Friday, May 15, 2009

The last of the Gower...

Here is my last blog about the Gower... for the moment!

On the Thursday, Tim and I went out to Rhossili at low tide so that Tim could walk out on Worms Head and I could go to the far end of the beach in search of Bluepool and walk on Burry Holms.

Worms Head

The weather was wonderful - sunny and quite windy, with a rain storm coming in later as it did when Meriel and I were there.

Tim enjoyed his clamber over the rocks to the Worm and got right out on to the end.

I sped across the 3 mile beach watching fishermen and surfers, but got side-tracked three-quarters of the way along - I spotted this...

... I thought it was a surfer about to catch a wave. It was very difficult to get close to, and the wind and sun were so strong that it made your eyes water. I walked as close as I could and eventually decided it must be a sculpture because it was bigger than lifesize and simply didn't move.I wondered at the concept - someone casting a surfer catching a wave and then carting it here at low tide, erecting it, then waiting for peoples reactions - only visible at low tides :-). Amazing!

But something niggled at me... could that really be the explanation?

I finished the walk across the beach and walked out on my headland, Burry Holms and also along the cliff path with views across the bay to Pembrey, but didn't find the Bluepool.

As I retraced my steps across the beach... literally at times, I hunted for my 'surfer' but he had disappeared; the tide had come in enough to hide him.

I talked to Tim and showed him the pictures; I was bemused and hooked. The elusive Bluepool and 'Surfer' had got under my skin and I determined I must go back the next day to try and find them again.

The flat we were staying in is Katy's, so I spoke to her and her Mum on the phone that evening and asked them about my Llangennith surfer - but they knew nothing of him.

Tim was returning to Cornwall the next day so the next morning saw us enjoying lattes at Verdi's (and a delicious custard slice for me!), then he set off to walk along the bay to Swansea to catch the train, and I headed for Rhossili again.

The weather had turned very windy with squally showers being whipped in across the sea. I parked in the little Church car park at Rhossili and headed up on to the spine which runs parallel to the beach. It was so windy at the top of the ridge that I had to walk on the leeward side - it knocked me over otherwise. I'm putting in a video for you to see how rough it was.

It turned out that it was almost impossible to see in the wind and my 'surfer' was more elusive then before, although I did find him eventually!

I also found Bluepool which is an amazing natural pool cut in the rocks - although it reflected green rather than blue on that stormy day! I would like to see it on a summer's day.

When I got back to Rhossili, I was a bit in need of refreshment and decided to test out Joe's icecream - I'm not usually one for icecream but decided to give it a go and get it from the National Trust shop. Whilst I was there I asked about my sculpture ... no they knew nothing of one... but then the girl disappeared and, after a few minutes, returned holding a book open to a picture...

... and all was revealed.

What I had spotted (though from a different angle) was part of the wreck of The City of Bristol, a paddle steamer which had gone down in 1840, 22 crew and 7 passengers with only two survivors. The wreck, which is now more deeply buried in the sand, is only visible at the lowest of tides. I was pleased to have my mystery resolved, but saddened that it marked the loss of so much life.

Needless to say I bought the book...

and Joe's ice cream was delicious.


  1. What a good time you had. I'm glad I didn't meet The City of Bristol while surfing at Llangennith!

  2. Nothing like a good seaside mystery. I thought I was watching a BBC drama for a minute there!