Sunday, February 03, 2013

Beach-combing for driftwood on Santa Marina beach


Each year in winter the beach at Santa Marina, Ribadesella becomes littered with tonnes and tonnes of driftwood and river wood. It is an amazing sight. After the pristine sand that the beach presents us with for 10 months of the year, from now until Easter time, the beach is awash with wood.


Most of the wood comes down the Rio Sella during periods of high tides, heavy rains and rising river levels. Other rivers and tributaries also contribute their fair share of wood in its many forms. There are however, some strange and incongruous finds that tell another story.

Ribadesella Council make a start on clearing the beach 

This week we made a trip down to the beach with the specific intention of finding wood to replace the cat's scratching posts that we have in the garden. The existing ones were originally from the beach a few years ago but with lots of use and natural decay they needed replacing.

Think before you throw your plastic

Needless to say we had a lot to choose from. Amongst the detritus washed ashore were single flip-flops, plastic bottles, way too many plastic bottles, a pair of badly scratched Tommy Hillfiger sunglasses, a yellow rubber duck and too many pieces of cast-away rubbish.


This year we have seen many more local people collecting firewood from the beach, a good use for it for those who are able to process it.


Our finds included several pieces of oak and chestnut that we will use for mosaic art, a carved and decorated piece of a grain store (Horreo) about 150 years old we think, a piece of oak with a carving of a bear stood on a rock, two fine scratching posts, a weathered and characterful plank and a well-washed and almost polished tree-stump.

Notice the antique nail in the top left hand corner

We will find uses for all this reclaimed treasure and enjoy it in the process. Beach-combing, well wrapped up on a fine winter's day, there is nothing better. We may be back for more, we have until mid march when it is cleared by the local council in readiness for horse racing on the beach that takes place around Easter-time.




13 comments:

  1. excellent finds - makes my beach combing efforts seem quit pathetic in comparison!
    i think i might prefer beaches in winter

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love beaches in winter - no people and chance finds...

      Delete
  2. What wonderful finds, I'm sure you will find a lasting place for them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Anne - I am sure we will find good uses for them.

      Delete
  3. Amazing! What stunning pieces.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Coco, how far from the coast will you be in Galicia?

      Delete
    2. The coast is probably 60 km as the crow flies. A bit further to either La Coruña or the Rias Baixas past Santiago.

      I´m trying to figure out a way to get kelp back to the garden. Do you do that?

      Delete
    3. Not too far then if you fancied a day on the coast. As for seaweed, no, we've often talked about it but not brought any back to date. They collect a type of weed here for the cosmetic industry - I might try and blog about it.

      Delete
  4. Anonymous8:49 pm

    yep, always felt that a few days on the beach in Ribadesella working with a chain saw, would keep me warm all winter long.
    Pity it is over 2000km one way, nice old pieces of timber though.
    We get mostly plastic rubbish, (a good bit from Continental trawlers), and more householde waste from human pigs, avoiding the rubbish collection fees.
    Timber only shows up if a freighter gets into trouble on the North Atlantic.
    Still looking for a pair of flip-flops, got a full can of lager once.

    make the most of it
    Josey

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Josey - I'll see if I can find you a pair - plenty of those plastic childrens sandals and a few old trainers but if you are sure you only want flip-flops, you'll have to wait.

      Delete
  5. Anonymous6:59 pm

    Hi there wow wot a find,im a decorater from london and artist,ive just bought a farm house in la comba Asturias and plan to rebuild using recycled timbers, could you tell me if you can freely help yourself to the driftwood without getting collard!! Lol many thanks and look foreword to seeing all you drifters down the beach soon thanks again chris

    ReplyDelete
  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Anonymous9:22 am

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete

Click link to read more.