What The Sea Discards

Detectorist2bWhat The Sea Discards:   Life with a Beach Metal Detector

The sea still surged,
The storm still raged,
The wind incessant,
A beast uncaged.

Amidst the tempest,
Calm, intent,
Body taut
And forward bent,

Moves this figure
With steady tread,
Seeking gold,
His daily bread.

Sift the shingle
Trawl the shore,
Seashore scavenger
Beach troubadour.

Autolycus, his
Ancient counterpart,
Plying his trade
With bleeding heart,

To find amongst
The sea’s debris
His longed for love,
Life’s golden key.

Something to clutch
Dredged from life’s tide;
A token wish,
Beatified.

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Photographs by WHB:  On a West Sussex beach – October 2017   ©

 

 

A Trawler’s Resting Place

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Photograph at the Stade, Hastings, by WHB – October 2017   ©

 

THE STADE  (Hastings)

A Trawler’s Resting Place

 

desolate and deconstructed
now at rest
my remnant life
so inexorably sea-linked 
still confronted
and yet consoled
by those waves
forever beating
on the shingle
of my shore

here on the stade
in the first throes of death
it is my destined fate
to pass on my faith
to those who succeed me

for hope exists
rebirth is on offer
amidst the rigours
of a relentless sea
on my pebbled bed
above the tides
prow still proudly fronting
those endless tides
white waves
bursting at my bows

resting at last
only my memories
trawling my sea-going past
recapturing the rapture
of my vibrant youth
the courageous tenor
of my old life
now entombed
beside my brethren
brothers in desuetude
companions of my death in life
the mystery of my history
encapsulated in this
maritime minster
my tomb inscribed
with my exploits
embedded
within the planking of my hull
and the bulkheads of my carcass

but … no shipshape shrine
rather sea-scavengers paradise
Davy Jones the organ donor
salty entrails examined
my sea-going body parts
prized and picked over
human gulls
ancient sea-dog mariners
making claim again
to my once upon a time worth
my parts in death available
transplanting hope
bringing new life to old

what the sea has not already claimed
remains
to tempt a new generation
regeneration offered
my hull disembowelled
stripped to its frame
rust freed
reclaimed
renamed
fading sea-life re-empowered
man’s eternal battle with the sea
love-hate affirmed
continued and confirmed
empowering new sea ventures

harbingers of a new generation
to be subjected once more
to the ocean’s
recondite whim
and arcane  grace

 

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Hastings – The STADE – #2

[ Photo Blog #63 ]

Hastings – The STADE – #2

Last week, on Thursday, 16th October, I featured my visit to this unique beach in Hastings, East Sussex, UK, from which fishing boats are launched directly into the sea.  If you have not read my introduction and viewed the photographs on that particular blog, then I would advise you to visit it first in order to gain a clearer picture of this area’s history and current function.  Click on this link to do that . . .  Hastings – The Stade #1 .  My photographs below were taken as I wandered around the beached fishing fleet, showing the boats, some now hardly seaworthy, but the majority still working boats plying their trade in the waters of the English Channel from the Stade Beach in Hastings.

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Hastings – The STADE – #1

[ Photo Blog #62 ]

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THE STADE

On the sea front on the eastern side of the East Sussex coastal town of Hastings, I recently discovered this fascinating area.  It is called the Stade, a name dating back to the first millennium and meaning simply a landing place or area from which sea-going boats can be launched. Here, on the shingle beach,  for over 1,000 years, boats have been used to fish the nearby waters of the English Channel.   The building, in the latter part of the 19th Century, of groins along the western shore of the town restricted the movement of shingle towards the east, resulting in the area known as the Stade, which grew out towards the sea as a high bank of shingle.  This eased the once difficult access of the fishing boats to the sea and created a large area from which boats could be beach-launched and later brought back to land with the use of winches and tractors.  The Stade now provides safe harbour for Britain’s largest of all beach-launched fishing fleets.

I am told that, nowadays, because of European impositions of fishing quotas, the boats are only allowed to be launched on two days a week.  As a consequence of such restrictions, many fishermen are finding it difficult to maintain a viable livelihood.  Consequently many of the boats to be found here are used infrequently and they and the accompanying tractors , winches and metal hauling ropes and chains are rusting and in a less than pretty  condition.

Although several attempts have been made to build harbours at Hastings for the boats, these have never been successful, so boats have always had to be pulled out of the sea up the sloped shingle bank.  Because of this, their length has to be restricted, so they are able to carry only a small  amount of tackle.  This means that their range is also restricted.  Every ship, therefore has its own dedicated engine, tractor or winch in order to get the boats into and out of the water, especially at low tide.

NET SHEDS

Another unique aspect of the Stade is the Net Sheds.  These are on the landward side of the shingle bank, above the high tide line.  They are very tall wooden weather-boarded structures, all of several storeys and tarred to their full height to protect them against the weather.  They are used to store the fishing gear, including the nets.

Today I am including my photographs of the Net Sheds and the area surrounding these.  Next Thursday I will showcase my photographs of the beach and the boats themselves.

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The Stade Trail

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The Net Shops – 1

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The Net Shops – 2

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The Net Shops – 3

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RX134 and Anchor

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RX134 & Net Huts

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Net Huts

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Fishermen’s Chapel, boats and Net Huts

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Half-Boat House

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Charity Ship

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Sea shore memorablia