1 EAGLETON NOTES: The Braighe

.

.

Tuesday, 26 March 2019

The Braighe

I've spoken on a number of occasions of the peninsula on which I live being separated from the rest of Lewis and the town of Stornoway by an isthmus called The Braighe including my post here.


It is sometimes closed when there is a high tide and a southerly gale or storm force winds. On Saturday it was closed for a lot longer than usual at high tide because a lot of stones and seaweed came over the seawall with the waves and it took diggers, lorries and then a road sweeping vehicle to clear it before we could get across.

A video taken from a Coastguard vehicle before the waves got really bad was published by The Scotsman newspaper:


If the link doesn't work it may be easier to cut and paste the following into your browser:

https://www.scotsman.com/news/transport/watch-incredible-footage-as-huge-waves-crash-onto-car-on-isle-of-lewis-1-4894381?fbclid=IwAR3vk-m-4eJw7PFRw-tPwm0Od-J17sZ2yhq-awomS2OZO1bxkJGmdsxjqS0

34 comments:

  1. So what do people do when they would actually need to cross the Braighe but can't, due to it being closed? Is it an officially accepted reason for not coming to work or keeping appointments?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Meike,The police close it (only the Police can close a road in an emergency) and then the Coastguard take over. It's well established that if you can't get across the Braighe then that's an act of nature and so be it. Half the time the people who would be taking the decisions would be stranded too. The queue last week was over 1.5 miles long because it took so long to clear up the mess a lot of people were disrupted.

      Delete
  2. I thought we had windy weather here over the weekend, but... ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oddly, Monica, the wind only got to gusting about 70mph (112kph) but the direction and very high tide all coincided to make the waves very high.

      Delete
  3. I like maps so this makes sense. With tides and waves like that some little old guy could get washed away.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Red, some little old guy wouldn't be walking there!

      Delete
  4. Having watched the video, I think I would have turned back. They were lucky not to be swept away!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cro, that was one of the Coastguard vehicle returning from the isthmus end of the Braighe before the waves got to their peak. When they are at their peak 6" pebbles come over and smaller ones come over in lorryloads. Some years ago an inexperienced police officer parked his car to close the road end and was too near the waves coming over. When the first wave of stones came over the windows of the car were shattered and he was very lucky not to have been injured.

      Delete
  5. I have a solution. Make a big gap to let the waves through then pop a bridge in. Sorted.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think, Adrian, you'd have to remove the shoaling shoreline too. We're a hardy lot and just live with the inconvenience.

      Delete
    2. Victorian engineers made Liverpool fit for big ships, big cotton ships with the tidal training bank. I recognise they took slaves out but it doesn't alter the fact that it never needs dredging.
      Don't be so defeatist get stuck in and show the shingle who is boss. There must be dozens of folk in the council office slavering to get stuck into the ins and outs of this. If not we have some here who are doing bugger all except making tea and thwarting my retirement plans.
      Bet they could help, if you can catch them. What with Flexitime, job sharing, Maternity benefit for men and women. It's very hard to find the person responsible for filling the salt bins, let alone the one for sea defences. You worked in such places. It's like all monopolies, run for the staff and not the customer.

      Delete
  6. I wouldn't want to argue with those waves! What is the longest you've been stranded?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jules, as a rule we are alerted to when the Braighe is likely to be closed (which is not actually very often) and I can generally work around it by just altering my arrangements. Many people are, of course, not as fortunate. Last week was probably the longest I've actually waited - just over 1 hour - because I'd seen from my window that the high tide was on the ebb and hadn't anticipated how ferocious the storm had been and therefore how much debris had been thrown over the seawall which, of course, took a long time to clear.

      Delete
  7. I had to look at a complete map as I am not familiar with the island as a whole. I am out at present so haven't been able to watch the video yet. One of my work colleagues in a previous life I believe used to come shooting on Lewis once a year and it was a great privilege to be invited.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rachel there is sound on the video but someone commented to me (off blog) that he hadn't found it. There are a number of sporting estates on the Island of Harris and Lewis and most are owned by syndicates now.

      Delete
  8. Wow...Amazing video! I was so afraid their vehicle might be hit by a huge wave and carried into the sea...Brave folks! Thanks for posting! I so love reading blogs from folks in Scotland...I live in the middle of the US so no sea near...I love the sea!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lynney, there's a good 3ft high seawall between the car and the sea itself.

      Delete
    2. Brave isn't the word I'd be using.... brainless, more like. We all know that sea waves can reach heights of well over 3ft, and there are "rogue waves" that don't behave like all the others around it. There is nothing on this green earth that is worth taking risks like that - because once you're brown bread, you're not helping anyone, Coast Guard or not.

      Delete
  9. I was going to say that the folk in that vehicle were bloody stupid until I realised they were coastguards.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, YP, I'm not quite sure what they were doing because they were obviously travelling before the worst of the waves. At the height of the storm their vehicle would have been battered by stones brought right over the sea wall.

      Delete
  10. It isn't Brague, exactly, but it will have to do.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's true, Robert. What happened to your last post? I was all ready to reply when it disappeared.

      Delete
    2. I decided it wasn't ready for prime time. Maybe it will never be. But now I am curious. What was your reply going to be?

      Delete
    3. You know what, Robert, I can't for the life of me recall what the post was about except that it was a very curious post.

      Delete
  11. There's nothing quite like a calm, smooth drive to work to start one's day off on the right track! :)

    Those fellows are to be commended for the jobs they do...day in and day out.

    Where you live looks like such an interesting part of this world...it looks pretty good to me. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lee, it is a pretty good place to live and I'm glad that I stayed. I only came for two years - 44 years ago

      Delete
  12. I love a dramatic sea (pretty sure I've said that before) but this is just scary. A girlfriend of mine says Scotland breeds tough people because of the weather and I think she has a point

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kylie, I think the weather does have something to do with the Scots being a hardy people, however I'd rather our weather than the relentless heat and humidity of the Northern Territories.

      Delete
  13. Gosh, I watched the video, I'd be too scared to drive along the road.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Amy, I'd be too concerned to drive along it too but the coastguards know what they are doing and wouldn't go across when it was really bad and the stone were coming over the seawall.

      Delete
  14. Yeah... that is just a little too scary driving for my liking.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, Lynda, not for the fainthearted or anyone who is concerned about his vehicle. Fortunately the public are not allowed across whe the police close it.

      Delete