The weather up here has suddenly realised it's December and had a lot of catching up to do, so the last couple of weeks have been gales, rain, hail cancelled ferries and even some snow (not that it stayed, it just blew away again).
Yesterday was Beren's birthday, so he's now a big boy of 4. He wanted to celebrate with a trip to Frankie's chippy in Brae and found no argument with us, who heartily tucked in to scallops and monk fish with chips.Yum!
But today was his birthday party. The first one he's really been involved in 'organising; inviting friend's from nursery and the like. so after a busy morning preparing for it I went out to blow a few cobwebs away in the gales and hail we've had lately.
I headed south to Burra and Hamnavoe first to see what the westerlies were bringing in on the exposed coast. An awful lot was the answer. The waves out side the protective arm where the lighthouse was were enormous; the air filled with a mix of hail and spray that buffeted me about. I tried to grab some shots of the action jumping out from behind the shelter of low lying rocks, but it was hopeless. far better to sit and marvel at the raging seas.
Next stop was Meal Beach, more sheltered from the wind, but with a nice sandy bay it often gives some lovely looking waves. Well the wasn't any beach to speak of and finding shelter to watch the sea and take some photos there was a challenge too. I moved a bit further round the headland to a bit of relative shelter to get these shots of the waves coming past in. They're bigger than they appear and the ones further round off Fugla Ness were monstrous, easily 40 foot, but I didn't have the time or the inclination to battle round there into to head on rain and hail.
As it was I stayed in the sheltered spot I'd found, on the rocks just above the reach of the biggest crashing waves. I missed catching the odd thundering wave of around 20 foot, but held out for the next one, thinking I was safe as nothing had done more than splash my boots so far. Well, I judged wrong and a beast of a wave reared up dumping on the base of the rocks while I was pre-occupied and followed on to dump on me next. I found myself dripping from head to toe in a waist deep pool of icy froth. Glancing down at my poor camera the lights faded like the TV used to do...
I got home, showered and defrosted with a cuppa ready for the party. In a vain attempt to save it the camera it is stripped out and sitting in the airing cupboard. It doesn't seem that wet, but the sea obviously got to the parts that matter. I'll give it a while and try it out, but I'm sure I'll be saving up for the January sales and something waterproof; water and electronics don't mix well, salt water and electronics just don't!
Just when I was starting to get my head round doing things in GIMP and waiting for a time to experiment with some long multiple exposures too...