Sunday, 2 June 2013

Sea benches for World Oceans Day

Shiver me timbers, World Oceans Day is on June 8th!

For my guest editor, I chose Mikey the Mariner, known on Paradise Island as The Little Sailor. He carries a baby bottle around. I suspect it's full of rum but I don't like to ask.

Mikey's on shore leave from his ship, the HMS Peculiar.

Has anybody seen our Ship, the HMS Peculiar?
We've been on shore for a month or more

I first met Mikey when I was swimming off The Plunge. I swim there every day, heading for my special starfish bench.

Sometimes I'm down at the bottom of the ocean and I'm shivering like a nervous wreck.

Today Mariner Mikey and his ocean friends were having a jolly picnic so I joined them at the underwater picnic bench on Paradise Reef. We all got on well, though I found the penguin a little cold at first.

So, Mikey, Ahoy there, Matey! Which benches should we show for World Oceans Day? 

The Little Sailor suggests we should start with mermaids but I think we should start with waves. 

Between Waves by Ivan Aivazovsky 1898

And benches, of course.

Here is a beautiful wave bench from the seaside town of Bermondsey.

Mariner Mikey is saying that Bermondsey is not a seaside town; it's in south London. OK, sorry. Not a good start. 

These wave benches are definitely on the seafront. They're in St. Helier in Jersey.

You may know that Jersey is in the Channel Islands. That's in the English Channel, which is the Atlantic Ocean, sort of. It's north of the Bay of Biscay, which on car ferries and cruise ships is sometimes referred to as the Bay of Sickbay. Yes, conditions there are rather rough for those who haven't yet found their sea legs.  

Speaking of sea legs, here is Princess Rosebud's mermaid bench made by The Tugboat Captain's Wife. Its legs are decorated with enchanted seashells from her Enchanted Seashells website.

Mikey reminds me that mermaids don't have legs so he'd expect that a mermaid bench wouldn't have legs either. But in that case it wouldn't be much of a bench, would it? 

Here's a beautiful driftwood bench whose legs are quite subtle. Mikey says it's kind of like a supermodel: it's hard to tell where its legs end and other things begin.

Hmmm. I'm going to have to watch it with Mikey I think. His comments on oceans are a bit more risqué than I normally allow. I'm not going to say blue: we don't have blue comments on Bench Site, even for oceans.

Here is A Step into the Blue, which is as blue as we are going to get. 

And yes, I have noticed that the bench is yellow.

On some oceans you can see dolphins.

Shari Weinsheimer at

No, not dolphin benches. Real dolphins. In some oceans they like to play in the wake of the ferries. They come up right next to the boat.

my photo, Wells, Somerset

Yes, Mariner Mikey, it's true. This boat is on grass. And it's a bench rather than a real boat. But don't let that worry you. It's a very seaworthy bench in Wells in Somerset. That's Wells, not whales. 

This dolphin picnic bench could be seaworthy too. Although at present it's landlocked in Gwynedd in Wales, it's not far from Cardigan Bay and is no doubt looking wistfully at the sea. 

Alan Fryer at

Mikey, I'll bet you've got some tales to tell about whales? That's Whales with an h. 

 http://thequeen of

Make that tails. There are plenty of Tail of the Whale benches. 

This one is much photographed.
So is this one.

 Ron Clark at

This one shouldn't have been photographed but was.

Mikey says he likes this pink whale tail best. That's just a fluke I think. 

And speaking of flukes, here's the whale watching bench at Hermanus in South Africa.

 Willem Nabuur at

Heave ho me Hearties, that's enough whales/wales tails/tales now. 

Here is a very nice seahorse and dolphin bench which Claire McDonough photographed at Disneyland.

What's that, Mariner Mikey?

Mermaids you say? Well, yes. I'm sure we can find some very nice mermaid benches. 

Here's one from Kid's Cove in the play area next to Lake Michigan. 

I know. You're going to remind me that Lake Michigan isn't an ocean. But let's forget that and admire the mermaid. She's splendid.

Oh, you know her already. I suppose you meet a lot of mermaids in your line of work? 

You carry a photo of your favourite mermaid in your wallet? Very nice.

Miss Mermaid. Yes, she's lovely. Pretty bench too. I guess this is a bench-based mermaid. The best kind.

No, frankly I'm not interested in what you get up to under a scallop with mermaids.  

