Views of the Wadden Sea

This page will introduce the Wadden Sea area.

There is a wealth of information online about this amazing landscape. Links will be made to that.

I will start with a quote and map from the early 20th century novel – The Riddle of the Sands by Erskine Childers. This famous spy/adventure story – alongside some of its dubious jingoistic politics – has a lot of detailed descriptions of the sands and channels of the Wadden Sea and of  the business of sailing amongst them.

“The yacht lay with a very slight heel (thanks to a pair of small bilge-keels on her bottom) in a sort of trough she had dug for herself, so that she was still ringed with a few inches of water, as it were with a moat.

For miles in every direction lay a desert of sand. To the north it touched the horizon, and was only broken by the blue dot of Neuerk Island and its lighthouse. To the east it seemed also to stretch to infinity, but the smoke of a steamer showed where it was pierced by the stream of the Elbe. To the south it ran up to the pencil-line of the Hanover shore. Only to the west was its outline broken by any vestiges of the sea it had risen from. There it was astir with crawling white filaments, knotted confusedly at one spot in the north-west, whence came a sibilant murmur like the hissing of many snakes. Desert as I call it, it was not entirely featureless. Its colour varied from light fawn, where the highest levels had dried in the wind, to brown or deep violet, where it was still wet, and slate-grey where patches of mud soiled its clean bosom. Here and there were pools of water, smitten into ripples by the impotent wind; here and there it was speckled by shells and seaweed. And close to us, beginning to bend away towards that hissing knot in the north-west, wound our poor little channel, mercilessly exposed as a stagnant, muddy ditch with scarcely a foot of water, not deep enough to hide our small kedge-anchor, which perked up one fluke in impudent mockery. The dull, hard sky, the wind moaning in the rigging as though crying in despair for a prey that had escaped it, made the scene inexpressibly forlorn”

riddle of the sands map

Source: The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Riddle of the Sands, by Erskine Childers

The Wadden Sea is a very unique tidal landscape that runs along the Dutch, German and Danish North Sea Coast.

It is a World Heritage Site – thus there a lot of info on line here

Click on this image to see 2014 report on Sustainable Tourism

wadden sea tourism




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