Spring tide at Seatown

Seatown is a lesser-known beach on the Jurassic Coast, just east of Golden Cap, the highest point on the south coast. I visited it at the lowest tide this quarter – the spring spring tide at just under 0.5m, hoping to see some rocks that are usually underwater. I wasn’t disappointed – the stretch of bright gold gravelly sand below the cliffs gave way to silvery-grey ribs of the Belemnite Marls exposed by the low tide.

As their name suggests, these rocks are peppered with belemnite fossils – the hard skeletons of long-dead squid-like cephalopods. Mostly, they occur singly, but occasionally you find a huge drift, presumably where a mass of dead creatures washed into the same place and were fossilised after burial. The same rocks show the occasional star-shaped fossil of a crinoid stem, and abundant trace fossils – probably burrows.

I spent the rest of my visit admiring the compositions suggested by rocks, water and silt. I’m a big believer in really looking to see what’s around me – easier to do on my local patch, where I don’t get carried away by the ‘gee whizz’ factor of being away from home. Quiet contemplation and taking the time to just be and see are good for the soul, I find. Even if I’d taken no photos, the memories would still be with me for a day or two, a lingering balm in troubled times.

Seatown, Chideock, Dorset, South West England, England, United Kingdom