Building Castles in the Sand

Posted 8/6/06

by Paul Kerlinger
Outdoors Editor

Working like beavers, teams of sand sculptors put their talents to work in the annual Cape May Sand Castle Contest.

Despite the heat, about two dozen teams including families, kids, lone adults, families, and even a team of engineers gathered on the Cove beach Friday to shape, dig, sculpt and craft their designs,

Creativity was the operational term of the day. From geometric to freeform, sea turtles to alligators, and mermaids to mythical castles, the sculptures were fun to see. Just as much fun was watching people using tools and water to sculpt the loose sand.

One of the most original sculptures was a 20 foot long alligator. It was sculpted by at least 6 family members from Stratford, Connecticut, including a few kids who carefully cut out wedges along the top of the tail and sides of the alligator’s back. For teeth, the alligator was adorned with bits of clam shells.

Other flotsam was used to punctuate the sand sculptures. A nearly 10 foot long mermaid was tastefully bejeweled with scallop shells and she even had flowers in her hair.

A family from Vineland had been working on their 10 foot by 10 foot castle for more than 3 hours. To build the castle, they had moved at least a half-ton of sand.

There was even a team led by a Rutger’s University doctoral engineering student. The engineer’s theme was dominoes, arranged in a row and ready to knock down in sequence.

Each domino was shaped using a plastic mold filled with wet sand and then carefully inverted and removed.

The contest is sponsored every August by the city of Cape May's recreation department and Can you Dig It Sand Tools.

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