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Building Sandcastles 101

by Renee Taliaferro on June 18th, 2014

We didn’t know much about building sandcastles before our lesson with Rick Mungeam of today, but had we been building sandcastles all by ourselves, I’m sure everything we would have done would have been all wrong.

We started out learning that building sandcastles by the shore, as virtually everyone does, is the least desirable location because the sand is How to start building a beach sandcastlefiner closest to the dunes. Who would have thought that? But, it makes sense as Rick demonstrates the correct process for obtaining the best mixture of sand and water. It is a technique that uses gravity and vibration to extract air, leaving a hard sand structure base for sculpting whatever one might imagine.

Rick started with a huge pile of sand, gently saturated with buckets of water. Using a bottomless bucket as a ‘form’ he filled the structure with a few inches of sand at a time, mixing with water, and patting the sides to settle the sand and let the air escape. The result is a hard, tall pile of sand with which to work.

Once we had a tall sculpting structure, Rick pulled out a few familiar utensils and placed them within reach, on the pile. Some of the tools we used were a melon baller, a jigsaw, a thin spatula, paint brush and straw, which he called a pneumonic something or another. It’s essential for blowing sand out of the way during fine to make steps for a beach sandcastle

Next we watched Rick demonstrate some basic techniques for creating sculptures, including doorways, steps and archways. He makes it look easy — but when we try we see it’s not quite that easy, but certainly possible with a little practice and the knowledge we’ve gained today. Everyone left with a vision of future sand sculptures. I know what I want to make… just as soon as I have a little free time on the beach.

Our lesson today was at the public access beach in front of Silver Shells Resort in Destin, Florida. It was a beautiful day. Had we listened to the weather report we might have skipped the lesson, but as often happens at the coast, the predicted storms blew inland and we had a perfect June day with overcast skies giving some relief from the hot sun, a pleasant sea breeze, and the beautiful emerald-green Gulf as our backdrop.

how to build a sandcastle has multiple locations   and coaches in the Destin to Hwy 30A area. To schedule a lesson, call (303) 681-2631.   Also, check out their facebook page for inspiration and the BeachGuide Sandcastle Pinterest board. Rick and his team do corporate sand sculptures, as well as marriage proposals in the sand and other custom sand sculptures.Building Sandcastles in a lesson with Rick Mungeam of Beach Sand Sculptures

Click for more Fun Things to Do in Destin.

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