On Thursday 28 June2018 two diggers and two dump trucks arrived at the river mouth at the crack of dawn. After forming a track down through the official vehicle entrance they headed for the rock groyne and started work.
One digger worked on a straight and narrow channel running directly to the sea from a point almost at a right angle to the river slightly upstream of the groyne. It loaded sand onto the two dump trucks, which would then circle round a few metres to the other digger which built a sand dam marginally south of the groyne.
Over the course of the day they also built a wall of sand parallel to the sea, and created a sturdy ramp about 15 or 20 metres wide running from the end of the vehicle entrance for maybe 30 metres out onto the sand towards the sea.
By about 4 pm they had finished their work, after opening the Cut to the river. A small line of vehicles was waiting for the diggers to move off the vehicle entrance track and as soon as it was clear the beach was once again occupied by vehicles.
There was much local interest all during
Cut Day and on the days after.
Fast forward to high tide on Monday 02 July 2018, around noon. The weather and tides in the intervening days have been very ordinary. In fact Monday is also very ordinary: no noticeable wind at the beach, 3.10 metre tide, 3 metre swell, river running at normal height and speed.
What a difference though from Thursday! The wee sea ‘wall’ has gone, the river cut has widened and the tide is surging up it, forcing sea water up the river and floating large logs towards the footbridge, creating foam and whirlpools that eat away at the dam and push water through between the dam and the groyne.
The sea is flooding in south of the cut and dam and pushing up against the
cliffs just north of the now abbreviated vehicle entrance. With no river for the sea to cross, pushing the water north or south, the sea is going straight against the coast.
By 4 pm on Monday the tide was going out again, leaving a shortened vehicle ramp with a puddle in front of it.