Shifting Sands and Shipwrecks

There’s been a lot of barefoot walking along beaches this summer, with friends, with family, much of it between St Combs and Scotstown. And that’s where there do be many shipwrecks to see! Aye, aye, me hearties! Prepare yersels for the photos!

shifting sands uncover a wreck

I don’t know the name or date of this first wreck. It’s wooden and relatively small and sometimes entirely covered by the shifting sands that it, no doubt, fell victim to. It’s well bedecked with seaweed!

part of a shipwreck - Ailish Sinclair, author

Closeby is a large metallic boat. It’s usually more submerged than this. I *think* it’s the HMS Erne. She ran aground in 1915 and broke her back 🙁

another victim of the shifting sands, a shipwreck

On this day I got to go right up to it.

barnacles on a shipwreck - Ailish Sinclair, author

And touch the barnacles.

And wonder if that’s a treasure chest…

A bit further on, between Rattray Head and Scotstown, lies a much more well documented ship: the Excelsior of Laurwig, a Norwegian barque wrecked in 1881. It’s rather impressive.

The Excelsior of Laurwig, a Norwegian barque wrecked in 1881 - Ailish Sinclair, author

Excelsior of Laurwig, wrecked in 1881 - Ailish Sinclair, writer

There is another, somewhat different, wreck on this bit of coastline, sometimes to be seen wedged into the sand:

some wrecks that get stuck in the sand are not boats!

Now, let’s go to Cruden Bay, for the last barefoot walk of the summer!

Trip, trap, trip. trap, across the bridge. To find…

Is it a shipwreck? I’m not sure. It may be part of a defense from WW2. Not very boat shaped!

But it’s a great beach to finish the season and the post on.

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Mermaid blurb

Set in a fictional castle in Aberdeenshire, Ailish Sinclair’s debut novel, THE MERMAID AND THE BEAR, blends an often overlooked period of history, the Scottish witchcraft accusations, in particular the 1597 Aberdeen witchcraft panic, with a love story.



23 Replies to “Shifting Sands and Shipwrecks”

  1. Sorry to be so late getting to this, but I do have a question, since you mention so many wrecks. Is there a history or tradition of “wreckers” on that part of the Scottish coast, people who would go out at night and use lights to trick ships into coming too close to shore so they would be wrecked, and the locals going aboard to loot the ships? There were such people in Cornwall and the barrier islands in North Carolina.

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