58c – Selsey Part III

As we walked out of Selsey we passed one of those ubiquitous posts with a funny triangular metal thing on top.  Here it is – with a cormorant drying out in the sun.

Cormorant at Selsey

These posts are all over the place, and when the tide is in they attract cormorants.  These birds can perch safely whilst surrounded by water, wings outstretched, drying off before they go back to hunting.  So many of these posts have cormorants perched on top of them that your attention is drawn away from the structure itself.  It suddenly occurred to me: what are these strange triangles on top of the groyne posts?  For nearly 500 miles we have passed these things without knowing what they actually are.  Some posts have triangles, and others have circular red things looking like upside down fire buckets.  The posts sit at the end of groynes, so I suppose they are there to provide a warning about submerged timbers at high tide.  My guess is that the red fire buckets are used because they are obvious and easily visible, but what about the triangles?

Google is a modern-day repository that has an answer to most things.  I typed in “post triangle beach” and clicked “Search”.  The general search returned an abundance of articles about the Bermuda Triangle.  This did not provide the enlightenment I was looking for, so I tried a Google Image search.  This time the search returned an abundance of bikini-clad women in various poses on golden shorelines.  For a moment I stared at these images in a discombobulated stupor.  Why would my search result in these images?  Then I realised – bikini tops are essentially made out of two triangles.  Go on – do a search!  You’ll see!

I considered changing my Image Search to “groyne triangles“, however, a deep-rooted fear washed over me like like the Selsey tide.  If “post triangle beach” returned bikini-clad women, what would “groyne triangle” return?

I gave up.  This blog is not supposed to be about issues such as this, but I am completely stumped.

Why triangles?

Points on this part of the walk (copy and paste the co-ordinates into Google Earth):

  • Approximate position of cormorant:  N 50° 43.543 W 000° 47.949

Walk #58 Statistics (of which this post forms the third part):

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12 Responses to 58c – Selsey Part III

  1. If you look closely you’ll see that the triangles are green. They and the ‘red fire buckets’ are lateral marks in the maritime navigation mark system. For a boat heading into port green cones show the starboard (i.e. right-hand) edge of navigable water and red cans the port (i.e. left). So you see different types of marks on groynes depending on which side of the harbour or river mouth you are on. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lateral_mark

    • Wingclipped says:

      Ju – you are the most Helpful Mammal I have ever known. Having said that, why a mammal should know about such things is beyond me. Your helpfulness clearly extends into the arenas of avian and piscine knowledge too! On a negative note, you now leave me with no excuse to run Google Image searches on “triangle post beach” any more. Oh well, knowledge comes at a price they say…

  2. Jill says:

    While not as specific as Helpful Mammal, I did Google ‘high tide groyne warning official uk post sign’
    and found a couple of websites that showed and explained your triangles, but after a couple of tries
    to include the links here, I guess WordPress won’t let me post them 😦

    Google was supposed to launch their improved search engine yesterday, but judging from your
    results, it doesn’t seem much improved!

    • Wingclipped says:

      But did you find any bikini-clad women in various poses on beaches?!?

      • Jill says:

        Would you be disappointed if I said ‘No’? Because I didn’t 🙂

      • Wingclipped says:

        Jill – That’s odd – I just tried “post triangle beach” on my work computer and that also returned images of bikini clad women. I would recommend you take your PC into the shop and get it looked at – clearly there’s something wrong with it. If my computer was behaving like yours I’d be extremely upset!

      • Jill says:

        No – I Googled ‘high tide groyne warning official uk post sign’… that is probably
        why I didn’t get those images. There was one image of some old guys in
        their swim trunks under a waterfall, but that was it. It wasn’t offensive at all, so
        I’m OK with that 🙂

        (There was no ‘reply’ button after your last comment, so I don’t know where this
        comment is going to show up!)

      • Wingclipped says:

        Jill – Please remember that people from all over the world are reading this. Every time you say that you do a Google search and DON’T come up with bikini-clad women, people are wondering what sort of cookies I have on my computer, and why. I implore you: try “triangle post beach” and report back – otherwise I shall be viewed with suspicion wherever I go in the world!

      • Jill says:

        Yowza!!!!!! I did the search on ‘triangle post beach’ and Holy Bikinis!!! There is definitely no
        abnormal cookies on your computer Lol! It seems that a lot of people also like to put on sparkly
        triangles with nail polish on their fingernails, too. I just can’t figure out what the guy wearing Speedos
        was doing in the results????

        My previous search query definitely contained more useful information 😛

  3. I’m so glad that other people have given the solution to this vexed Q by way of comments. Although not realising it, this unresolved query must always have been at the back of my mind, reanimated by your post. Now I know the answer, I’m off to try my luck with Groyne Triangles (it may be part of a minor percussion event at a local orchestra somewhere).

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