Beach Party Gone Bad

We walked back over the dunes from Ynyslas beach. I lead the way, planning to reach the car, drop off my bags, then go back and help Kit and Paul, who were struggling with most of the remaining barbeque gear. A few minutes behind me was Claire, and a few minutes behind her, Fiona, a friend from Stirling who’s visiting us for this week. Paul and Kit were a few dunes back.

As I climbed the last rise before the car park, an alarming vision appeared before me… water. Lots and lots of water. The tide had come in further than I’d have expected, and the rear half of the car was underwater, sinking into the sand and slowly filling it from the exhaust-pipe upwards with water!

I dropped my bags and ran back to the top of the dunes. “Claire!” I shouted, “Get your keys from your bag, drop your bag, and RUN!” She looked at me quizzically for a moment, but then, noting the severity in my voice and the specificity of my instructions, did exactly that. Meanwhile I ran past her and down into the valley. I raised a hand over my head and shouted to the others: “Fiona! Kit! Paul… FLOOD!”

Fiona and I reached the car together and waded out behind it. Claire revved the engine as we tried to push it from behind, but the partially-buried front wheels (combined with our inability to get a grip against the slippy underwater shore) prevented us from gaining more than a few inches.

Some strangers came by. One commented that “we’d never get it out like that” (helpful!). “Could you three lift the front up?” I asked, gesturing to the larger-looking of the men. They did so, and Fiona and I continued to push, and slowly but surely we extracted the vehicle from it’s watery sinkhole. Not a moment too soon, either – it was an hour from high tide, so there was a lot of water still to come.

Later, at Safeway, we cleaned the saltwater off the car using the jet wash, and went and had A Midsummer Night’s Troma. All in all, a fun day.

Claire also gives an account of the proceedings. It’s disappeared from the Internet, so a copy can now be found archived here.

Go look at virtual Ynyslas dunes

Online Banking

NatWest phoned me today in response to my complaint the other day that their online bankings service refused to support Opera, my web browser of choice, seemingly for no good reason. I threatened to take my account elsewhere. Regardless, they’ve promised to look into it and try to make the site Opera-compatible, and I’ve said I’ll give them ’til Christmas.

Let your feet do the talking, people. It’s the only way that big companies (and banks) pay any attention at all.

Sand and seawater

This article is a repost promoting content originally published elsewhere. See more things Dan's reposted.

This repost was published in hindsight, on 11 March 2019.

Claire wrote:

Got up late, and spent the day on Ynyslas beach (A small town North of Aberystwyth, on the coast) with Paul, Kit, Fiona (Kit’s new girlfriend, as I’m sure he will relate in his next entry) and Dan. The water was warm, if a little shallow. We went for a swim, had a barbecue and watched the beautiful sunset. Pictures will be online soon enough. We climbed lazily back over the sand dunes to return to the car. Dan ran ahead, stopped at the crescent of a dune, and turned. “Drop your bag, take your keys, your car is underwater!” I thought he was joking.

So i wade into the now several inches deep water, just below the level of the exhaust pipe. Uncaring about getting sand in the car from my soaking shoes, I jump in and start the engine. I rev and rev, but my wheels are spinning and I’m digging myself deeper into the sand. Eventually, as the water continues to rise, some strangers come to my aid. (Dan had gone to get the others.) With about five people pushing and me panicking slightly less, the car was rescued and i drove it away from the water.
As I drove, very relieved indeed and driving cautiously in case the brakes had been damaged, a woman shouts at me. “Your lights are off!” she tells me. The least of my worries on an almost deserted beach after escaping a drowned vehicle! I flipped them on and waited for the rest of the crew.
We returned to aber, and laughed at our stupidity. Ok, my stupidity, I guess. This sort of thing only happens to me. We washed the salt water off the car and went back to the flat for beer and “Cannibal the Musical”. Hooray. A good day all round.

I’m considering giving my car bouyancy aids and an anchor.