Monday, March 30, 2020

Beachcombing in South Africa by Rudy van der Elst

One of my earliest memories involves going for walks on the beach with my family. We often found such magical items such as mermaid's purses, cuttlefish shells and sometimes, if we were lucky (or early) even paper nautilus shells. We once even found a boomerang! So it was with a fair amount of nostalgia that I picked up Beachcombing in South Africa by Rudy van der Elst.

This light, easy-to-read guide gives a very basic overview of what one can expect to find while on the beach, be it items that are from the sea, such as shells, jellyfish or fish, to items that have floated on the tide such as seeds from trees or manmade flotsam and jetsam. In case you were interested, yes, there is a difference between flotsam and jetsam, and you'll find out what that is.

Due to the scope of the book, there isn't space for Van der Elst to go into any great detail about any of the topics, but he does provide a good jumping off point for those wishing to dig deeper (the references and further reading section right at the end will provide loads of content to seek out).

Each section is amply illustrated with informative photos and info panels, that offers a taste of information that will at least lend seekers with some authority when explaining what they've found – especially useful I reckon to parents embarking on a seaside holiday with kiddos. There is some indication of the legalities and protocol to keep in mind when finding certain objects, and what to do when encountering sea mammals and birds in distress. The useful contacts and numbers right at the end is also a nice touch.

All in all, this is a useful book, and if you're one of the lucky sods who has a beach house, get yourself a copy to leave there for those seaside holidays.

No comments:

Post a Comment