‘Swellies Whirlpool’ Menai Strait
Nominated image in the 13th Black & White Spider Awards 2018
Everyone who visits the area has heard about ‘The Swellies’ and only the experienced sailor dares take their yacht between the two famous bridges knowing full well about the infamous whirlpools that have been known to suck kayakers down into the depths before releasing them downstream! These large and very powerful whirlpools only appear at certain stages of the tide, as a massive volume of sea funnels up to the bridges. On the day we filmed this location our skipper killed the RIB engine and showed us just how quickly we could be spun around and pulled towards the vortex. It was both awe inspiring and eerie and a spectacle to remember.
In the background stands the Telford Suspension Bridge, completed in 1826, the first of the two marvels of industrial engineering that finally allowed people and traffic to cross from mainland Wales to Anglesey without the need for ferries. Many people lost their lives crossing the treacherous Menai Strait on small boats and ferries before the bridges were built.