Sunday, January 27, 2008

The Ice Prince

It's a good title, isn't it? But, sadly, not mine. It is, instead, the name of a cargo vessel that sank off Portland Bill a week ago. I knew nothing about it until we trouped down to Worthing prom this afternoon, for the small boy to ride his bike, and found 5,000-tonnes of timber lying on the beach.

The sun was shining and, in true British fashion, half the population of Sussex had turned out, accompanied by several ice-cream vans. This 31-second offering shows the wash-up still in action.

According to himself, who has lived in the area since...[insert date from long ago], Worthing was always the channel's dumping ground. It used to be seaweed, he said, torn up during summer storms, and washed up four-feet thick on the beaches just in time for the holiday season. It would then rot, attracting swarms of flies and giving off a smell that he can only describe as "pungent", thus rendering the beach "completely unapproachable". See this article on the Worthing Herald's website, from where I, er, borrowed this picture.


HelenMH said...

How fantastic. I love places where slightly strange things happen!

womagwriter said...

We were hoping the timber would wash up on the beach near us, at Southbourne. We'd've nicked some and sawn it up for firewood.

Lane said...

Interesting! Let's hope you never have a repeat of the seaweed and flies!


I saw a picture of this in the paper - must have been even odder up close.

I remember watching a trawler going down once, in a terrible storm - I worked for an engineering company whose offices were right at the end of the pier. No wonder I'm bloomin' scared of water!!

Fiona said...

I love Worthing - my oldest friend lives there, married to a doctor who may well be yours. He's a bit grumpy so won't name him!

Leigh said...

Helen - Worthing's slightly strange at the best of times, although Brighton (which I hear got the wood as well) is the epitome of strange.

Womagwriter - I don't know what they'd be like about it along your way (is that Southbourne near Bournemouth?), but they've been nicking the nickers round here!

Lane - We don't know what happened to the seaweed. It doesn't come anymore. Perhaps the Worthing tourist board dropped some nasty chemicals (oops) in the sea over the weed beds!

Karen - It was odd, that's for sure. Water is certainly something to be scared of - good honest natural instinct that!

Fiona - We live on the weald, about half-an-hour north east of Worthing, so your friend's doctor-husband is safe from us (or should that be the other way around?) !!