Sunset at Camber Sands when the tide is out provides stunning views across towards Fairlight. There wasn’t any wind so the wet sand and standing water created lovely reflections. Rain was coming in from the west, and a bank of clouds were looming in the distance. This could be described as the calm before a storm, but that would be inaccurate as the weather that night couldn’t really be described as a storm. So it was the calm before the rain came.
Hundreds of seaÂ birdsÂ were wading at the water’s edge, enjoying the last few minutes of the day. There were several people on the beach too, walking their dogs or simply taking in the scenery.
These photographs of Camber Sands at sunset can be viewed full size on my Flickr page by clicking on them.
When the tide is out and the sand along the beach exposed, it is usual to see men on the beach carrying a shovel with them. These men are on the hunt for the lugworm. The lugworm is a marine creature that lives in a U shaped burrow in the sand. They are the type of creature that don’t really seem to have much of a purpose, other than being excellent bait for fishermen.
And that is why men go out on the beach to dig them up. You can buy lugworms from certain specialist shops, but they are not cheap. Lots of money can be saved by getting them yourself. In a way you are fishing for the bait you intend to fish with. It is not easy either.
This website spells out the techniques used to catch lugworms. Even armed with that knowledge I think I would need to accompany an experienced lugwormer before I knew what I was doing.
That would not be an unpleasant way to spend some time on the beach. Particularly on a day like the day when these two photographs were taken. I wasn’t on the beach to hunt lugworms myself, but this chap was. He acted as an unknowing focal point for my pictures.
Most people living by the coast have a love/hate relationship with seagullsÂ or at least that how it is for me.Â Â There are loads of them, they crapÂ over everything, tear open bin bags,Â spread litter and steal food from unsuspecting visitors. Worse, they bully the ducks in the park. However they are intrinsically linked to the seaside. In Hastings they are as much as part of the scenery as the Harbour Arm and Pier. Have you ever taken a photo of Hastings that didn’t have a seagull in it somewhere? The sound they make is also part of the seaside atmosphere, as important as the crash of the waves on the beach. I miss their cries when away from the coast.
These three photos of St Leonards beach were all taken within ten minutes of each other. I could see that Marine Court was reflecting in the wet sand as I walked under the Pier.Â It’s sometimes hard to choose the shot I think works best. Of course, normally I shot several photos of the same scene from various angles and one of them normally stands out over the others. With these it is harder to choose I think. Each has its own merits so this blog post is a chance to show all three.
On this evening there was rainbow colours present in the triangular shaped cloud just to the left of Marine Court. This iridescent effect is caused by either ice crystals or water droplets refracting the sun rays. I tried to capture the colours but the camera sensor just picked up whiteness. OurÂ eyes are so much superior to camera technology in what they can detect. On the other hand,Â sometimes the memory is worse.
When the tide goes out in Hastings, the receding water reveals flat sands. Opposite the castle and extending for several hundred meters along are sandstone rocks. These provideÂ great rock pools, where children and adults can enjoy searching for sea creatures. The seagullsÂ like them too, as they provide easy access to fresh seafood, rather than their usual diet of discarded human food waste. These rocks are what I’ve always known as the Castle Rocks.
In earlyÂ 1287, the south east coast of England was hit by a significant storm and flood. This, and two other similar events that followed within a yearÂ had a profound effect on the fortunes of many towns on the south east and east coast of England.Â Back then, in Hastings, the sea washed up against the cliffs. The large shingle beach we have today didn’t exist. As a result of the storm,Â part of the cliff thatÂ Castle standsÂ upon collapsed into the sea, taking with it the keep and outer wall of the castle. The debris partially blocked the old harbour, which in the following decades began to silt up.
The rocks you see in these pictures are probably the remnants of that collapse. I say probably because I can’t find any info to tell me otherwise so I’m relying on what I was told as a child. Makes sense though. These photos of Hastings Castle Rocks can be viewed full size on Flickr by clicking on them.
The view from the White Hart Pub at Guestling is one of the nicest in the Hastings area. From there you can see the Ridge and the land that descends from it in its verdant majesty. And yet I’ve never taken a photo of it. Showing unusual foresight, I actually brought my camera to the family meal at the Beefeater that evening. The weather we’ve been having, added to the time of year always makes for good sunsets. The traffic through town was really heavy, and I thought I’d be too late arriving at the White Hart Pub to get a photo. I arrived just in time to get a few pictures before the sun went down.
This image of the White Hart Pub at sunset can be viewed full size on Flickr by clicking on the image.
Brighton Marina was built during the 1970’s and has berths for up 1,600Â boats. Much like Sovereign Harbour in Eastbourne it has a mix of boat facilities, housing, shopping and restaurants. It’s quite pleasant to stroll around, looking at how expensive the yachts are and wondering how people can afford them. But quite pleasant is a far as it gets for me. Both Brighton Marina and Sovereign Harbour are entirely man made. There is something too designed about them, making them feel a bit artificial and clean. It has almost a feel of a theme park. You visit, you see the attractions but ultimately it’s all just fantasy. Perhaps I’d feel different if I could afford one of those big yachts.
This visit was the first time I’d walked the harbour wall. The evening was pleasant, with the setting sun casting a golden glow across Brighton Marina. On the seaward side, along almost the entirety of the wall were people fishing. I reckon there were over 50 people, fishing either singly, in pairs or in families. On that day the fishing was good judging by the number of fish laid out by each person fishing there.
Each of these images can be viewed full size on my Flickr page by clicking on them.
Rye’s history has a lot in common with that of Hastings and Winchelsea. It was once a bustling seaside town and member of the Cinque Ports confederation. The changing coastline and raids by the French during the 12th century doomed Rye’s development into anything further than a fishing town. It has managed to retain it’s port status because the River Rother is still navigable to the fishing wharves.
This photo was taken from across the river looking east. The heavy rains had saturated the fields so I was able to get this shot of the lovely sunset reflected.
You can click on the image to view it full size on my Flickr page.
Here is Hastings Harbour Arm as the sun sets. The Harbour Arm was used to shelter the burning cargo ship SS Lugano in April 1906. The fire started as the ship was sailing in the Channel on the way to Hamburg, but grew so out of control it was towed closer to shore. Â This enabled rescue boats, including the Hastings Lifeboat to work on extinguishing the flames. Photographs of the incident can be seen here.
Click on the photography above to view it larger.