An early morning shrimping surprise

Luce and Theo on Kent beachOur timing was perfect. You know that feeling when the air is crisp near the sea but the light in the sky draws you to the beach as soon as you awake? It was an early September morning in Kingsdown on the Kent coast. Cliffs loomed in the distance. Cargo ships were crossing the channel like moving skyscrapers. A dog wet from an early morning swim was being beckoned back to its master. St Margarets at Cliffe coastlineCargo ship on English channelWet dog by beach

We noticed a couple sitting on the beach with their grandchildren playing nearby. September Kent beach

We soon found out that it was low tide. Perfect timing for some shrimping on the south England coast with a home-made net. The grandfather waded out into the shallow water. The net was dragged along the sand and rocks. A net which soon filled with seaweed and an early morning catch.Shrimping at Kingsdown Kent with netShrimping with netShrimping at Kingsdown Kent dragging net in waterShrimping at Kingsdown Kent pulling net out of waterShrimping at Kingsdown Kent net catch

Oh the excitement in my twins’ faces! Theo’s favourite meal is prawns and shrimp. He doesn’t care if over here in England some are called shrimp and others prawn while all were called shrimp when we were living in the Hamptons in New York State. His hand went straight into the net to hold one of these critters from the sea. Shrimping in Kent hand in netShrimping in Kent and Theo with prawn

Hanging by the shrimper’s waist was a cut off plastic carton filled with water. Inside here and in a bucket he put his catch. His grandchildren and my twins then helped return all else that had been caught in the net back into to the cold water including a crab or two. Naturally Theo had to hold a crab and show off a little wiggling fish. Luce flung the little fish to the sea while telling them to swim away as fast as they could.  Shrimping in Kent showing crabShrimping in Kent and Theo with crabShrimping in Kent and small fishShrimping in Kent throwing fish in water

Others knew that the low tide was a signal for shrimping. Others just went sailing. And the grandfather waded back into the water and dragged his shrimping net along the sand and rocks. Shrimping in Kent with small net on beachShrimping and sailing on Kent beachShrimping and sailing and horizon

As we left I wondered for how many centuries shrimping nets dragged these shores, seagulls glided past, and sailors crossed the channel on this south England coast. But, perhaps these past scenes didn’t include twins in sunglasses who still have a slight American twang in their laughing voices?

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

20 thoughts on “An early morning shrimping surprise”

  1. What a beautiful post. I always get lost in your photos-they are so beautiful. 🙂 I truly know what this feels like, I grew in an island, we didn’t do shrimping but, our grandad always take us for an early morning ride on the boat. 🙂

  2. What a great way to have spent a sunny September morning, you’ve really captured the magic of the seaside in the morning. It’s great that you managed to catch a grandfather shrimping on the shore, it’s great that he’s still doing the old fashioned way with a home made net and everything. It’s great that he let Luce and Theo get involved with his catches as well as his own grandchildren and even let them hold the crabs and fish he caught. Thanks for linking up with me on Country Kids.

  3. What a fabulous way to spend a bright September morning. I’ve always loved catching shrimp in a fishing net – but always return them to the sea and tell them to swim away fast before I swipe my net in again. What a great experience for Luce and Theo. The photos have such a magical and timeless quality to them x

  4. Such a lovely morning, low tide is my favorite time to be at the beach, however I’ve never been shrimping!
    I’m always amazed at the history our coast lines have, fishing is such a huge part of that.

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