12/30/12

They never issued a warning...






Last Thursday night, we woke up around 2 a.m. The winds that had been blowing quite hard ever since we arrived in Brittany were getting stronger... Much stronger.

I do not fear winds nor storms any more ever since we (and our house) survived the 1999 hurricane that leveled so many houses and uprooted thousands of trees on its path from the Atlantic coast to Belgium. Once you have heard howling winds battering your walls while blowing well over 125 miles/hr, what’s a wintery storm after all?

Ever since 1999, there is this thing going on in France - they call it a “precautionary measure”... which means that they try to scare the hell out of you... just in case!

I have seen old people in Brittany scared to death because they had heard on tv that very strong winds were about to sweep through the area. They’d rush to get the car into the garage. They’d lock all the doors and secure the shutters. And then they’d spend the night and/or the day locked up in their homes while a nice breeze would be blowing outside. A vigilance weather forecast had been issued. All was well.

I always wonder why our goverment weather agency does this again and again. To me it sounds so much like crying wolf! And it did happen several times that our meteorologists were very wrong, so very wrong...

On the 27th, we did have some interesting stormy weather in Northern Brittany... A few roofs were blown away... Some trees were uprooted and several boats including a trawler broke loose from their moorings.

Normal life in Northern Brittany, that is.

We have done some extensive renovation work on our house ever since 2008. The house is as secure as it can be with very thick walls!






And yet...

Thursday morning, from the top of the stairs going down to our basement... You’ll notice that the shutters are closed but listen... And try to imagine what it was like outside!



video


And watching “the real McCoy” on the beach at the very moment the tide was starting to rise. How lucky we were this was not a spring tide... 


video

But it was nevertheless very impressive.



It took all of Popeye's strength to try to secure me while I was filming the sea... and he couldn’t even hold me tight enough... Gusts of winds up to 59 miles/hr. (We have a small wind gauge we love to play with!)
  
I love to live dangerously! But I learnt that even though it’s hard to keep me steady, I am not light enough to fly away either. 


Popeye was lost in thought in front of the raging sea.
 






0n our way back home, he’ll admit he had made a very good choice when he decided to get our boat out of the harbor, late November...



The storm generated foam from the waves besides getting us all wet with spindrift. And the foam flew around, hitting my Canon lens in passing.





I was so much more careful with my Nikon though... luckily! I am so used to taking pictures while boating that I have a special plastic sleeve to protect it from the waves and sea spray.

Which explains why I kept on taking pictures quite safely, safely for my lenses, that is because by then the wind had turned into a force 9 to 10 gale.







The sea was turning amazingly white. The waves were breaking wildly  against the cliff and the beach. Cap Fréhel was barely visible behind a curtain or sea spray.




Quite a staggering sight!

Ever since the 27th, the winds have abated but from time to time up they go again... Force 7 to 8 gales. And it is getting very exhausting...

Oh well, don’t I love Brittany for this very reason - its wildness? So let’s stop complaining! Let’s enjoy this weather as long as it does not brew disaster...

And let’s learn to be patient! A few freighters have dropped anchor a few miles away, waiting for calmer seas to get into the Saint-Brieuc harbor. Waiting... 

While we take long walks on the deserted beach and actually enjoy them!









*Good Luck, and Good Night*

1 comment:

Myrna said...

Once the weathermen tricked the universities into sending all their students and employees home...and nothing happened. It was a very, very calm winter storm.

Lovely pictures, even of a wild ocean! I am glad that the storm did not get worse!