Begging indulgence from the Senior Gumbo Gurus. Following my previous visit to stormy Portland Bill last week, yesterday the sun came out and the wind picked up a notch more, so I just had to make a quick trip back there to see what might have changed.
Viewed from behind Portland Bill's 145 foot high lighthouse, towards the Trinity House stone obelisk (the pre-lighthouse warning of rocks), it couldn't be a nicer day - except that the scene completely disguises the continuous stream of salt spray coating me and my camera lens... The wind had only moved round a couple of points to the west but the sea was behaving quite differently.
Hard to capture the impression of a 'big' sea in a photograph but this sea was producing some big breakers well offshore where there are no rocks.
Waves crashing onto the rocks below the lighthouse look quite surreal against a sunny sky.
The old stone-loading crane must be the most sea-lashed item on this beach! It is continually drenched and often totally obscured beneath a crashing wave.
Round to the other side of Portland, to Chesil Beach, the naturally formed pebble beach linking Portland with the mainland and Weymouth beyond. The beach was attracting a good pounding but it contrasted the rough open sea with the sheltered waters of Portland harbour on the other side of Chesil.
Down at beach level the rollers were pretty impressive.
Below, is the top end of Chesil Beach right below Tout Quarry (500 feet high) where much of the beautiful Portland stone was quarried for London's S. Paul's Cathedral and the Houses of Parliament. The finest and most sought after Portland stone could only be reached by cutting through through an upper strata of low quality stone. The low quality 'spoil' from this upper strata of rock was simply discarded over the quarry's edge where it tumbled to the sea below. Quite a rock pile.
Finaly a note to Dr. F - struggling to get the very best photos from close to the high edge of Tout Quarry, you will not be surprised to learn that the gusting winds plucked your plucky correspondent's cap from atop his head and sent it spinning like a small alien flying saucer into the brambles far below!! It was later recovered, but such are the lengths that one must go to for our esteemed readers (note to self: wear a beanie in future...)