I retrieved some notes from an Email archive about this one.
Today's main event was a sand sculpture. I left here around 1015 for a projected 1030 start. Cool and breezy, clear, bright sun. The beach looked good but as soon as I started digging sample holes I broke a fingernail on the rocks and shells under about three inches of good sand. Yikes. Just plain gravel down there, as deep as I could dig by hand. I dug several more sample pits and found places where the fine top layer was thicker, but always underlaid by gravel and shells. I can't work with that. If the coarse material is on top I can remove it and use the fines underneath, but this way I'd have no way of keeping the gravel out of the sculpture.
I wandered around, sampling. Nope. I sat down. Thought about abandoning the effort. Then I looked over where the tide was beginning to expose the flat area south of the storm drain, closer to the breakwater. I've never found good sand there but with things inverted, who knows? It can't hurt to dig a test pit. So, I dug in and hit pay dirt. About four inches down, a nice thick layer of fine dark sand. So I used the overburden for a base and put the fine on top of that.
Still lots of shells and rocks in it. Spring is the time for filtered, formed sculpture because of this. By the end of the day I was wishing I'd brought a form. The sculpture itself was interesting; no radical changes, but some refinement in how the parts fit with each other, and the shapes of the parts. There has been a gradual evolution of shaping the holes and the surrounding to make them flow; it used to be just kind of a hole here and a support over there. Now they kind of curve into each other.
Except for the shells it was good, solid sand. It stood up well. I just had to be careful as I approached the final shape I wanted, so as to avoid hitting a rock hard enough to tear something out.
I think I was still tired from yesterday. Ran out of steam and just had to finish it. Stumbled off the beach and got some ice cream.
Updated 2017-11-22 to replace Photobucket links.
Updated November 23 with info from Email