February 4th, 2013

Recording made on 2nd February 2013, on the north-east side of Boscastle Harbour, at a rather precarious position somewhat down on the cliff slabs above the blow-hole low down on the inland side of the hulk of Penally Point, but slightly higher and less precarious than for my 9th January recording notionally at the same spot, because I was a bit concerned that the breeze this time might go blowing blowhole spray back up and over the recorder. The blow-hole is actually an early stage of the breaking-through of a sea cave on the seaward side of the hulk of Penally Point, and waves hitting the end of the cave there cause pressure waves in the air and cause the violent ejection of often quite long jets of spray with impressive heavy whoomphs. Those jets of spray are generally roughly horizontal or very slightly inclined upwards, and you can hear the ejected water splashing down following many of the whoomphs.

The blow-hole in operation at the foot of the cliff.

The recorder in operation for the 9th January recording notionally at this spot. This time I placed it a little higher and more out of the way of any spray blowing back, and also a bit less risky for me to get to.

The tide was going out during this recording, and indeed the blowhole started its giant super-wet farts bang on cue, just two hours before low tide, just as I was about to set up this recording. However, the 'performance' was no better than for my January recording session here, and it didn't last so long - i.e. as anything really impressive.

This recording was made with a Sony PCM-M10 on a Hama mini-tripod, using the built-in microphones covered with a Rode Dead Kitten. The wind was generally a strong northwesterly, but this situation was relatively sheltered, with breeze fluctuation between 'light' and 'moderate' (force 2 to 4 on the Beaufort scale), coming mainly head-on for the recorder, though varying a lot in direction as this was not the main direct wind anyway but the odd little eddies that were spinning off it.

Actually, this recording should have been about 50 minutes' duration, being made while the other recording (just a little upstream) was running and I ate my packed lunch. I could hardly see the recorder from my lunch position (about halfway between the two recorders), and, unbeknown to me, something invisible to me knocked the recorder-on-mini-tripod over onto its side. When I recovered it I found that, mystifyingly it was switched off. Back at home I found that it had about 21 minutes' worth of recording, which cut off abruptly with no indication of any disturbance. At first I was very mystified as to what had happened, as I had seen no people nor dogs nor sea-birds go anywhere near the recorder, and the wind around there wasn't anything close to what would blow the recorder over, and I would expect to hear sudden microphone wind noise just prior to the cut-off, and there was none. I eventually worked out a possible scenario, as follows:

The recorder was knocked over by a sudden 'freak' local concentration of pressure waves from the blowhole (i.e. added to by reflections from different parts of the cliff crags there). The modest sideways impact of the recorder on the rock was sufficient to transiently interrupt the electrical contact with the batteries, resulting in a sudden shutdown. The fall appeared not to have been recorded, but actually would have been recorded into the device's working memory buffer, but the recorder would not have had sufficient time to commit that to the memory card before the unexpected shutdown.

Higher quality version of this recording available
The recordings that I upload to Freesound are of standard CD quality (44.1KHz, 16-bit). As from my recordings made on 9th January 2013, all my recordings are additionally available in 48KHz 24-bit, FLAC format. If interested, please see my Broad Horizon Natural Soundscapes page for details.
http://www.broad-horizon-nature.co.uk/arrow-long-right.gif Please note that all recordings from 5th January to 2nd Feb 2013, inclusive (i.e. including this one) did not receive any correction for high-frequency attenuation caused by the new Rode Dead Kitten windshield. Subsequently I was able to work out a graphic EQ profile to apply to all recordings that used that windshield, and have applied it retrospectively - but I have no plans to go through the hassle of re-uploading here the recordings that originally missed out on that correction. Therefore, copies of recordings made in that period, including this one, which I supply on CDs or as licensed copies for commercial use, will have better sound quality and will sound clearer, more 'present', and with more precision of detail than what you hear from here.

Please note that only very good speakers / headphones with a very extended bass response will do this recording real justice. Also, it may sound unpleasantly boomy on speakers that have any sort of boominess (like my computer speakers!). Please also note that the volume level of this recording has been carefully adjusted for listening purposes, and ALL my recordings so far are meant to be listened to with a volume setting that would give a realistic level for playback of CLASSICAL music (a large but not exceptional symphony orchestra). If you have the right volume setting, you should not need to change that setting from one recording of mine to another.

(Later note: This recording - with better sound than here - is on one of my commercial CDs, and can be found in my e-Store.)

**Please remember to give this recording a rating! http://www.broad-horizon-nature.co.uk/me-icon_wink.gif **


  • avatar
    noiseannoysoyster 5 years, 10 months ago

    I know Boscastle well, I imagine it was chilly up there on the cliff in February. Thank you :)

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