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Beauty in Sargassum

Beauty in Sargassum

Sargassum Seaweed

Barbados has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world.

As a seascape photographer I'm very fortunate to have access to all of them. We live on a small island (166 sq miles) and the longest journey from one side to the other is a little over 1hr.

All of the beaches are made available to the public.

Over the last 2 years we have been getting a bigger influx of Sargasso seaweed. Usually, depending on the time of year we might see a few strands on the east coast but we have been getting swamped recently.  The east coast takes the brunt of it as it makes its way from the North Atlantic.

This side of the island has some of the most beautiful, rustic locations and it's my favourite spot for seascapes.  The seaweed also has a very pungent smell which can be difficult to remove from your shoes. I was going to start shooting on the west coast, which has the calmer Caribbean waters and very little seaweed, but I decided to try and find some of the beauty in Sargasso.

The seaweed has these tiny (about 2mm) capsules filled with air that keeps them afloat. The little capsules can sometimes break off and form these interesting patterns in the sea and on the beach.

In this shot they almost look like wandering nomads arriving to some to some promised land.

Here you can see the various types of berrylike pods which help keep the fronds afloat to promote photosynthesis.

This one almost looks like a smiley face.

In this shot there were literally millions of the little berries floating along the coast.
It looked like one giant Mocha Latte.

They would form these psychedelic moving patterns. Almost like a kaleidoscope. Eventually a large wave would hit them and break the pattern, and then they would morph into new shapes with the undulating swells.

It was quite hypnotizing to watch.

Here they are again as a triptych.

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