caught their pale underbellies in a flash of white.  Sadly their shape disintegrated at the same moment, but they still make a striking sight, like a multitude of stars (though I can’t spot any constellations).

Still no portrait, but as I walked up the shore I spotted a body-boarder retrieving a child’s football from the water, to the delight of his mother.  This was Thomas, still wet from his activity, and with that low sun I had no problem getting that detail into the shot.  (Click on it to enlarge and you’ll see what I mean!)

When the tide comes in…

We have a beautiful beach that runs for a couple of miles from Whitburn to Roker.  A beautiful beach that on a sunny day attracts people from all over the area, and even on a dreadful day has its hardcore fans.  A beautiful beach that twice a day is submerged by the North Sea.  It’s a bit of a shame when you’ve planned your to spend your day relaxing on the golden sands, but there’s nothing you can do about it (including this fairly half-hearted attempt).  Time and tide wait for no man.

So, assuming that you’re not going to write the day off completely what do you when the tide is high (guaranteed to give Blondie fans an earworm)?

For some there’s denial; “Let’s move as far up the beach as we can and turn away from the advancing water”, whilst for others there are plenty of places to sit away from this creeping threat.

if you’re organised there is the chance to catch up on a little reading, a bite to eat, an update on the gossip, or just to lounge on the grass.

For those energetic enough to walk a few hundred yards there’s the delights of Latimer’s Lobster Fest; even better if you can find someone to push you there.
Of course the tide itself is an attraction to some.

Some can be blase… …others less so.There is of course one way to overcome the tidal challenge.  Perhaps Canute should have just brought his cossie, had a quick dip and then gone home with a towel or two.

Can’t say I fancied it, and thankfully neither did Nikki, for having walked the length of the prom and back I hadn’t seen anyone I wanted to photograph until I saw her smile just as i was getting back to my car.  Of course she was of the “Oh no, I hate my smile” variety, but luckily her friend was persuasive.  Thanks Nikki (and thanks to your friend!)