Dead Dolphin ashore May 2016

Dead Dolphin ashore May 2016

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

A coastal collection

The first three months of this year have certainly provided us with some interesting events on the Thanet Coast. Starting with the mass death of the Velvet Swimmer Crabs, a dead porpoise washed up a Broadstairs and the jewel in the crown for any coastal area being the stranding of a Sperm Whale. Other beach finds have been pretty consistant with other winters such as interesting pieces of driftwood, Amber, sea coal, weathered beach plastic, baby scallop shells, pacific oyster shells by the bucket, plus a list of interesting items as long as your arm from the strandline. On the theme of new life, there has been an abundance of empty Dogfish eggs sacs and empty Thornback Ray mermaid purses all pointing to a good breeding season. With the change of season comes a complete different collection of finds as the strandline becomes weaker. Although I still expect we are in for a few North Easters before the May water arrives which can still bring up a few surprises. Depending on wind direction I do have my different walk about areas on the Thanet Coast and I have now merged Pegwell Bay to the Western Undercliff which I will intensify as we enter summer. Excluding the pieces of Sperm Whale bone that is still on the Hoverport site I have now got a collection of 39 pieces of bone fragments from the Sperm Whale. All the bone pieces are a result of the clear up operation when the Whale was cut up with a chainsaw making identity of the bone very difficult. Only one part can be identified, that being a part of the Vertebrae. Seven pieces are as found including a large lump that weighed in at 5 kilo when I found it, however since then a considerable amount of whale oil has been drained out of the bone and I am still draining it . The rest of the bone I am now shaping into various shapes and into items , I am finding the bone is getting harder to work as it become drier even though it still has this lovely waxy feel about it. Above is the Maritme Cabinet in the Margate Museum with some items that were found on the beaches, for the Margate Museum watchers there is in the bottom right hand corner the Gold RNLI badge awarded to Bruce Fleet for services to the RNLI that was donated to the museum,

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