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  • Writer's pictureGethin Thomas


Originally published on Photoblog by Gethin Thomas FEBRUARY. 10, 2021

[192-365] 9th. February 2021- Where we live just off the main coast road but in the lee of the Prawle peninsula, we basically have two directions we can travel in, east to Dartmouth following a spectacular unspoilt coastline or west which takes us back to civilisation, the main city being Plymouth, about forty minutes away.

We love going east but since New Year that main road has been completely closed, to repair a major landslide that happened over a year ago, which left it passable but single carriage only. Because this is a tourist hotspot in summer, all major road repairs that cause closures happen in the off season and have to be planned months ahead because of the logistical nightmare. In this case because it has happened during a lockdown the disruption has not been as bad as it normally would be because many businesses are shut and the schools are closed. This road is the only bus route.

But yesterday the road reopened so we could get to the coast road again. There has been a major storm today with easterly winds, which affect the village of Torcross, which is well protected from the normal westerlies, being tucked into a rocky point into the bay, but lies exposed to easterlies like these.

After much destruction in the past, Torcross now has major concrete sea defences which offer much protection to the village. The largest waves and spray do still come over the top though. I took these shots from the sea defences mostly tucked into a doorway at the extreme end of the village in the shelter of the rocky point. You do have to be careful though, these were taken an hour before high tide but it would then have been darker, so you can imagine how much higher the waves were an hour later.

When you are standing there you also have to keep your eye constantly on the waves for the random large one. I got caught by one but I had already anticipated the possibility so had the front of my coat unzipped ready to quickly swing my camera inside the coat as I turned my back to the wave. Believe it or not I actually anticipated something like this back in October when I bought the waterproof coat and got a size bigger than I needed to allow room for the camera underneath. OK, I do look pregnant when it is under cover but it does give peace of mind that you aren't going to destroy the camera.

The one thing that intrigued me was the gulls, who seemed to be just having fun. They were constantly gliding in and out of the waves, not feeding, or doing anything, other than having a great time.

In this shot below you can see where I was standing when I took the wave shots. The large yellow building at the end has a tiny white cottage to the left of it. In the corner between the two buildings is a small green front door. That is where I took cover. To the left of that cottage is the coast path which climbs straight up some steps but waves were coming over that path as you can see here. The majority of buildings that front the beach are second homes or holiday rentals so are mostly shuttered up for the winter.

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