Tuesday, November 12, 2013

R is for...

Growing up as I did on the tip of Flamborough Head, a promontary that thrusts out into the stormy North Sea, I am quite familiar with rough seas, but I never cease to get a thrill out the power of the wind and the waves.

R IS Also for....

A few days ago I saw this video taken by the RNLI of a lifeboat and helicopter searching rough seas for a teenager who had been washed away in the raging waters in the midst of the hurricane strength storm that hit Britain last week.  Imagine being in THAT lifeboat being battered around by the wind and the waves. Please click on this link to see REALLY Rough Seas.


The Royal National Lifeboat Institution of the UK  is made up of some of the most courageous men in the world.
Painting by B.F. Gribble, courtesy Wikipedia

Most of the lifeboat crew are unpaid volunteers. The RNLI was founded in 1824 and was granted the 'Royal' part of their name by Queen Victoria.  They have approximately 444 lifeboats around Britain and Ireland and are responsible for saving thousands of lives since their inception. They are funded by donations and legacies.

I have seen the launching of a lifeboat many times both in an emergency and in practice mode.  In the village of Flamborough, the lifeboat crew was summoned by setting off a rocket just down the road from where I lived.  If it was the middle of the night, of course I woke up and would run to the window to see the lights from the local fishermen dashing down the road to the landing on their bicycles.  None of them had cars in those days.  This would be in the late forties.  The old lifeboats were large shiny ship-shape vessels  and had to be launched down the slipway and over the sand into the bay, using long beams of wood set across the sand to aid its progress as it gathered speed down to the water.

My experiences of rough seas come mainly from my time of living in Flamborough.  I well remember the storm of 1953 when the waves were so big they were breaking over the headland and washed out and destroyed a field of barley. The cliffs at that point were about 50 foot high and they say the spray went over the top of the lighthouse (85 feet or 26m).  I was about 15 years old at the time and we had moved just a few months before from the village, a mile, away to the tip of the headland at the lighthouse. I used to have dreams about those massive waves surging into the small bay. Sadly I have no photographs to document them, only memories. 

However, in 2005 when we were in North Wales, we experienced a strong storm passing through. Llandudno on the coast of North Wales has often experienced flooding and this photo is testimony to the rough seas it sometimes experiences. This one was taken by my husband.

There was a great gale blowing that day and I have to say that the stormy weather delighted our whole family.

The next couple of photos were taken here in Southern California where we have no storms worthy of comparison to those I witnessed in England.  But we do have some rough seas here in the winter. These high waves breaking over the Oceanside Harbor breakwater in these photos have been generated by big storms that were located down off New Zealand.  That seems a long way for these large waves to come, but that's what they tell us and sometimes if  there's not too much wind associated, the surfers are overjoyed to find some large waves with good form.

As much as it is exciting to watch these kind of ROUGH SEAS, the kind of wind and seas generated by the typhoon this weekend that passed over the Philippines is not fun and exciting.  As we have seen, it is downright dangerous.  We have a large population of Filipinos in our area and our prayers and support go out for them as they wait to hear from their families as well as to those on the islands who are trying to recover from the great loss of life and property.

This week is the letter R in the weekly meme ABC WEDNESDAY.  We are now in the 13th round of this project, which was begun by Mr. Nesbitt and is now continued by Roger Owen Green and other helpers.  Thank you all for your faithful commitment.  To see more of the fascinating posts presented in this project please click HERE.


photowannabe said...

I really like your examples of Rough Seas.
The Typhoon has been so terrible, with so many lives lost.
We have a large Filipino population here also.
Love the wave action photos too.

Roger Owen Green said...

My goodness. While I love the sea, I guess I live 150 miles from it.


jabblog said...

The power of the sea is truly awesome and makes puny humans helpless in the face of its strength.

snafu said...

There is something exhilarating about watching such violence, but it is not funny when it takes away your home and half your family. I remember the 1953 storm because it swept away half the village where we went on holiday. Over 250 people died that night in the UK, but that is nothing compared to the Philippines disaster. The sea can be a very powerful force and the RNLI is operated by some very brave people.

Leslie: said...

Rough seas are exciting to watch but not for being in them! lol I love all your photos and those California ones sure do look like the Pacific Ocean. I hope when I finally manage to get to Llandudno, we won't have to experience rough seas.

abcw team

Mersad said...

Our weather has been worsening here too. Once can really see the seasons changing again.

Anonymous said...

great captures reflecting power of sea

Dave said...

Nothing can compare to the Phillipines though. I find it amazing that such an important service like the RNLI is not government funded. They are so good and necessary, they'll always get my money.

kaybee said...

Your photos make me positively homesick for the ocean....Lake Ontario is just not the same!

Nevertheless, one is always at the mercy of 'rough seas' so sometimes it is a benefit to be a distance from them!

Scriptor Senex said...

I liked your post and like you and the other commenters I grieve for the Philippines. The sea is magnificent and the men and women who crew the lifeboats are no less magnificent.

sandy said...

Loved your photos and that painting is wonderful! I enjoyed reading about Rough Seas. It is so darn sad what has happened over in the Philippines. My grandson's family is Filippino and they are all okay as far as I know - most of their relatives live in Manila I think.

Alan Burnett said...

I remember going to see the Lifeboat at Flamborough Head whilst we were on our regular weeks summer holiday at Brid. And I am sure there must have been rough seas but in my mind it was always calm days and blue skies.