June 04, 2005

SandCastleCentral! Yaaaay, Summer is here! Grab your bucket and spade, kids, let's go find some sand... These folk are creative, environmentally-aware jammy S.O.B.'s, whose job is the most fun you can have on a beach (with your clothes on). It's not all playtime though - to become a master carver you must compete internationally against other frighteningly talented people. These guys make this sort of thing look easy.

After taking part in one little event, I'm hooked (that's not me with Spongebob BTW); unfortunately the beaches up here are a bit arse - I'll have to stick to my day job for now...

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  • Unfortunately most beach sand is not good for building sand sculptures. You need sharp river sand and not rounded sea sand to make solid base that can be carved and doesn't immediately fall apart when it dries. For sand sculpture festivals they bring the sand to the beach in large trucks. Speaking of fooling the crowd...
  • Great pictures! mare, thank you for explaoning what has been a source of considerable mystery to me. I could never manage anything more elaborate than inverting a sand-pail of damp sand, which of course does crumble. Think I call it cheating to bring in river sand and pretend it's beach sand!!!
  • My parents took me to the U.S. Open Sandcastle Competition in Imperial Beach, CA every year when I was a kid. Good times.
  • Actually the secret to building sandcastles has been deduced by scientists. It's OW=0.125 x s*: apparently there is an optimum sand:water ratio. It would also seem that how you stack it or pack it help a lot. The shape and size of the sand grain do make a difference for the experts, but for the average toddler or big kid these are less important. ...And if you've ever wanted to really know how to bury yourself in sand, you can't find a better resource than H2G2,the HitchHikers Guide to the Galaxy.
  • I wonder if they find any cat turds in them piles of sand as they're diggin'.
  • Beach cat, beach cat, don't ye dare! Haul your clarty carcass out of here! Don't paw the sand! Nor swim in the sea! Don't stray within thirty miles o' me!