Tuesday, 24 November 2009

storm force 10 in St Jean de Luz

Weather is always an important topic of conversation in St Jean de Luz. For the last few days we have watched as the rest of Western Europe is flooded out and ravaged by cold rains. We, as usual, have enjoyed unbridled sunshine and warmth. However, deep in the Bay of Biscay the cyclonic depression that has been throwing Europe out of kilter was about to send us a gift.

As I listened to the shipping forecast on BBC Radio 4, an addiction that remains from my days in the UK, I heard that Biscay was about to experience storm force 10. This implies winds of 60 knots and very high seas carrying waves that can reach over 12 metres in height. Jumping out of bed I headed for the coast to see what was going on. I wasn't disappointed.
An enormous army of white steeds was racing in from the Atlantic crushing and crashing into everything in their wake. The waves exceeded those during January's hurricane in their relentless ferocity. The walls/digues that provide protection to St Jean de Luz were seemingly overwhelmed by the onslaught. Meanwhile, on shore there was no wind, no clouds and no sign of the warmth dissipating. Calmness covered all as it stood facing the racing tempest. Late last night some of the more maniacal local kids decided to go surfing on the beach. It was a joy to watch although I think that some of their mothers were less than pleased.
Basque of the day:- crazy :: zoro