Photo of snowy Sussex woodland trail Photo of snowy Sussex woodland trail

The Sorting by Sea Currents

Sea currents sort objects according to size, shape and weight.

There is a documented case of left Wellington boots from a lost container washing up in a different country to the right boots.

In Hawaii there are beaches with traditional names that reflect the way that the corpses of drowned rich fat people washed up in different places to the thin poor ones.

A less macabre example from closer to home has been sent to me by Alan Gibson. Alan explains how different beaches became hunting grounds for two different collections.

When I was a child I caught the bus to school next to an old pub garden.
While waiting for the bus, I often spotted and collected bits of clay
pipes in the borders. Presumably they had been broken and left there by
drinkers hundreds of years ago.
As an adult, we often take our family down to Salcombe, in Devon. In the
town there is one tiny beach, next to a public hard where lots of small
pieces of similar sized broken crockery wash up. Here, I always tune
into and find, remnants of clay pipe.
When the tide is low and I have a spare moment, I drop down and am
guaranteed to retrieve a couple of samples. I bring them back to the
house, wash and save them in an old jam jar.
I do this for no particular reason, other than I may one day make a
garden mobile. It also reminds me of my childhood collecting. I just
wish I could find the beach where the gold coins wash up!
There is another, sandier beach in Salcombe, it is closer to the sea and
here my daughter and I always search for tiny cowry shells, we know
exactly where to spot them by the shifting patterns and gradients of
debris in the sand, as the tide drops.
The beautiful tiny pink oval shells are the treasures that we seek and
any we discover, we save in a suitably delicate and ancient, found ink

Thank you Alan.

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