With the camping season coming to an end activity on the site has quietened down considerably allowing us more time to take in the surroundings and more specifically the local coastline. Being so close to the sea (our van is literally 50 metres from the high tide line) the coast, sea and the openness of the area where the campsite is located impacts our time here. Normans Bay is known for it’s wind as it is located at the foot of the Pevensey Levels, which are obviously very flat, meaning that natural protection is in short supply.
Satellite picture of Normans Bay Camping and Caravanning Club site. The red circle shows where our van is parked.
Locals use Normans Bay to kite and wind surf.
Following on from September’s Storm Aileen, where she ripped through and devastated our attaching awning corridor, the wind does bring us some drama. October was not an exception as ex-hurricane Opheilia and Storm Brian both paid us a visit here on the south east coast. As the weather changes it was interesting to note how the coastal preparations kicked into action. On a personal note, our own preparations now mean the inside of our ‘kitchen diner’ looks more like a strange scaffolding project with several ‘storm bars’ supporting the inside metal frame of the awning. Whereas outside on the beach, Environment Agency workers redistribute the beach shingle with heavy machinery to create a natural sea defence. This programme seems to be long term with bulldozers working most days for some weeks now, in fact on the days running up to Storm Brian the machines were out in force from 3am, a time which coincided with low tide and no doubt a hefty overtime bill!
High tide during Storm Brian, 21st October. A safe bet would be to live in the Napoleon Martello tower in the background.
Bulldozers working at Normans Bay. It was good to see equipment from my ex-employer being used!
The end result is a natural sea defence protecting the houses that line Coast Road. These houses are unique as their back garden is the beach and they actually own the beach land at the back of their houses down to the high tide sea line.
Even after all this bad weather though the sea temperature still remains warmish, circa 14 -16 degrees, and I still manage to go in on most days (as of blog date, the last time I went in was 20th Oct). Sharon also managed to go in as late as the first week in October. Slightly worrying though are the increased number of fisherman angling off the Bay, meaning there is a raft of sea life swimming around…….. One person whilst visiting the camp site reception said they had caught a conger eel whilst local news reports that the poisonous Portuguese Man o’ War, jelly fish like creatures, have been spotted on the nearby coast line, all in all making my dip not as relaxing as I had hoped.
Me relaxing in the sea in October! High tide at Normans Bay
More recently though I have been reminded that I am not the only one in the sea….A dead porpoise washed up earlier in the month and it was over a metre long.
Being so close to the sea has reminded me a little about the power of nature and that we really should be looking after it more. Without going into some eco-warrior fanatical rant I am letting my actions do the talking……after Storm Brian I did a beach clean collecting predominately plastic containers that had been washed up. The product of my collection could easily then point me to other favourite topics of mine……..(littering, consumerism, responsible retailing, environmental education, recycling………….) but I will spare you and myself.
Save the Sea!