The January storm surge that prompted severe flood warnings right along most of the Cornwall coast resulted in three particularly high tides; two on January 2nd and one at dawn on January 3rd, when this shot was taken.
The Breakwater at Bude is a reliable barometer of how high the tides are. Only on the highest spring tides will water overflow it, and then generally only at the far end on just a few waves for that tide.
During a big storm though, and especially when that storm coincides with a spring tide, water can rush over it. I have seen this a few times since living in the area but nothing quite on the scale of what the image depicts here.
Those who know the breakwater will know that the common means of high tide access is a steep path down to the end of it. Water, and pebbles thrown by the water, was coming several feet up this path. This shot was therefore taken at a little height above the breakwater.
It is a long exposure shot, but not too long, as I wanted to capture some of the dynamism of the motion of the water.