Tag Archives: surf

porthleven big surf

Surf power

This is one from a while back. Taken at (or near) Cornwall’s best known reef-break, Porthleven. It was pretty big that day, but it’s as much about the power as the size of the wave – check out the mountain of white water exploding behind. This is local legend Daniel ‘Mole’ Joel looking fairly comfortable at the bottom of this beast. A few seconds later he pulled into the tube (if that makes sense to anyone?!)

I think the levels on this photo are a little too blue but I’m too lazy to dig out the original file and try and do a better job. Hopefully the epic wave will distract from the second rate editing…

Cornish surf

Porthcurno Surf Power

Whilst Porthcurno cove may be famous for the Minnack Theatre in my books it is famous for something else; grinding, sand-dredging, top to bottom barrelling waves!

This is one of my favourite photos and very much sums up the power of the waves on the South Cornwall coast. Whilst the North coast gets more swell and generally has waves they don’t have quite the same power as on the South coast. I think it’s because the beaches are more gently sloping on the North coast.

Godrevey Lighthouse from St Ives

Lighthouse across the Bay

Looking across St Ives Bay from the far end of Porthmeor beach to Godrevey Lighthouse some 5 miles away. The lighthouse on the island has some literary claim in that it is the lighthouse in Virginia Woolf’s ‘To the Lighthouse’.

This shot reminds me of the story of the St Ives lifeboat disaster back in the 1930s. The lifeboat was launched at night in seas heavier than this in the winter to aid a vessel some way up the coast. It got into trouble just around the corner from here and  was capsized several times, each time losing more and more crew. The lifeboat was eventually found near the headland by the lighthouse, all on board were lost. The crew new the odds as they had lost a boat a year or 2 before. Quite staggering bravery.

Bodyboarder at Porthleven

Bodyboarding at Porthleven

The wave at Porthleven is considered to be Cornwall’s best reef break, or at least the most popular. Located on the South Cornish coast at the base of the Lizard peninsula the waves here can get huge. In this photo a bodyboarder is positioned under the lip of the wave, or in the barrel to use the correct terminology.

Porthleven is a fairly hazardous place to surf. If you look closely to the front and right of the bodyboarder you can make out where the water is pulling off the rocks making it less than a foot deep in places. Everyone who surfs here gets bounced off the rocks at some point – most get away quite lightly though.

The surf break here isn’t natural. It is the result of blasting to enlarge the harbour mouth back in the days when this was a busy port. It is surprising how close the fishing boats sail to the waves when leaving and entering the harbour.