In 2007 I experienced the Severn Bore from a vantage point like no other, the sky. I persuaded a microlight pilot to take me up in the air to follow the tidal bore. I had never been in a microlight before. When I arrived at the airfield in Gloucester the microlight reminded me of 'Little Nellie' from the James Bond film 'You Only Live Twice'.
We accelerated over a bumpy field and then all of a sudden we swept upwards, turning at the same time. All too quickly houses turned into tiny boxes and roads turned into lines. The view was amazing. The Severn river became the dominant feature from the sky, snaking around the numerous towns before disappearing into the horizon towards the Severn Bridge. It may have been a pleasant 14C on the ground but 500ft in the air it was near freezing! A few minutes later I had a sighting of the bore.
It barely appeared as a ripple at this height but I immediately sprung the camera into action. Over the course of the next hour and a half I got some spectacular footage. I was amazed at how much the bore changes in appearance through the differing sections of the river. At times we were struggling to see the leading edge, no more than a ripple. Then out of nowhere a huge breaking wave would appear and rip all in its path. My hands were frozen solid after about 15 mins into the flight. There were also a few 'white knuckle' moments as we twisted, turned and dived in one manoeuvre. I was close to chucking on more than one occasion. I eventually landed and I was visibly shaking such was the adrenalin running through me. It was an unbelievable shoot, the toughest I have ever undertaken in very testing conditions for a camera (Olympus E1, 90-250mm lens). The aerial images over the next few pages made most of the National newspapers the next day.