World Beach Project

For the past few years, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, England has sponsored the World Beach Project. The results are fascinating. The purpose is to help us to “connect” to our surroundings, especially when we are in the natural world. We become more aware, more appreciative as we do an activity like this, especially with friends and family.

NOTE: The rules are on the Museum’s website, and the creations must be made from stones — NOT from shells or driftwood. People on holidays, all around the world, have made natural art, which they leave on the beach for others to enjoy. Of course, the placement in regard to high tide factors into how “permanent” the display is.

WARNING!: Safety is a prime factor in this project, especially if you are alone or if you are doing this with children. If you do this in winter, make sure it is safe to even BE on the beach! In ANY season, beach safety is your target. someone in the group must always be assigned to do nothing else but constantly watch the the Ocean and the group members. Sneaker waves* come in an instant, from nowhere! They are not necessarily seen beforehand as a larger, stronger wave. Keep young children right next to you! Stay away from any driftwood logs (they can easily shift!) and from slippery rocks. With common-sense, this can be one of the best things you do on vacation.
Beach Safety Education
Sneaker Wave Education Videos

For London visitors, be aware that the Thames River has VERY TALL, STRONG, HIGH TIDE SURGES! There is a website and a telephone system to keep you aware of the tidal changes. Thames River Alert Hotline.

The Victoria & Albert Museums’ website has an interactive map where you can enjoy everything made on beaches at the oceans, bays, lakes and rivers, globally. The United Kingdom has scores of sites, and when you are there, or at home, or anywhere in between, you can join in! Learn more: Victoria & Albert Museum – World Beach Project

I remember fossil hunting on the Bay of Fundy, Nova Scotia, Canada, where the tides are the highest in the world. With care, we were safe on the beach; I found a fabulous fossil which is a treasure in my collection (and I ruined a pair of leather gloves digging for it!). All that reminds me to say, “bring at least some buckets to gather the rocks for your project”, and above all, have safe fun!

* I’m bringing up sneaker waves after a personal experience along with 2 family members, when we were caught by it while approximately 200 feet from the ocean, on a dry beach (but still within where the high tide line would be, when it was that time). It took everything we 3 adults could do to stay upright in incredibly fast-changing circumstances – quicksand type movements pulling you “down”, sand-saturated water weighting you down and suction dragging you towards the sea, as the wave retreats! Later that same day, a woman was swept out and drowned. All 3 of us will never forget that day, and I always continue to watch the waterline, going toward the water’s edge and walking back, all the way off the beach to the high-tide line.

©2009 Mystic at Travel Vacation Review