Traeth Llyfn beach
by Mantz Yorke

Traeth Llyfn beach is glorious — a wide stretch of smooth golden sand backed by high cliffs, with occasional ribs of rock like the backs of partially submerged dinosaurs. Safe, except for the risk of being cut off by the tide.

The children have had fun in the shallows, paddling an inflatable boat. Now it’s my turn. I row out between two ribs of rock that project into the blue sea. I notice a wave a bit larger than the usual gentle swell running in on me. Concerned it will break and thrust the inflatable on to the barnacle-sharp rock, I row hard and clear the end of a rib: the wave breaks just behind me. At the same moment sea-fog rolls in, blotting out everything but the rib I’ve just passed and the lines of darker grey as waves roll towards me on what is now a light grey sea. I’m quite clear about what I need to do. I row across the swell to where I know the main stretch of sand is, then turn in towards the shore. On the way in, I’m tipped over by a breaking wave, but it doesn’t matter since I’m in the shallows. I lift the inflatable onto my back and walk across the sand to where I left the family.

Not having been able to see what had happened to me, they were mightily relieved to see me coming towards them, just as the fog dissipated as quickly as it had rolled in.

PHOTO: Traeth Llyfn beach, Wales. Photo from

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: Traeth Llyfn beach is in a fairly remote part of Pembrokeshire, Wales. We used to have family holidays nearby. The coincidence of wave and fog happened as described.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Mantz Yorke lives in Manchester, England.  His prose and poems have appeared in a number of print magazines, anthologies and e-magazines in the UK, Ireland, the US, and Hong Kong.