08 May 2021

Last (half) fieldtrip of the year

We would have our last trip on Lligwy Beach, and on the day of my Welsh exam. And, as it so happens, on a day with a fair amount of predicted bad weather. Altogether, it could've been better. I had told Dei and Jaco I had my Welsh exam, so I would have to leave earlier.

On the actual day, I drove through the rain to the parking lot where we had gathered before. There was nobody there. 

A while later, there was still nobody there. I was wondering if something had gone wrong. I knew there was another car park. Were they there? I had a look. I could see that car park if I walked to the last dune before the beach. I was sure I would see two buses if they appeared! I wasn't so sure about the cars of Dei and Jaco. To be sure, I texted them.

I used my time to drink coffee and have a sandwich. I didn't think there would be time for that for a bit! Then I had another look. I saw two little figures in very visible jackets. That looked like Dei and Jaco. I phoned them. There was no reply. I sort of figured that if they realised I wasn't there, they would keep an eye on their phones. But by now I wondered if they didn't think I was going to be there at all. Should I just go there? Seemed a bit silly as they would have to walk past me to get to the beach.

Finally I got Dei on the phone. He admitted he thought I wasn't going to come at all. Great. I could have stayed at home! Instead, I was now walking through rain and hail to a bunch of students and staff they didn't even need me there. I was a bit grumpy. I could've prepared for my exam instead. It is quite easy to end up as a sort of a fifth wheel on trips like this, and this trip seemed to be exceptionally suited for a situation like that.

I got there, and in the pouring rain Dei and Jaco gave an introduction on the trip. Then we set off. The idea was that Jaco would first talk to students through the sedimentology of the outcrop, and then we would have the students measure the dip of the sediment beds, as they were deformed. There was published article about this beach, which suggests that the structural geology was quite complex. We, on the other hand, thought it was fairly simple.

We walked the end of the beach, and Jaco had to students look at the sandstones and the muds. He had them look at the conglomerates and the lateral extent. He had them look at the internal structure, and what it meant.

This took a while. While looking at all that, we made our way back to the start of the beach. He did draw attention to the inclination of the beds while we were moving along the section. We also pointed out desiccation cracks. But by then it was pretty much lunchtime. Only after that vote the students that measuring bedding planes.

I had pretty much not opened my mouth the whole morning. I had enjoyed the geological excursion, though. Jaco was pointing things out that I hadn't seen before; partly because he had done another recce without us, and partly because he just noticed new things and draw attention to those. I have been quite grumpy but I was feeling better now. And the sun has come through! That was better than the rain and hail.

I had my sandwich and my apple and my tea and I left. Time to get ready for my exam! This was a bit of an anti-climax to the module but so be it. Next year will be better!

 Pretty bridge between the two parking lots

Beautiful sedimentary rocks on the beach

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