No, I do not want to know. 

Yes, I can imagine it would make a fish blush.

Yes, I'm sure Kissing Fish are very common at twenty thousand leagues.

I'm going to change the subject now. We've got other fish to fry.

my photo, Dordrecht, South Holland

Let's look at some other lovely seaside things that are beside the ocean rather than in it. 

Like this pretty beach bench from Cocoa Beach in Florida.

And here's a beautiful shell bench which was originally in the garden of Strawberry Hill House near London.

It's true that Strawberry Hill House is not beside the sea. But isn't it a fabulous bench?

This shell bench is more contemporary. It seems to have washed up on a patio, which is jolly useful.

Here's a very nice caracol bench from Chula Vista in California. That's the Pacific Ocean of course. And very close to the Gulf of Mexico, which isn't really an ocean.

I'm something of an expert on shell benches myself, being named Seashell. In fact, I am lucky enough to have my own seashell throne here on Paradise Island.

There's a lot of sea weed on Paradise Island but sea weed is actually very good for you because if you're in trouble you can sea kelp.

Now the Little Sailor is telling me he has a girlfriend in the Pacific. 

                    All the nice girls love a sailor
                    All the nice girls love a tar;
                    For there's something about a sailor,
                    Well, you know what sailors are. 

Buccaneer by Albert Henry Collings

Yes, I'm beginning to see how sailors are. If I can just put my oar in here, Mikey . . .

Yes, this oar bench is at Shelly Beach near Cronulla, which Seana Smith says is the best playground beach in Sydney. Seana has a blog about such things as good beaches and good playgrounds.

This picture you are showing me of your Pacific Ocean girlfriend . . .

 John Salmon at

Yes. That one. 

I think you're telling me a bit of a Fish Tale here, Mikey, because I happen to know this mermaid. She's from All Saints Church in Upper Sheringham in Norfolk. That's a seagoing place, of course, but it's not the Pacific Ocean: it's the North Sea. 

Yes, I've been on a ferry across the North Sea. And the English Channel too. Why do you ask?

my photo, Brittany Ferries

Brassieres? Whatever are you on about, Mikey? 

Did I have to put one on? Well, that's none of your business. And anyway, what has that got to do with the sea?

OK, fair enough. Brassieres de sauvetage. Otherwise known as life jackets.

You don't wear one? 

Shipwreck by Ivan Aivazovsky 1854

You might want to think again about that.
So what else might we find by the sea? 

Here's Ali. Or rather, Ali's shutters from alibythesea. Now these really are by the sea. They've got that saltsea-battered look about them. And so has the bench.

Mariner Mikey is saying he loves the Caribbean and those tropical island benches under the palms.

Speaking of the Caribbean, here's a rather elaborate lifeguard bench at Magen's Beach in St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands.

I'm not going to repeat the story Mikey told me about his voyage to the Virgin Islands. The less said about that the better.

And now he's going on about the beauty of Flabellina Goddardi; is this one of his Mediterranean girlfriends off the coast of Italy somewhere? 

No, it turns out it's the name of the Seat Slug, a creation of Studio Rael-San Fratello in California.

A new species of sea slug was discovered in California in 2010 and given the name Flabellini Goddardi. This inspired the making of the Seat Slug bench by designer Ronald Rael San Fratello. Nothing whatsoever to do with Mariner Mikey's underwater exploits. That's a relief because there are a lot of sharks about. 

Not shark benches, just sharks. I didn't find any shark benches. The closest I came to a shark bench is this:

Golly. I'd think twice about using the loo if there are sharks in it.

But apparently some people find sharks cuddly. Have you hugged your shark today?

OK. We've done dolphins and whales and seahorses and fish and sea slugs and sharks. We've seen more than enough mermaids. Hmmm. Is there anything else in the sea, Mikey? 

Really? There are lots of girls on benches in the sea?

Interesting. An octopus and an owl. And extra large glasses too!

Oh, the glasses are for reading. With an octopus. On a bench. 

Well, that's brilliant. 

What's this? Another octopus girl.

Looks like she's having a relaxing time with her book and her friend.

So this is the girl who broke your heart huh? 

What happened?

You just drifted apart. Like driftwood. Yeah, I get it. Must happen a lot with ocean-going relationships.

Why are you showing us this?

Plenty more fish in the sea. Yes, of course.

