Monday, June 18, 2007

Jersey Tides

Low tide in St. Brelade's Bay.

High tide.

I want to get back to Jersey a little bit more, even though it's been six-odd weeks since we were there, because it is such a spectacular setting. I'd never seen tides quite like Jersey's. From the photos, taken (top) from the seawall in front of our hotel and (bottom) from the balcony of our hotel, both more or less from the same angle, you can see how far the water retreats during low tide. The rock formation to the left of the photo is surrounded by water at high tide and a solid 100 yards inland at low tide. At high tide, the water came up to the seawall at our hotel, but at low tide, we had a wide 200-yard swathe of beach in front of our hotel. A better picture of the moving tides near St. Helier is over at this blog post, where you can see the water approach and then flood the causeway leading to the castle in St. Aubin's Bay.

On the west end of the island, after visiting a prehistoric tomb, we walked down to some tidal flats as the tide approached during the late afternoon (we were attentive to the warnings about the tide, so we didn't stay too long).

I tried to take some video of the approaching tide as it oozed over sand and rock, but it quite literally is as exciting as watching a video of paint dry. Something about the wind, and the sea smell, and the funky Star Trek plants ....

.... clinging to the rock made it all a little more exciting live, however.

While we were there, we noticed thousands of clam/oyster type shells that looked like this:

Does anybody know what these are?

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Anonymous The Old Man From Scene 24 said...

I think those are barnacles.

3:03 PM  
Blogger Ms. Owen & Ms. Kinder said...

The ones in the lower right corner are cockles. The holes in the tops are where birds have busted through the shells to eat the yummy (to birds) insides.

Ms. K
(who once lived by the sea)

6:29 PM  
Blogger oldest kid said...

So, do people go swimming there? Is the water really cold?

3:21 AM  
Blogger Smitty Werbenmanjensen said...

Well, not in the tidal flats. On St. Brelade's Bay, there were teens swimming on the first day, but on the second day I think it had turned too cool even for the hardy Brits. Mind you, this was early May, so there probably aren't that many swimming in the Atlantic off Florida, either.

7:35 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

The shells are limpets, not cockles. Limpets cling to rocks, using a big sucker. You can eat them, but they're not that nice!

Cockles can be found in Jersey, these bury themselves in the sand and have two hinged shells - a bit like a minature clam.

3:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Definately Limpets. So hard to move those 'suckers' when they decide where they are going to stay.

11:31 AM  

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