Pretty much the same view from my apartment balcony – St Clement’s Bay on Jersey’s south-east coast. The tidal range is pretty huge and can be 38 feet and more at new and full moon. It’s no wonder that, with this ever-changing view, I’m happy enough hanging around indoors much of the time. It’s a perfect backdrop to a day of writing.

This part of Jersey’s coast is one of a few Channel Island locations designated under the Ramsar convention which seeks to protect the world’s important wetlands. The area is rich in sea-life for those clever enough to interpret it.

seymour tower

Seymour Tower (credit jerseywalkadventures.co.uk)

The area is fraught with danger for the unwary however. It is too easy to wander a long way out on a low tide, not quite aware of what is going on. The tide can race in, cutting off any escape route. People are regularly plucked out of the sea around here and there have been a number of fatalities over the years.

Seymour Tower is a little further around the bay. Not so long ago two women on horseback were cut off by the tide. The horses were happy indeed to clamber up to safety on to the base of the tower. Once the tide had receded though they refused to come down again. A sand ramp had to be built before they consented to come down.

Low tide at Les Ecrehous (ramsar.org)

Low tide at Les Ecrehous (ramsar.org)

Periodically a few French people sail to the Ecrehous, a reef off the north-east of Jersey, and plant the tricolour there. It is part of the parish of St Martin and the connetable or his deputies have to go over there and reclaim it for Jersey. It’s usually settled over a little drink I believe 🙂 An old guy called Alphonse Le Gastelois lived there in exile from 1961 to 1975 after being wrongly accused of sex crimes in Jersey and he became known as the King of the Ecrehous.

Advertisements