There are some splendid fish benches around.

A stained glass fish bench from Boise. Lovely. 

I'd welcome this with open arms.

my photo of  Steve Boyle's photo

You're right, Little Sailor, there's no ocean in Boise. These fish must be from the Snake River. And rivers feed into oceans, so that's relevant. Golly, I feel like I'm swimming upstream here.

my photo Seaford, East Sussex

We won't get too hung up on where the fish come from. 

Here's a tiled sea bench from California which pretty much covers everything sea-going.

 Matthew E. Cohen at

Tell me, Little Sailor, have you ever sailed one of the colder seas? Like the Baltic Sea, for instance. Or the South Atlantic? 

Wrath of the Seas by Ivan Aivazovsky 1886

Wow! Looks like you incurred the wrath of the seas. And no life jacket?

Great to see you made it to shore.

You went to a penguin wedding in Antarctica huh?

A snow-cone cake? 

Well, I hope there was a warm reception.

Who is this you're showing me?

Lucy Beaver. 

On an icefloe bench in the Bering Strait. Yes, that really is unusual.

You loved Lucy and gave her a seaglass bench necklace? 

Very pretty.

Seabeach Glass is in Toronto. Quite a few miles from the ocean then.

But say, Little Sailor, you seem to have a girl in every port.

Nautical but Nice 1941 from Curt Teich archive

A mermaid at Piccadilly Circus? Well, that's something.

Have you ever been to the Sea of Japan? The reason I ask is that they have an extraordinary eel bench there.

At Nakatsu Station, that's right. In Oita Prefecture. So you know it!

I've recently found out that there is quite a surfing community in Japan. Which reminds me to show you some surfboard benches.

Here's one from the Gold Coast in Australia.

And here we have the creme de la creme of surfboard benches, made by Joel Sokolov for a sea-themed room in California.

Just look at those lifeguard stations! 

What, you've had enough benches?

You must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky
And all you ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,
And the wheel's kick and the wind's song and the white sail's shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea's face and a grey dawn breaking.

Well, I hope your sea voyages go well for you, Mikey. 

Really? You'd like to settle down now and fall in love with a landlubber? 

I guess a bachelor's life is no life for a single man. 

Here then. I'll put you in touch with SeaBench They match up people who love the sea with people who love benches. You get the best of both worlds. 

Here's a little poem for you, Mikey. It's by Christina Rosetti, written in 1893: 

What are heavy? sea-sand and sorrow:
What are brief? to-day and to-morrow:
What are frail? spring blossoms and youth:
What are deep? the ocean and truth.

Please note the importance of truth here, Mikey.

Good luck, Little Sailor! I hope you find true love on a bench by the sea.


Mariner Mikey has proven to be a less-than-reliable narrator for this post. I regret to say I cannot take responsibility for inconsistencies in his story. Please address any complaints directly to Mariner Mikey at

If you're keen on boat benches and/or mermaids, Mikey's back for International Maritime Day I made the mistake of giving him free reign on this so, as you might expect, there are whale tails and mermaids galore. 

If you'd like to know what became of Mikey's quest for love, see what happened next at the Three Scottish Weddings in July 2013. Did it last? You can check up on Mikey again on Valentine's Day, 2014.   

I'm a keen sea swimmer and I have a very special swimming bench on The Plunge here on Paradise Island. You can read all about it at

I like some classical art on Benchsite so there are three glorious sea paintings by Russian artist Ivan Aivazovsky (1817-1900.) Born in the Crimea at Feodosiya, Aivazovsky is one of Russia's foremost artists and painted more than 20,000 paintings, mainly of the sea. He paints seas so fearsome that no one with any sense would be without a brassiere life jacket. Between Waves was painted in 1898, one of his late works. It is now in the National Gallery at Feodosiya. Wrath of the Seas was painted in 1886 and Shipwreck in 1854.

Buccaneer, sometimes called Corsaire, is by English portrait painter Albert Henry Collings (1868-1947). Collings was born in London and lived all his life there. This painting sold at auction in the United States in 2018. 

All the nice girls love a sailor is the chorus from Ship Ahoy!, a poem by AJ Mills. This was set to music by Bennett Scott and became a music-hall song. 

