11/24/12

My Travel Book - Sand, Sand and Sand... in Northern Brittany






When I look at the beach below my house in Brittany, a vast sandy expanse stretches out before my eyes - at low tide, that is. It is golden when the sun shines. It turns to light brown when clouds sweep across the sky.

Then I go down to the beach and start my long daily walk there. I walk on this very sand that fascinated me from above. And you know what? It still holds me spellbound.

When you look from above, the colors are different but as soon as you start walking there, the hues do change but the surface, the grains and the texture vary too.

Walking on the beach in Brittany is always an enchanting moment. Because of the metamorphoses, probably.

Today, I won’t talk about low or high tides. Today will be all about sand, so different from the sandy beaches on the Mediterranean sea. Beautiful too but for me a little boring... it’s a matter of opinion, I know.



Like in Barcelona, after a downpour...


In Northern Brittany, this is how dry the sand will get even at low tide... on most beaches.

Except when a southern wind blows. It dries the sand much faster than usual. And the sand flies around like powder trails.





Most days, we have those beautiful ripple-marks all over the beach, more or less pronounced, depending on the wind, the currents and the waves.



Those two pictures were taken at the same place but at a different time, a couple of days apart. No monotony there.

The scenery changes drastically and the sea draws amazing landscapes. Sand is a very malleable element.







But where does it come from? You can’t help wonder sometimes even if, like me, you are far from being a science buff.

To make things short, sand is a lot like the outcome of cookery. Cooking takes time. So does sand. A few centuries, I’d say.

It takes ingredients. Sea water. Currents and waves. Rocks and shells.





.I am well aware that my explanation is quite simplistic. There is a much better and more scientific one in your encyclopedia. This is what I found in Wikipedia, of course...

The two short films I shot a couple of months ago show what’s going on. The water runs the shells against the rocks and then works the broken shells over and over again. This was filmed while the tide was rising. And once again, this is very basic. But the concept is right.


video


video

And tides keep rolling in and out. You’ll see on this picture that the sand keeps being “kneaded”... all the time.
If you are reading my blog regularly, you probably know that even though I love to watch the sea and I am quite a good swimmer, I don’t like boating very much and I would never ever go diving.

And yet, I am terribly attracted by the bottom of the sea, part of it unveils a few times every year during spring tides.
 
Last time we were at Chausey, the spring tide had a very high amplitude. Which meant that low tide would unveil sand bars and beaches that very rarely emerge.




I wanted so bad to go there to check what the bottom of the sea and its "primeval" sand looked like.

I had to ask my son to do it for me. He left on the dinghy with a small camera and went there for me. And he came back with pictures I want to share with you. Because this is what sand looks like at the bottom of the sea in Brittany! Evolving sand...





Amazing, isn't it?

Yep, amazing. Definitely amazing.




*Good Luck, and Good Night*

1 comment:

Myrna said...

Amazing is right!