If you could go hunting for LEGO bricks on the beach, can you think of a better way to spend a morning?
On the 13th of February 1997, the Tokio Express was en-route from Rotterdam to New York carrying an assorted cargo when she was hit by an extreme wave just off Land’s End. As the container ship was aggressively rocked back and forth, she lost sixty two of her shipping containers over board. One of the containers had some LEGO inside — well, four and a half million pieces of LEGO. It only took a few weeks before some of those pieces began washing up on beaches on both the North and South coasts of Cornwall. They’re still coming in today, almost twenty years later, and one of my favourite past times is looking for this ‘lost’ LEGO.
Living in Plymouth I’m not far from many of the beaches where LEGO pieces have been found, so an early morning LEGO hunt is always an option for me. My favourite, and one of the closest beaches to me, is Tregantle — this is were I’ve found the bulk of my collection.
I find the early morning just after high tide the best time — but it’s not always rich pickings. There have been many occasions when I’ve returned home empty handed, but after a storm like the ones we had earlier in the year you would be very unlucky not to find at least one of the hundreds of thousands of daisies.
You need to have good eyesight and be ‘hands-on’, as much of it is to be found among seaweed, or hidden behind rocks and other debris. I’ve spent many an hour rummaging through piles of smelly seaweed — but it’s a great feeling once you have found something.
Much of the LEGO has a nautical theme, pieces such as sea grass, flippers, air-tanks, cutlasses and spear guns. I’m yet to find what are the ultimate finds, an octopus or a dragon. If you’re ever on a Cornish beach and see someone searching in the seaweed, don’t be alarmed — it maybe a crazy LEGO hunter looking for that elusive green dragon.