The Hercules Storm

| 14 images

Dubbed by the media ‘The Hercules Storm’ the biggest swell in many people’s memories hit the South West of England on the 6th January 2014. The North Coast images were shot at dawn at Hartland Point as the storm was building on the 6th, at Widemouth Bay as the swell arrived at lunchtime, and at Trevose Head in the late afternoon and evening as the swell was nearing maximum height.

The South Coast images were shot on the 7th as the swell was dying down, at Porthleven at dawn and at Kynance Cove on The Lizard in the late morning.

What made the swell so exceptional was not just its height (60 ft out at sea, 30ft+ at landfall) but its exceptionally long period (21 seconds); these factors combined to create these powerful and damaging waves.

It was not easy to shoot these images due to the 70 mph winds. Many were taken lying flat on the ground due to the difficulty of standing up and keeping the camera even vaguely steady.

Further images of the storm will be posted over the coming days and weeks.