The Travel Book

The Travel Book – TRAVEL STORIES – The Midnight Shrimp, Sandbanks, United Kingdom

In 2021, we want to give you some special editions of the Travel Book throughout the year. Whilst there is still so many places to write about, I think it is also really fun to write about actual experiences that I have had whilst travelling. There have been so many interesting stories so I thought what better way to celebrate them then by telling you all about them.

The Midnight Shrimp

When people ask me about my favourite times at the beach there is one time that always springs to mind as it was a memory that is so unique that I will always look back on with a smile.

In 2011 I was working at a summer school activity camp for foreign students that came over to England to learn English. I made some really great friends that year worth the other activity leaders and teachers. We were all of duty at 10pm and one night we decided to go to Sandbanks. One of the girls lives their with her family and they would do a thing at the beach after dark called Shrimping, I am not sure if that is the English terminology but that is what they as Latvians called it.

We drove for 30 minutes or so to the girls family house and went and picked up all the equipment we needed – nets, jumpers and a light we stuck to our heads. I think it is important to say the first time we went I had PJs on, it was my night off and couldn’t be bothered to change as they were dark enough to pull off as clothes. I think it is another thing that makes it stand out in my mind.

When we had all the equipment we set off at about 11:30pm or just before midnight to the local beach, which was empty apart from the odd dog walker. The way that Sandbanks is set out it is sort of like a private beach for the residents even though it is public which means that you don’t get a lot of passers by at night. There was about 5 of us, mainly girls and our friend lead us to the mini walkway that they have that is surrounded by lots of huge boulders. We turned the lights on our headlights on and grabbed the nets and buckets and started to climb on the boulders on route to the sea.

It is important to point out we were with someone who knew what they were doing so it we felt safe because we were with someone who does it a lot. The sea was very calm and still and we headed down to the ones that were nearer to the sea and sat down. We were told to stay very still and look down with the lights into the sea. We had gone off bacon that was put into the nets so we would be able to find shrimp and prawns. I found out this night that they glow in the dark! I was so surprised as I never new this before.

We would wait watching the prawns / shrimp swim into the net and then eat the bacon and then swim away, it was amazing seeing these animals in the wild and was so relaxing to watch. There was one point in the night where we were all sitting there and all turned off our lights just so we could sit there in the dark and see the bright full moon and the stars in their entirety which was amazing.

That was not the only night that summer we did this, we went a few times and one time we even saw a huge lobster in the sea which I found amazing especially since it was bright blue. Such an amazing experience.

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