Even before I reached the seafront I could tell it was high tide; the sea makes an altogether more percussive sound when the water is swirling over pebbles rather than sand. But there is nothing stacatto about its rhythm, rather there is a swirling chatter.
This was the North Sea in true English summer mode...mainly shades of brown, grey, muddy green and (eventually, at the horizon)indigo. As the waves retreated they left white foam but the breakers rushing in were tipped with shades of coffee and oyster.
The waves left an undulating pattern on the pebbles, think of the curve at the top of a lolly stick alternating with a truncated, straight edge. And as the waves drew back they left cockle shell patterns, veined with ecru foam, in the curved sections. That was the view from above. Later, (quite a bit later, the sound is so hypnotic) strolling a few yards away and looking on sideways it became clear that the "lolly sticks" were actually gullies which the waves had cut through the pebbles.