Gower Spring (Bulldog) Walks – Rhossili March 2014

Misty Worms Head

It is official, spring is here, and last weekend was a glorious Gower classic.  With forgotten clear skies and crisp double figure degrees C to look forward to, we had to grab Molly the Frenchie and head to Gower’s most awe inspiring beach, Rhossili Bay. Seeing as our van is getting pimped up for summer, we scrounged a lift with Ade and Nancy in their VW T4, tidy like. Ade let Molly ride shotgun in the van, so it was only polite that she show him the view of the bay.

Rhossili Molly & Ade

The great thing with Rhossili is you can drive down, take in the view, get an ice cream, and go home…

Rhossili Spring Mist

…or you can climb down into the bay. But remember what goes down has to climb back up! At the moment the climb down is complicated by the winter storms and record storm surges not only eroding the sand but actually washing away the steps to the beach. National Trust have put in a diversion that involves walking across the grass to almost where the white cottage is. On a serious note the climb up and down to Rhossili is challenging and this diversion has added to that, there is no shame in just sticking to that ice cream / view combination.

Molly the shipwreck hunter

The storm sand erosion has led to one bonus, the shipwreck in the bay is very exposed at the moment. Molly really took it upon herself to be a wreck hunter. Several posts have also been exposed across the bay, I would love to know what these are? Are they left over sea defenses from World War II?

Rhossili Wreck

Shipwrecks aside, as well as the sun there was a gentle offshore wind which was making the most of a moderate swell. I was jealous of two lads walking down to make the most of the empty sets, until I saw them gloving up and pulling their hoods on.

Rhossili Spring Surfer

Molly was straight in with them…

Rhossili Molly & Surfer

…and straight back out! Brrr Molly and I will leave it unitl April (#AprilCool).

Run away Molly!

Then we took that long climb back to the cliff top. In the spring sun it would have been rude not to grab a pint of ‘Gower Gold’ in the Rhossili Hotel beer garden. Molly couldn’t believe we had been all the way down there.

Rhossili Hotel Beer Garden

Unfortunately with a busy day, long walk and a few beers in the beer garden, there is always one who gets grumpy and starts kicking off.

Beer Garden Monster

So we got Molly back in the van before she started trouble. But spring is here, summer is to follow and Gower didn’t get totally washed away in the winter storms. So get out there and get exploring, DimExcuses.

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Where has the sand gone? Storm Surge Beach Erosion Pobbles, Gower Jan 2013.

Pobbles Storm ErosionWith storms still hitting the UK and flooding a constant risk, we on the Gower coast are still reeling from the perfect storm surge combination of massive swell, high tides, and extreme weather of a few weeks ago.  I have seen the damage at Caswell and Langland (you can read the blog here), but I have been getting reports of massive sand erosion at Pobbles Bay, Gower (Just around from Three Cliffs Bay).

Pobbles rocks showing

So yesterday (a wet Saturday) me and Molly the Fenchton (French Bulldog, Boston Terrier cross) decided to go and investigate.

2014-01-18 13.57.18

I am lucky enough to have grown up in Pennard, and as a child of the 70s and 80s I was outside all year in all weathers, often down Pobbles Bay which was walking distance.  So I recall huge changes in sand depth with weather and seasons. Some of these changes were so severe that it triggered debate one whether sand dredging should be stopped in the Bristol Channel.

Pobbles

But even with all that in my minds eye this current erosion is breath taking.

Bedrock exposed at Pobbles

It certainly gave molly a chance to get in the caves and examine the bedrock.

Molly Bedrock

She is turning into a proper geologist.

Geologist Molly

Here is one final picture of Three Cliffs cave, now virtually inaccessible because of the large pools of seawater where the sand should be.

Three Cliffs Cave

But if experience has taught me anything, the weaker weather and lower tides will soon replace the sand before summer. So get down and see it before the rocks are buried again, DimExcuses.