Winter Walk at Whiteford Sands

Red fishing buoy flotsam

Crisp and cold, bright and sunny, just right for blowing away the cobwebs with a walk along the strand at Whiteford Sands. On this particular winter’s day the tide had brought ashore lots of flotsam – fishing nets, buoys, floats, and crates, shoes, hard hats, and miscellaneous plastic rubbish that rested on a driftline of sand, pebbles or shells. Here are some of the things that caught my eye as I strolled the high water mark from Cwm Ivy Tor to the spit beyond Whiteford Point on Boxing Day 2013. Click on any of the images in the gallery below to view in a larger format and slideshow.

Cigarettes & creamy cheese at Ringstead Bay

Amongst the normal type of storm debris such as dead birds, old toys, rope, and rusty metal, hundreds of packets of cigarettes were an unusual kind of flotsam to find on the strand-line. Tubs of creamy blue cheese even more so. They were scattered along the shingle at Ringstead Bay in Dorset, England, yesterday afternoon. This type of flotsam has been turning up on lots of seashores in southern England as a result of shipping containers becoming dislodged from the deck of a ship and falling overboard just off the north coast of France.

Click here to find out more about the lost cargo of the Svenborg Maersk.

COPYRIGHT JESSICA WINDER 2014

All Rights Reserved

Storm Debris on Monmouth Beach

It was still very wet and windy last Sunday on Monmouth Beach at Lyme Regis. Waves crashed with white surf. The shore was strewn with driftwood of all sizes. People had been out cutting the larger tree trunks for free firewood or maybe something more creative. Piles of smaller branches and detached ivy vines were stacked on the strand-line by high tides; while neat piles had been gathered in other places higher up – perhaps to dry for kindling. The cliffs were even more dangerous than last summer with rock falls and mud slides apparently imminent. I saw material tumbling down the soft cliff face in clouds of dust from behind the safety of the barrier with warning signs. Some people disregarded the warnings of the potential threat to life by venturing into the danger zone to search for fossils.

COPYRIGHT JESSICA WINDER 2014

All Rights Reserved

Calcareous marine worm tubes on a flotsam hub cap

Mostly the keeled calcareous tubes of the Serpulid marine polychaete worm Pomatoceros triqueter with a few empty acorn barnacle shells and seameats or Bryozoans. These epibiont organisms had colonised an old plastic car hub cap that eventually washed up as flotsam on the beach. The animals themselves had long vacated the shells and tubes that remained encrusted on the plastic.

COPYRIGHT JESSICA WINDER 2014

All Rights Reserved

Link

I really want you to have a look at the fantastic work of Thierry Alexandre. He not only paints and makes wearable art but also creates performance art. On his website you can see both still images and videos. The seashore provides him with much of the inspiration for the creations, often incorporating seashells and other flotsam for the costumes. The video at the top of this post shows a costume made with oyster, mussel, whelk and slipper limpet shells, adorned with cuttlefish bones and spider crab carapaces – to mention just some of the strand-line items. Incredibly innovative work. I particularly like the images where he is on the beach coated head to toe with glutinous clay to which gravel is adhering – rather like the clay ball from Ringstead Bay which I photographed some time ago.