Thursday, 21 October 2010


Was called out to an inspection at Benton mid Wednesday so took the opportunity to carry on to Tynemouth where tide was rising and a northerly wind blowing in the hope of a Little Auk or two going past.

On arrival it was clear the pier would be closed as waves were breaking lighthouse high over it. Paid my 60p and headed off to the platform at the pier base checking the shrubs for any rarities as I went. The tumult was impressive and getting larger as the tide came in. Two Rock Pipits and three to four Tunstones fed at the cliff base dodging waves as they broke watched by a Robin who seemed somewhat in awe of the proceedings.

Having the wrong lens with me to frame the scene I decided a quick video was best to capture the moment. I remember taking pictures here a few years ago in similar conditions which hailed the demise of my Canon 300. Watching a wave rolling along the pier wall towards me I realised, as did the gentleman standing next to me that it was bigger than usual. About fifty yards away we both sort of thought uh oh and flinched preparing to run but fearing a collision at the steps, neither of us did. The wave thumped into the base of the sea wall and a white sheet formed in front of me. I tucked the camera under my jacket braced myself against the cliff, crouching over as the weight of freezing water cascaded onto me. It was over fairly quickly and glad that I had survived I stood up and opened my coat only for me and my camera to be deluged by a second wave of water coming off the cliff face.

It took an afternoon for me to dry out and three days for the camera which never did perform again with all its functions.

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