In An Ancient Bay
The biggest waves I've personally ever seen at Porth Tyn Tywyn and I have walked, swam and surfed there many 100s of times over the last 20 years.
On this particular morning I had gone there with the idea of body boarding what was reported to be a brilliant swell for Anglesey. The day was clear with a strong offshore wind and just a few rapidly clouds. I parked up overlooking the dunes and the sea beyond and I could already see wave tips higher than the dunes (foreshortened perspective of course) and I knew it was going off! I walked down to the reef and two surfers were being thrown about in the white water before finally getting out to the back where a strong rip was pushing them Southwards towards the bay of the burial mound, Barclodiad y Gawres. It was funny in a way watching these guys go for the surf but spend so much time just trying to keep parallel to the shore. At this point, I just knew that I was not going in! I have not body-boarded seriously for years and having had a bit of an epic attempt at Sennen in Cornwall in January in big seas it was all too intimidating for this surf-unfit body !
Of course the upside to that decision is that I could guilt-freely enjoy taking pictures of the surf instead and it was just so beautiful and powerful to watch. Thankfully the offshore breeze was keeping most of the sea-spray off my lens for a change meaning that I could continue to shoot without minute-apart lens cleans.
The light on the sea in the bay was sharp and intense, and the lips of the waves were backlit and sparkling against the darker sky in the background. I enjoyed studying the bands of light and dark as they created monochrome Rothko seas, large ocean canvases of abstract landscape. After an hour or more of outgoing tide, the waves noticeably reduced in height to the point where perhaps I could have gone in, but with a full CF disc I decided to head for hot coffee back in the gallery instead - wrong decision ? Probably ! :-)