Zimpenfish's beautiful London wave bench is near Bermondsey station in London. Zimpenfish has a huge assortment of surprising and fascinating photographs at   

I travel to the Channel Islands regularly and I took this picture of the St Helier wave benches. They're right down on the Jardin de la Mer by the beach. St. Helier is a great bench town and with the help of Meredith, my feline editor, I documented them all. Well, most of them. See

The Enchanted Seashell bench is from a blog which is the confessions of a tugboat captain's wife. He travels the world while she does all manner of things including writing this lively blog. The tugboat captain's wife would like to make it clear that although she loves seashells and rocks, she is most definitely not a mermaid. You can see her seashell encrusted creations at

The blue dolphin bench is by Shari Weinsheimer. It is on the boardwalk in Ocean City, Maryland.">Dolphin Bench</a> by Shari Weinsheimer

Recently I attended a wedding at Wells in Somerset. Not a likely prospect to find a sea bench. The reception was in a beautiful walled garden high on the hill overlooking Wells Cathedral and Glastonbury Tor. I took my glass of champagne and went wandering. The boat bench was alongside the pond. What a lovely thing to find.

The picnic table (bwrdd) suggests a dolphin to me. It's in Plas y Wedd in Gwynedd in Wales and was photographed by Alan Fryer at

Kate Robertson from Idaho Falls is the Queen of Creativity. She photographs all kinds of stuff wherever she goes on her creative pursuits. This included the whale bench which she saw at Cannon Beach, Oregon. Kate is a Kaizen-Muse creativity coach and she has loads of ideas on how to get your creative mojo working. She has various blogs; I first saw her at

The first whale tail bench is at Malibu in California. It was photographed by Trudy, aka Queen Cashmere, who is from Pfalz in Germany. Trudy's profile claims that 'Everyone is an artist' and she quotes (convincingly) from Joseph Beuys in both German and English. Her photographs are featured in Flickr's Signifying the Whale group at  If you like whales, check out this project. 

The second whale tail bench is at Whitehaven in Cumbria; that's the Irish Sea, for anyone keeping tabs on our theme. It's by Ron Clark, also at Flickr. There are quite a few whale benches around the harbour in Whitehaven, which harks back to its past as a whaling port. Ron has an eye for All Things English and he has an amazing collection of pub signs in his photostream at  

The pink whale tail thong comes from There are no contact details for this site; maybe that's just as well. In my defence, I can only say this image is included as a result of a rare moment of poor judgement; the Little Sailor seems to have been a bad influence. 

The white whale tail bench is at the whale watching viewpoint in Hermanus on the Western Cape of South Africa. A lot of whale watching goes on there during the southern winter and spring. And a lot of photography. This picture is by Willem Nabuurs at Panoramio.

The yellow Step into the Blue bench was photographed by Riaan Vosloo from Capetown, South Africa. He took the photograph while working on the Sun Princess. "I had to take this photograph because the scene almost looked staged, with the bright yellow, wooden steps set against the blue ocean and sky." The image is available as a photographic limited edition print at 

John William Waterhouse RA (6 April 1849 – 10 February 1917) was an English painter whose artworks were known for their depictions of women from both ancient Greek mythology and Arthurian legend. Waterhouse's painting A Mermaid may have been inspired by Alfred Lord Tennyson's poem 'The Mermaid' (1830). Tennyson's poem goes on to describe the mermaid seeking and finding love among the mermen but when the work was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1901 the Art Journal noted her 'wistful-sad look' and the review remarked that 'it tells of the human longings never to be satisfied … The chill of the sea lies ever on her heart; the endless murmur of the waters is a poor substitute for the sound of human voices; never can this beautiful creature, troubled with emotion, experience on the one hand unawakened repose, on the other the joys of womanhood'.

The pretty blue seahorse bench was photographed by Claire McDonough. Originally from Jacksonville, Florida, Claire has a lot of seaside pictures on her photostream at

The colourful mermaid was photographed by Kat from Racine, Wisconsin in 2007. The mermaid and other sea life benches are in the Kid's Cove play area next to Lake Michigan. Kat also photographed the kissing fish here. She has eclectic interests, shown in her wonderful photos at 

The beautiful driftwood bench looking out to sea is on the California coast at Cambria. It was photographed by Caren Silvestri, a Southern California native, who loves landscapes and macro photos of nature subjects in the garden and at the beach. Oceans, mountains, deserts - as she says, in Southern California they have it all. Her shop is at

