Tag Archives: Sea

Pool Of Light

Looking south towards the Bay of St Malo and the coast of Brittany in France

Pool of light

The tower is an old observation tower built by the Germans during their occupation of the Channel Islands in WWII. Now owned by the Jersey Heritage Trust, it can be rented as a holiday home.

Corbiere Panorama

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Rescuing Bibi

I must admit that I find human beings frustrating, complex and often simply beyond my comprehension.  We sometimes do such unspeakable things to those around us.  However we are also capable of such kindness and selfless courage in order to help not just fellow humans but also helpless animals.  Today’s Mail Online has a story that covers the rescue of Bibi, a tiny Maltese schitzu. Bibi was blown by a strong wind into the ocean and might have drowned had it not been for a brave and kind-hearted member of the public, Raden Soemawinata. Positive news stories like this are a joy to see.

Bibi Rescue1

Bibi rescue 2

Bibi rescue 3

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A perfect day

I had the most wonderful day yesterday.  The sun had returned, our kittens were let loose on the world (well, the garden anyway), doors and windows to the house were consequently flung wide open, allowing a gentle Summer breeze to drift through our house for the first time in weeks, and my brother was visiting the island for the first time in 6 years.  It was as if the planets had re-aligned and all good things were heading my way.

We went out to dinner as a big family group last night and sat by the restaurant window, allowing us to watch the sun sinking into the sea way beyond the lighthouse.  On the way home there was a big fireworks display going on above the town and as we drove along the bay I got a free view of it all.

I think I must have done something good in a former life, to now live the life that I do and in such a beautiful place.

I have to tell you, we don’t have any motorways here, just one section of dual carriageway on the outskirts of town on which the speed limit is 40 m.p.h.  As we headed towards town, nearing 10 o’clock at night, we spotted a man on a bicycle – no lights – riding the wrong way on the other side of the dual carriageway (with cars heading towards him).  I suspect his day may not have worked out as well as mine in the end.

0109, Corbiere 1

The Lighthouse – not last night when the sea was almost calm, but on a crisp day in May.

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A question of ownership

SealThe city of San Diego as been given 72 hours to remove seals from a beach at the area of La Jolla so that children may use a concrete paddling pool there.  The pool was originally built and gifted to the city by a local philanthropist in the 1930s and nowadays contains such high levels of bacteria that there are signs advising people not to use it …. yet they still do.  (…??!…candidates for the Darwin Awards no doubt…)

As you might expect with one of these ‘man versus the environment’ issues, passions are running high.  City authorities are now at loggerheads with those who say that the seals are a valuable tourist attraction, the seals need a period of rest each day and that the area should instead be made into a sanctuary for the animals.

As the seals are a federally protected marine species, the only suggested solution is to employ someone to walk up and down the beach with a public address system loudly playing the sound of dogs barking .  (Torture for nearby human residents too I would have thought). Of course, passions are so inflamed that authorities feel that the person with the dog barking address system will need police protection – probably 2 officers will do.

I suspect the seals have always visited this beach and maybe back in the 1930s, when La Jolla was a quiet little seaside resort, shared use of the beach by man and animal wasn’t perceived to be a problem.  During the 1990s seal visitors increased and coincidentally, by that time there had also been an explosion of human visitors and residents.

LaJolla_Seals2I was at La Jolla a couple of times in the 1990s and my visits gave me magical memories that I treasure and make me want to visit again some day.  Forget the man-made attractions of cafes, restaurants and up-scale boutiques because I can find those around every corner.  What I can’t easily see in very many places, and therefore made my visit so special that I’d like to return some day, was the beautiful coastline and particularly the ability to get close to a large gathering of wild seals.  People had gathered too – some on the beach just yards away from the seals, some standing up on the little harbour wall.  All of us just quietly watching, all no doubt enjoying an all too rare opportunity to get so close to an aspect of nature that we rarely see.

In my opinion it would be a huge mistake to try to remove the seals.  Not only will it be costly to keep two policemen on ‘seal patrol’,  if the annoying public address system does the trick the seals may move on, but they may well take up residence on the very next beach along, causing a nuisance to swimmers, surfers and beachgoers there.  If they should sadly disappear entirely from the La Jolla area then I think that the town will notice a big drop in visitor numbers.  To me La Jolla without the wildlife is just another pretty coastal town and I (along with many others, I suspect) will have little reason to return.

Then there is the bigger moral question of who really owns this or any other piece of  coastline?  Is it ever ours to trade – to sell or to give away, imposing our will on all those who share it?  I’d argue that the marine life was there long before man and so we have a duty to be good new tenants, finding ways, wherever humanly possible, to discretely share the same space.  Besides which, is it really so difficult for us to find another place for a toddlers’ paddling pool?

La Jolla_Seal beach

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The little white house

0268, The little white house

Le Don Hilton / La Caumine de Marie Best,  St Ouen,  Jersey, UK.

The little building is a former guard house, constructed in 1765 and the surrounding area is sprinkled with Common Thrift and rare Alderney Sea Lavender.

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Robot fish

robot-fishI’ve said before that I’m interested in innovative new design and this morning in trawling (get the pun?!) through the news I came across this robot fish.

Designed by British scientists to be released into the sea off Northern Spain, they are equipped with chemical sensors to detect pollutants in the ocean.  They are 5 feet long and cost £20,000 ($29,000) each.

This is one of those articles where I found myself glancing at the date on the news page, just to be sure I wasn’t being taken in by an April Fools’ joke.  I must admit, I don’t understand why it has to look so convincingly like a new species of fish, despite the rather slim explanation that it is energy efficient – wouldn’t any plain lozenge shape be just as energy efficient?  I’m tempted to think that the scientists reasoned that if they were going to build this device, then why not get creative for once and tap into their usually hidden artistic side?  The trouble is, I wonder what will happen when it ends up in the nets of the local fishermen.  Will it be handed in, held to ransom or even sold to a private collector of art?

You can read the whole article at the REUTERS site here.

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Harbour art

Harbour Art

A close-up of boats stacked on the harbour wall

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copyright ©1999-2009 JLM

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