Thursday, September 22, 2016
Drains Bay lies between Larne and Ballygalley in Antrim (the northeast of Northern Ireland). It was the beginning of our trip along the Antrim Coast along A2, which follows right along the shore most of the way.
The fact that the road follows the coast is significant. The first paper I ever read about this coast spoke about the potential role of the road in reducing sediment supplies to Antrim Coast beaches. My brief tour didn't give me much insight into this, although I suspect this impact might vary greatly from one location to another. The geology of the eroding coastline rangers from bedrock promontories to large landslides of softer sediments. The beaches include tiny pockets between seacliffs, larger barriers across stream mouths, and broad strands complete with dunes and golf courses.
This beach reflects a common theme of most of the beaches we saw on the trip - a sandy beach with steep gravel or cobble storm berm. But that doesn't mean it looked like the others -- since the geographic setting, the wave exposure, the composition, the geology, and the simple scale of the beaches were all over the map. So was the weather.