Falling Sea Levels

DSC_0017Do you remember the good old days?

The good old days back some 5.3 million years ago, when the Atlantic and the Mediterranean Sea were separated?

When the rock of Gibraltar crumbled away, the strait of Gibraltar formed and the Zanclean Flood occurred, a lot of water rushed in from the Atlantic.

The word on the street is that sea levels within the Mediterranean rose by as much as 10 metre a day, for months. Just picture that. Incredible, isn’t it?

I wonder how much the ocean’s sea levels outside the Mediterranean dropped during that period.

Adriatic Ups and Downs

DSC_0684We had always dismissed the effect of the tide in the Mediterranean Sea. Considering 12m tides in St Malo or 11m ones near Weston-Super-Mare, and considering the Mediterranean Sea in comparison, let alone the Adriatic Sea in particular, let alone a relatively small bay on the Croatian coast, let alone a relatively small bay on the Croatian coast which opens to the North. Surely, considering all this, there can be no tide worth mentioning in the Mediterranean Sea.

However, if you imagine yourself in a small sit-on-top plastic kayak in the middle of a relatively small bay on the Croatian coast (which opens to the North) while the practically non-existent tide comes in, and if you consider the fact that this bay is approximately 60km long and 5km wide, even an inch or two of tidal difference amount to a lot of water, particularly so if you paddle against the incoming tide and strong winds.

T’was good fun. We crossed from Starigrad-Paklenica over to the island of Pag on a dead calm sea (a ~3.5km distance, an “open sea” paddle of ~45 minutes for us), and enjoyed a secluded empty beach with grains of sand the size of a newborn’s head, our picnic lunch and a swim in absolutely stunningly clear waters. Our return was at the time of the aforementioned tidal currents, so we worked ourselves against the elements for a while, then made a tack and rode the currents back home, taking the waves at a 30..45 degree angle – just as much as we dared before the boat would tip over.

Even though the distance travelled on the return must have been longer (on account of the tacking), I don’t think the return crossing took any longer than the outbound paddle.

On other occasions, we observed up to 0.3m of tidal difference (it reaches almost 0.4m in Split). I never knew, or realized.


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This Week I’ve Been Mostly Eating…

pizzaria Here is some of what we ate this week:

Slow-roasted Lamb shanks on bed of spiced Mediterranean vegetables, with saffron rice (I *really* like saffron, did you ever notice that?)

More Crepes and buckwheat Galettes: “Super Chevre,” Forestiere and Iberico. Apple mash, chocolate spread and plum jam for the crepes.

Hot and spicy meat balls in tomato sauce, rice. Simple but tasty. Always a favourite.

Quiche with Salmon, prawns mushrooms and dill, and its lovely fresh and green lambs lettuce. Lots of lambs lettuce, actually.

Once again: Choucroute de mer with lightly smoked salmon, smoked haddock and langoustines, and its potato gratin. Panna Cotta with strawberries once more because it’s so easy yet so delicious.


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This Week, I’ve Been Mostly Eating…

No Fish Here is what I've been mostly eating this past week (or what I recently cooked and might have well been eating last week):

Ratatouille with saffron rice

Chinese noodle soup with king prawns and chicken

Chicken Rendang, fragrant rice

Fresh Spelt bread with Serrano Ham and Roast beef

Slow-braised shanks of lamb, on Mediterranean vegetables, with saffron rice, aubergines and mushrooms