Although Britain has been battered by strong winds and powerful waves for about a month now I sat out going down to the coast for photographs as my usual top spots of Saltcoats, Adrossan, and Ayr featured on every news report and I'd already posted several stormy day walks in these locations. When I heard on the weather report however that high tides and strong winds were converging together on the west coast of Scotland, driven in by the Jet Stream and fed by the energy created by the Polar Vortex centred over the USA and Canada. I decided a trip down to the coast was long overdue. Apart from anything else I,d been stuck indoors all week and wanted a bit of fresh air and exercise at the seafront. I also remembered that some of the houses in Helensbugh were very close to the shore, protected by a large seawall. Normally Helensburgh is a fairly sheltered spot as it sits deep within the upper reaches of the Firth of Clyde well away from the Atlantic ocean's crashing waves.
After consulting the tide times however a 4 metre high tide was predicted to arrive up the Firth around 3:40 pm and I thought that might be funnelled into a Severn Bore type surge by the time it reached the confines of the Upper Clyde Estuary.http://www.thesevernbore.co.uk/. Good pictures of that famous occurrence here.
I actually walked along the beach here last summer and admired these coastal properties with their great views over the Firth but anyone that lives close to the sea is all too aware of its fickle nature.
A view from the old pier at Helensburgh. The 'Moon' is actually a tiny spot of spray on the lens reflecting the light that I failed to notice.
Similar effect from a different angle fifteen minutes later.
As it was dark by now I decided to head for Dumbarton as I was curious to see how much water was flowing into the River Leven. This is on the cycle track/walkway that runs beside the river from Dumbarton through Renton and Alexandra to Loch Lomond.
Normally the water level is at least a few metres below the car park railings but here its inches from spilling over. The River Leven, although short, is one of the fastest flowing rivers in the UK as it acts as the only outflow for all the glens draining into Loch Lomond and for any excess volume within Loch Lomond itself during heavy rainfall. Probably around ten to fifteen foot deep here and moving faster than you could run although it's still deceptively free of major turbulence.
This large sign seems to be stating the blatantly obvious but I suppose there's always someone ready to sue the authorities if its not in place and someone fails to notice any danger in the vicinity.
The high flats beside the River Leven. A different and unusual day or rather afternoon out. Back in the house for 6:45 just in time for the weather forecast and more storms predicted.
In keeping with the night time theme here's a catchy little tune with a difference from Romanian alternative rock band Travka. Both painting and song capture that special feeling of walking through a familiar but suddenly dark and mysterious city at night perfectly. Worth clicking on the painting full screen to study the detail as it's a fine example of atmospheric impressionist art.