Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Surf’s up


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The large waves and high, pounding surf which delighted beach watchers and surfers were a bitter pill for fisherfolk and watersports operators.

Last Friday, the Barbados Metrological Service issued a high-surf advisory and small craft warning, which came into effect on Sunday at 6 p.m. and lasts until 6 p.m. Tuesday.

The surf was accompanied by some dangerous rip currents along the northern and western coasts. The surge, which was expected to go as high as 13 feet, washed sand ashore past the beachfront properties and onto Highway 1 at Lower Carlton, St James, and Six Men’s, St Peter.

Fish boner Brenda Ifill, who was scaling flying fish at the Six Men’s Market, said large waves washed up a lot of wood, garbage and other debris on the road over the last two weeks. The choppy water prevented day boat operators from plying their trade and the market was not as lively as usual.

Ifill said although a rough sea was dangerous, residents and people who worked in the fishing village were accustomed to seeing large waves.

“When the sea ready, it does flood most of the huts out here, so this isn’t anything compared to what we got in the past.”

George “Sarge” Martin-Husbands, who scales catches of the day from fishermen and divers, said he was out of work for a few days as they could not go to sea.

Pointing to a number of day boats tied to poles on the shore, he told the DAILY NATION: “The sea was acting up from about two weeks ago but today was the worst. All the sand you can see, washed up here this morning round four and in Moon Town [St Lucy], and as usual all the fishermen asked me to haul in their boats for them.”

At Paynes Bay fish market in St James, owner of two day boats, Wellington Blackman, who fishes intermittently, said he was worried about his vessels anchored offshore but was even more concerned about sea corrosion.

“The houses and buildings constructed close to the seashore make the damage on the coast worse,” he argued. “There is nowhere for the water to go and in some cases there is no beach.”

The high sea was also a spectacle for tourists and locals in Paynes Bay and Lower Carlton, also in St James. Geoffrey Tryhane, from the Barbados Surfing Association, and other surfers were spotted at Tropicana/Thunder Bay in Lower Carlton trying to ride the large waves. (SB)


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