Extreme tides

Today’s weather has been perfect for us to get out and enjoy the memorable experience of very high and low ‘spring tides’ (although it’s autumn!).  Because of the alignment of the moon with the earth, today’s tides are the most extreme they will be this year.  Thankfully it was a calm day!

This exciting phenomenon means that on this rare occasion, we can begin on the south beach of Tenby and walk at low tide all around the peninsula of  Castle Hill, underneath our new lifeboat station (pictured), along Tenby’s North Beach and all the way across the sands, passing the bays of Waterwynch, Monkstone, Saundersfoot, Wisemans Bridge and finishing at Amroth.  It’s a walk that needs to be done at a brisk pace, occasionally clambering over mussel clad rocks and finding the spongy stumps of Amroth’s ‘sunken forest’ which are rarely exposed,  but it’s satisfying to walk on virgin sand and ‘beat the tide’ before the rocks and forest are once again submerged.  There is always the treat of a well earned ice cream and after a bus ride back to Tenby, a steaming coffee at Cafe Vista, watching the incoming tide.

Six hours later at the other end of the scale rises the highest tide of the year and our  favourite place to enjoy this is not on the coast but on the upper reaches of the Cleddau Estuary at Cresswell Quay, a small tranquil settlement snuggled around a bend in the river.  Prime position on the quayside is held by the Cresselly Arms, a very popular ‘watering hole’ for many local folk and visitors.  On a ‘spring tide’ the river fills and swells as the tide surges upstream and gently creeps its way  over the quayside car park, flooding the road,  and rising almost up to the front door step of the pub.  As you can see it doesn’t dampen the spirits of the patrons who flock to enjoy the occasion – wellies in hand (or rather foot!) or simply bare footed!  In past days our children have paddled their Canadian canoes over the flooded road – a very strange but memorable moment!


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