Miss Mermaid now resides not in the ocean but in a gallery in Manteo, North Carolina. She is the creation of Carol Willett, who sculpts a wide variety of Creatures of Imagination from papier and cloth mâché.  Carol's favorite subjects are sea creatures as well as those from legend and myth.  Her menagerie can be seen at: and she's back on Benchsite again in 2014 for International Maritime Day

The delightful crocheted goldfish is by Amy Gaines in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts. Love the fish, love the bubbles. Amy became frustrated with the lack of good knit toy patterns available so she now designs her own amugurumi knit and crochet patterns. There are delightful animals of every kind, and various Little Knitted Creatures. Her shop is at

Jeano Roberts is a surfer and an artist who loves shabby chic coastal styles. Maybe that's not surprising since she grew up in Cocoa Beach, Florida. She works with wood, canvas, paint, seashells, feathers, twine - all kinds of materials for making coastal-style signs and upcycled old furniture. Her handpainted beach bench at the start of the Oceans post was created from an old wooden twin headboard and footboard. The seashells were painted from actual shells placed on the bench and recreated by hand painting them to get the best "fool the eye" effect. The seagulls were painted using a bird identification guide: "I always try to make sure the shells and birds in my work look like the real thing."  Her blog is at and she also has a shop at

The Strawberry Hill shell bench is at Strawberry Hill House, a gothic revival villa in Twickenham near London. The house was built by Horace Walpole in 1749 and included extensive gardens reflecting Walpole's eccentricities. The bench faced the Thames and was carved to resemble a Rococo-style seashell. The house was restored in 2010 and a drawing of the original shell bench survived so it has been recreated as part of the garden revival. You can read all about it at

The white shell bench on the patio is from Urbis Design in the UK. It's made from white and grey glass-reinforced concrete, one of the many materials used by designers at Urbis to create a contemporary look to furniture, plant containers, and modular garden systems.

Perla Ponce is the owner of Wholesale World Pottery at Chula Vista in California. That's right down there on the Mexican border near San Diego. Not surprisingly, she sells colourful Mexican pots, large pot containers, metal animal sculptures, and forged iron furniture like the delightful seashell bench.

Alibythesea is Alison Sargeant in Delray Beach, Florida. So you see, she really is bythesea. Ali collects beads, shells, rocks and lots of other stuff, such as  scary people in an attic. She takes lovely photographs, such as the sea-battered bench and shutters in Savannah, Georgia. She also has a Sorrento mermaid in her shop and I'm pretty sure Mariner Mikey will know her. Ali's shop is at

The lovely tropical palm tree bench is from Joseph Adams II, who is a graduate of University of South Carolina Beaufort and is currently studying for a Masters in Fine Arts at Savannah College of Art and Design. He specialises in metal work - iron, steel, stainless steel, aluminium, copper, etc. and makes a wide variety of furniture and other things from metal.

The Lifeguard station in the Virgin Islands is one of the favourite places of Shari Anne, who photographed it. Shari Anne lives in West Palm Beach, Florida.  Her artwork fuses together her two equal passions - world exploration and fine art. Her photographs and paintings are from her travels and the list of places she has visited makes The Little Sailor look like a local boy. Her shop is at

The Seat Slug bench was designed by Studio Rael San Fratello in Oakland, California. Inspired by the discovery of the flabellina goddardi sea slug in California in 2010, it is constructed of 230 unique rapid-manufactured (and very strong) building components developed by Ronald Rael Fratello through his research at the University of California Berkeley. Using digital software modelling and cement-based polymer components, the Seat Slug is a new synthesis of design and production. Here's how it looks up close. For more details of the process see
image from

I honestly didn't find any good shark benches, apart from the San Jose Sharks hockey team. This was not really in keeping with our Oceans theme so I chose the toilet with sharks from Kerri, who lives in Idaho, a place not known for its shark-infested waters. But these vinyl decals of sharks can bring the ocean into any bathroom where sharks are wanted. Kerri does a huge range of clever custom vinyl decals and other home decor items at

Have you hugged your shark today? is a photograph from Eye of the Jen at Flick. Jen's daughter was hugging a shark at the aquarium apparently. Not the real thing. Jen's photostream is at http:/

The Girl with Big Glasses is a delightful painting by Robert Dix at  His inspiration begins from a nightmare, a memory, or an odd 'Bobservation'. Monsters, hotrods, cartoons, , comic books, surreal killers, horror movies, old advertisments, low brow and traditional artists, sealife ...anything can inspire his ideas. 

