Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Summer Gale

Even in summer we sometimes get gales and The Worm can be stormy. Overnight the weather changed from benign to blustery and it’s now downright wild. Rhosilli is at its best in a gale. It’s mild, overhead clouds shoot across the sky, the sun comes in and out in a flash, and the wind howls from the west. From the remains of the old lookout post west of the village I look down the spine of The Worm. It’s high tide and the chaotic sea boils with white surf. Spray, reaching the top of the north face of the Outer Head, is blown back towards the bay; it’s simply awe-inspiring. The sky finally clears, late evening sun puts the north side of the Middle Worm into shade, leaving the rest of the great rock glowing in soft golden light. 

It doesn’t take long to walk to the coastguard lookout. The wind picks up a little, but I know the gale is nearly a spent force. The only shelter is on the leeward side of the small building. Others have sought refuge here. A couple of holidaymakers from London hadn’t expected this, but marvel at the spectacle. Earlier, when the tide was low, they’d hoped to cross the causeway and get to the top of The Worm, but wisely thought better of it. They’re here for another week, and by the morning the gale will be history, and they’ll have no problem getting over. But even though the gale will be gone, their moments at the top will be special; it takes time for the sea to calm after a big blow like this.

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