Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Building Sandcastles

Thanks to The Blue Sloth's post about building sandcastles (actually he's made heaps of them - posts and sandcastles that is) I decided to have a go at a big one.
While I have built lots of sandcastles in my life and a lot of tide forts I have never built one as big as what I did on Sunday afternoon.

I have 3 blisters thanks to not taking my gloves. I did shovel a LOT of sand though.
Here are some pics - and there are bunch more on my wife's page.
I was going to build an artistic castle but the tide was just peaking and I decided building a tide fort would be more fun for the kids. We did build a few little towers though.

I have to say that Phillip's pancake method is spot on. Using a slurry of wet sand you slop it down and using some pressure massage it into a pancake. The water drains down pretty quickly and you lose the ability to mould the sand. Grab the next wet handful and do the same. You should end up with a tower of little pancakes of sand.
For best results once about 15 cm high leave it for a few minutes to dry before putting any more on. I am going to have to practise how high I can go - I got about 30 cm yesterday on the highest one. Once that is in place and dry then you can start to carve it. The sand sticks together like mortar as Phil said. It is easy to scrape away. I used an old cheese slicer for this. (It went back in the cutlery drawer later!)

The next one I build will not be a tide fort but a walled castle town. I might be a bit ambitous here but its worth a try.

Cooked a lovely meal as well.

Find the large version of the photos at the millerfamily website.