Beating off the waves – A surprise on the leeward side

I cursed myself for not checking that pocket.  I had been so meticulous with every other item; the one thing I was carrying that was worth a lot I had forgotten.  Well there was nothing to be done.  I caught up with the rest of the walkers but for the time being did not mention anything about the phone to them.  We had work to do and there was not time to think about my stupidity.

The south coast was a nice stable sandy beach and as we headed westwards the house plots diminished – some were not even built on.  And there were open communal spaces here with pathways down to the coast.  The vegetation was lush and thick and held the land together.

This western end of the island, away from most of the settlement, was also where their refuse dump was.  The system was easy – each household would truck or walk down with their rubbish and leave it.  There was a modicum of sorting going on, areas where metals and tyres were stacked, but for the most part everything from household waste to paints, builders rubble, and so much paper and plastic, was dumped in a mixture either side of a pathway.  And small smouldering fires rose from these piles to try and reduce it down.  The councillors were aware of all the problems of poisonous pollutants entering the air and the precious fresh water lens below their feet, but they shrugged their shoulders and said “where else can we put it”.

We ended up at the western tip of the island, and here the whole island dynamic came to its unexpected conclusion.  We traipsed through a very pleasant nature reserve – some slacks where water came to the surface and had produced a haven for frogs, dragonflies and marsh loving plants.  The community had set up a couple of walkways through, a picnic area and signage to explain what you were finding.  Like a park anywhere in the world but beautifully laid out in miniature here on this tiny island.  The slacks were behind the highest point on the island – a small series of sand dunes that towered above us to the height of about…. six metres.

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You have to put the trash somewhere.

On the far side of these was a wide sandy beach, which was more of a triangular shape than running parallel to the coast.  This was the answer to what happened to the material scraped off by the waves on the east end of the island.  It gradually washed in the longshore currents to this end of the island and since the water was less active was actually accumulating here, hence the sand building up to its triangular apex.

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