Sunday, October 22, 2006

Sand Castle Days 2006

Sand Castle Days was a great success this year. I've posted eight of my favorite shots, as there were a ton of fine entries. Above, Amazing Walter, the guy who helped start this event 19 years ago, finishes his award-winning castle.

It wasn't just about the international experts. A tent was set up for the "future masters" to learn the craft. Here, Cate, our Town Planner, helps out with some, err, 40 year-old kids. Everyone needs a planner with skills like this!

Sandy Feets, another founding Sons of the Beach, did a wonderful castle after a major collapse on Friday. The weather on Thursday and Friday was horrenously wet and windy, but Saturday was a beautiful day.

A former town council member, "Alderdude Fred," is shown above with another fine entry. Judges said they had great difficulty in selecting winners, and the final tally was delayed for over 30 minutes.

Here's the work the 2006 Grand Master Champion, Karen of Canada. That castle is maybe about 10-12 feet tall. Actually, this is the backside, but my camera glitched on other shots of her masterpiece. It was truly awesome.

Above, here's another winner, Joo Heng from Singapore. Joo was a delight for all who got to know him. This Buddist inspiration is apparently very popular in his part of the world. We hope to see him again next year!

The amateur divisions were equally impressive, especially since they only had 7 hours to pound up a castle, while the experts had 3 days. I suppose I'm being biased towards the "Monkeys" here, one of the amateur award-winning teams that included my lovely wife, Lori (above right) and Diana from Chicago.

Corporate sponsors also built castles. Here's one for the Brownsville Airport showing ... what is that, a jumbo jet plowing into the sand? Too funny! All in all, it was a very good, sunny day on the Island, with kites, banners, and flags flying everywhere.


Lucinda said...

nice pics, Sam - thanks!

Everett said...

Thanks for putting these up for all to see Sam. They are truly amazing! How the hell do they get them to stick together? Every time we try it, after a couple of five gallon buckets on top of each other, the foundation gives up and collapses. Glue of some sort? a little cement? Or do you guys just have "sticky" sand down there? Anyway thanks again!

Sam said...

I'm no pro here Everette, and there are some tricks, but the main idea is to build in a pyramid shape, fatter on the bottom. You can hand-stack and use forms, but the secret is a ton of water. The pros that use forms will mix sand and water together and stomp it down and then actually pound it a little. You can build these up but putting another form an top of the first. When the top one has set for a while, remove the top form and start carving. Sound simple?

Well, everyone has kerplosions and landslides. By it's nature, sand is unstable - the science gurus say we can't do what we do! Tricks are to put some clay in the sand it it is too grainy - you have some clay right there in the bluffs of Block Island. Glue is only used to protect the outside from drying, and is usually a little Elmer's mixed in a spray bottle. /Sam

Char said...

Sadly, I missed Sand Castle Days this year. My first miss inabout four years. The pics are great, and congratulations to Lori and Diane for placing this year!! Whoo-hoo, hope the prize money was big!
Best to both you and Lori,
Char in Littleton