A girl on a bench with an octopus and a book: I felt so lucky to find this. It's by Joseph Hasenauer at After graduating with a degree in visual communications and illustration, Joseph worked as an illustrator, a graphic designer, and a film maker. Fifteen years after packing away his paint brushes, Joseph has jumped headlong back into traditional art: paint, ink, photography, oils, pencil. There are lots of fantastic eight-fingered creatures featured in his work, some of whom are on benches.

The driftwood bench on the beach is by Martyn Cook from Benchy Benches in Dorset. He makes original handcrafted driftwood furniture, including benches, from the wood he finds on the beautiful Jurassic coast. The bench pictured costs £250 and is finished with Danish oil for either indoor or outdoor use.

The splendid fish bench was outside the Bass Pro Shop at the Gulf Coast Town Center mall in Ft Myers, Florida back in 2011.Terence Faircloth photographed it. Terence has a massive photostream with albums from all over the world, plus architectural abstracts, machinery, art, signs, family events, and lots of other surprises.  

The pretty stained glass fish bench is from in Boise. It's by PJ McDonald, who has been a Stained Glass Artisan for over 30 years. She has work in Las Vegas hotels like the Mandalay Bay, the Marriott, and the Gold Coast. She also does stained glass for churches, and custom designs and commissions. 

On a sunny day in February 2017 we went to Brighton, where there was a brilliant exhibition of photographs on the beach. One of the photos which caught my eye was by Steven Boyle.  

Matthew E. Cohen is Mistergoleta. Goleta is a town near Santa Barbara, California. I happen to know that because I went to a university not a million miles from there. Matthew photographs architecture, scenic and urban landscapes, neon signs, murals, sculptures, and benches that he sees on his travels. He didn't have to travel far to see the tiled sea bench as it's in Santa Barbara. His photostream is at

The penguins are wedding cake toppers for Michelle and Tom or, in the case of the Antarctic wedding, possibly it's the penguins who are Michelle and Tom. They come from an etsy shop selling wedding cake toppers, ornaments and jewelry with the delightful name of

Lucy Beaver is a fibre art sculpture by Kelly Riley in Bend, Oregon. Kelly does a wide range of wool watercolours, handfelted scarves, felted tapestries, sculptures and needle felting kits. Lucy and others are for sale at

I don't know if we can trust Mariner Mikey to tell us the truth about his relationships. Did he give a lovely necklace to Lucy Beaver? I'd like one myself. The pretty mint green seaglass necklace shown in the story is from Tati D. at Sea Beach Glass in Toronto, which is on Lake Ontario. The shop at  has Sea Beach Glass Pendants, chains, charms, and jewelry of all kinds. 

My seashell throne was a gift from Lord Brassica, who helped me find all the best throne benches around the world. I saw the seashell throne in Seaview, Isle of Wight, which is, um, by the sea and has a sea view. 

Seana knows a thing or two about fresh air and family fun in Sydney. Her website is a comprehensive look at fun stuff to do in Sydney and beyond. Best playgrounds, best beaches, best famiy-friendly cafes - she's got it all. She has also found the best playground benches. The lovely oar bench is at the gorgeous Shelly Beach Playground near Cronulla; Seana and her kids agree that this is the bestest bench ever.

The All Saints mermaid is a bench end in the 15th century All Saints church in Upper Sheringham in Norfolk. She was photographed by John Salmon at  Apparently the little mermaid was swimming in the sea off Sheringham when she decided to visit the church. Without legs, it was a difficult journey from the sea to the church but she arrived, exhausted, at the North Door of the church. A service was going on and when she pushed open the door and peered in, she was told that mermaids were not allowed in the church and the door was slammed in her face. Eventually she got back into the church and sat on the outside edge of the pew nearest the door; she's there to this day.  

The ferry bench was on the deck of our Brittany ferry from Portsmouth to Caen, France in October 2016. The safety brassieres, aka lifejackets, were on the same deck, nicely stored inside the benches. 

Nautical but Nice (1941) is an English postcard from Curt Teich & Co.'s archive. It was donated for use under a Creative Commons license and is available on wikimedia. 

