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WATCH: Was it snowing in Wick on Saturday? Just foam and boulders pounding Wick harbour


By David G Scott

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Parts of Wick harbour appeared like a winter wonderland on Saturday but it was more of a 'foamscape' than a snowscape after stormy weather whipped up the sea.

Sea foam at Wick harbour on Saturday. Picture: DGS
Sea foam at Wick harbour on Saturday. Picture: DGS
Large rocks appear to have been thrown over onto the pier at Wick harbour after the storm . Picture: DGS
Large rocks appear to have been thrown over onto the pier at Wick harbour after the storm . Picture: DGS

The sea foam made for a strange spectacle as it blew over a wall at the South Pier and across the adjacent road but inherent dangers were apparent with a large number of boulders littering the area.

According to Wikipedia, sea foam, ocean foam, beach foam, or spume is a type of foam created by the agitation of seawater, particularly when it contains higher concentrations of dissolved organic matter derived from sources such as the "offshore breakdown of algal blooms".

The foam was flying all around at Wick harbour on Saturday. Picture: DGS
The foam was flying all around at Wick harbour on Saturday. Picture: DGS

"These compounds can act as surfactants or foaming agents. As the seawater is churned by breaking waves in the surf zone adjacent to the shore, the surfactants under these turbulent conditions trap air, forming persistent bubbles that stick to each other through surface tension."

The road to the North Baths, the popular outdoor swimming pool on the northern side of Wick Bay, was also flooded for a time and large boulders covered its surface. During Storm Barra in December 2021, the road leading to the pool was made impassable due to boulders and smaller stones landing on it along with other material from the shoreline. Volunteers later helped clear the debris.

An updated coastal flooding alert has been issued for Caithness and Sutherland and, as reported earlier today, there was partial flooding in low-lying areas of the town, such as Martha Terrace and Market Street, around high tide on Saturday and Sunday.

Some motorists and pedestrians crossing the Service Bridge encountered waves breaking over the parapet when the tide was at its highest, with seaweed and other debris being thrown onto roads and into the Camps car park.


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