The storm Babet left a scarred and damaged coast at Hanö Bay. According to statistics, it was the worst storm since 1904. Before the storm, winds from west had pressed a lot of water into the Baltic Sea. When the wind suddenly turned to east and the storm Babet approached, it pushed the water towards the coasts of Scania, Denmark and Germany causing water levels to rise dramatically (1.5-2 m above the normal levels). The coasts in Scania were exposed to devastating eroding forces. Several meters of the overgrown beaches in Friseboda Nature Reserve were taken by the waves and enormous amount of sand moved into the sea. Washed ashore garbage, piles of roots, fallen trees and damaged boats are left on the beaches. Some of the boats that always have been laying on the beaches are gone and some “new” are found. The forts built during the second world war a bit up on the beaches are now closer to water and parts hovers over the sand.

We have got a new beach landscape. More open, austere and barren than before. Old arrangements created for visitor’s convenience must be rebuilt. Benches and tables are washed away. Walking paths close to the beach are gone. Vegetation that gave protection against the wind and created “rooms” in the landscape are gone. It is a great loss and it will take time to get used to the new environment. But it is just to accept that this type of drastic changes is an important part of renewal of nature.

One of our favourite places was the big twin birch trees close to the beach with Stenshuvud in the background. The water and waves undermined the trees that helpless fell over the walking path. Gone is the beautiful foreground in the pictures of Stenshuvud.

South of the twin birch trees is Holmaboden (Holma Hut) and Julebodaån (Juleboda River) that both suffered from the eroding power of nature.

After a few days calm weather, wind is increasing in strength which is normal for the season. Again, direction is from east. The waves are big and rolls loudly and powerful up on the beach. A lot of the garbage is brought back into the sea and hopefully some of the lost sand will be returned. We are used to the ever-changing conditions on the beach when the wind and the waves move the sand around. It will be exciting to see how the beach will look like next summer…

A couple of days later, we got the ominous news that the passenger ship Marco Polo had run aground in Pukavik in Hanö Bay outside the cost of Blekinge. A broken GPS navigator is claimed to be the cause. Unbelievable that commercial shipping is allowed to operate with only one navigation system. A week after the accident, the ship is still aground. The damages are extensive after in total three groundings. The ship is carrying 300.000 liter of heavy fuel oil. Estimations indicates that half of it leaked into the sea and some have already hit the coast of Blekinge. A catastrophe for the very sensitive nature and wildlife in the area. Around 50.000 liter have been cleaned up and the rest has sunk in the sea and no one knows where it is or when and where it will show up. Our already damage coast is in the danger zone.

We visited Listerlandet in Blekinge, close to where Marco Polo was grounded. This used to be one of our favorite places to visit with our RV. It is hard to take in that this beautiful coast is contaminated with heavy fuel oil. Thick, black and sticky lumps of oil, extremely difficult to remove are found along the coast. Sea birds are smeared and many must be killed. This as a catastrophe that will be with us for many years. Still, no one knows where and when the sunken oil will show up.

The sea erosion is a natural part of the renewal process affecting the landscape. The process is normally very slow, but sometimes dramatic leaps are taken causing staggering changes thar are hard to take in. One example of the still ongoing slow change is the rise of land after the latest ice period that in some parts of Scandinavia is a couple of centimetres a year. Renewal is a positive health sign, as stagnation actually is a regression. Our bodies and minds feel best if we live in stimulating environments that constantly are undergoing changes slowly.

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