The eel bench is from Jasmine Blossom, who is a blogger, photographer and teacher in Japan. She speaks Japanese and blogs (very interestingly) about life in Japan at  The Nakatsu City eel bench is the longest eel bench in Japan. Then again, I'm not sure how many eel benches there are in Japan. 

The surfboard bench is on the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia. It was photographed by Tiger Lim, who calls himself The Number 1 Broken-English Blogger. (I'm glad that hyphen is there, otherwise we'd have to assume he's English, and broken). He gets around, does Tiger Lim. Follow his travels at

The creme de la creme surfboard bench with lifeguard station cushions is by Joel Sokolov in California. Joel designed the bench in 2012 for his friend's themed room (I'm guessing that the theme was Oceans).  The bench is made from three surfboards: that's the bench, and two that are cut in half to make the back of the bench, within a wooden structure. He padded the surfboards and made covers for them.The fabrics were all designed by him and digitally printed; he digitally altered photos of California lifeguard stations to include their names. Terrific! Joel's website is at

The well known lines of the poem at the end of the story are from Sea-Fever, by John Masefield. 

The pretty stone couple on a bench are from Kathleen in Philadelphia. Kathleen makes one-of-a-kind natural beach stone art, such as this framed couple who are wave-tumbled beach stones she gathered along the shores of Lake Erie (not the ocean then). The natural, unpolished stones are arranged and securely mounted in a frame. She's got beach stone families, buttons, hearts, jewelry, wedding couples - you'd be amazed what she can do with beach stones. Her shop is at

For statistical purposes I did a quick tally of this post to see how many Oceans are represented here. We've got both sides of the Atlantic, the South Atlantic, both sides of the Pacific, the Caribbean, the North Sea, the Irish Sea, the Mediterranean, the Sea of Japan, the Bering Strait, the English Channel, Cardigan Bay, and the Bay of Biscay. OK, fair enough, those last three are probably counted as the Atlantic. And we've not done badly for other bodies of water either. We've got Lake Michigan, Lake Erie, Lake Ontario, the River Thames, the Snake River, and a pond in Somerset. Oh, and The Plunge, here on my very own Paradise Island. 

To commemorate World Oceans Day, Lord Brassica, Fifth Earl of Drizzly, commissioned a Penguin Bench and donated it to the community. All of us from Fribble-under-Par turned out for the launch. Here's the new bench, christened by April and her Parallel Selves, May and June. Mariner Mikey was Master of Ceremonies, of course. 


  1. Thank you so much for including Princess Rosebud's Enchanted Mermaid Bench with all of these magnificent and creative benches! They are all so amazing!

    1. Glad you like the benches. I have been doing this for a while now and am still amazed at what fabulous benches I find. Great to have Princess Rosebud's bench here among them.


  2. How delightful, and what a world tour! So much here to look at and trails to follow. Lovely.

  3. Thanks Seana. By amazing coincidence, on TV last night here in the UK there was a programme about the Gold Coast and on down to Sydney. What did we see? A glimpse of the Gold Coast surfboard bench and a sign for your Shelly Beach in Sydney. Although I am marooned here on Paradise Island, it did feel like a connection with the world!


  4. I really enjoyed your collection of coastal style benches! What fun you must have had putting all of these treasures together. Thanks so much for including my little bench.


  5. Hi Jeano - thanks for your kind comments. Your pretty beach bench was the start of the Oceans post as it was the first bench I collected and went from there. There were so many benches to choose from that I didn't manage to use everything so the story of Mariner Mikey continues next month . . .


  6. Thanks so much for including my beach stone framed art piece along with the masterful works of art in this collection. While my beach stones came from Lake Erie (one of the Great Lakes), for many who stand on its shores it feels like the ocean as you cannot see land on the other side. I enjoyed the vicarious mini-vacation your blog took me on today.

  7. Great to hear from you, Kathleen and thanks for your beautiful beach stones. I was trying to get all five Great Lakes in but I got distracted by oceans. Perhaps a Great Lakes post another time? Happy to hear you enjoyed the blog.


  8. Such a charming post. I enjoyed it so much and what fabulous benches you found!

    Thanks so much for including my Valentine.

  9. Ahoy there, Bigbang! Your brilliant Valentine sailor is actually on Mariner Mikey's other post, which is in September 2014 (Maritime Benches). But that's ok - Mikey has lots of followers who will read both posts.