This page is where I will keep the diary of my mostly solitary visits to the beach. I plan to add to it continually, and gradually fill in dates that are missing. It will include some content only posted here, as well as links to blog posts that serve as entries.
It wasn’t until the summer of 2020 that I ever ventured a trip to the the most familiar coastal spots on my own; there had always been plenty of opportunity to go at someone else’s invitation, or on a family outing. Developing a habit of using my time and gas money for these excursions has been one of the great blessings of the year, and I hope it might be possible to continue indefinitely.
The most recent visits are logged in at the top.
March 22, 2021 Curlews and a jelly.
March 12, 2021 I collect Brown Algae.
I didn’t arrive until 2:30 today, but I walked for almost two hours, if you count the poking around among the rocks at the north end. The sun was shining on all those kelp-draped rocks and bringing out the seaweed smell, which wasn’t unpleasant. The temperature was in the high 50’s and I was still on the beach at low tide, just after 4:00.
I figured out — I think — that the mystery brown algae that I ate raw last month is the same that hangs on these rocks and is only revealed at low tide. There are 1500-2000 species of brown algae and so far I can’t find the name of this one.
There was so much on the beach, I collected a bagful thinking I should make soup this time. But when I got it home I was too tired to be interested anymore, and some of the leaves seemed to be tattered. I put it in the garden this morning instead.
I noticed that the gulls were swimming/floating on the waves this afternoon. I’ve never seen them do that before; they are always standing looking out to sea, or flying, or sitting on the sand. Little sanderlings, I think they are, were running in flocks back and forth; they would run out after the receding wave to peck madly for sand crabs or something, and a few seconds later run away from the oncoming wave back toward shore. I could watch them forever! So cute.
I saw a fish-looking thing in a tidepool, and took a very fuzzy picture of it through the water. Just now I asked the Seek app to i.d. it on my desktop monitor and it didn’t hesitate one second before telling me that it is in fact a Wooly Sculpin fish.
March 5, 2021 Solitude and Loneliness
The sun didn’t come out much. There was the familiar joy of solitude, energized by the stimulating atmosphere and huge presence of the sea, but I also felt a little lonely.
I peeked in one or two of the huts that people have built of driftwood, and visited the labyrinth that mercifully has not been vandalized. If anything, it has been embellished since the last time I saw it. My first pictures of it were taken January 14.
This spot just offshore often looks like a sinkhole. My theory is that the creek is flowing unseen out of the lagoon and having some effect here. Today it was not visible on the surface at all, and dunes were again walling off the lagoon.
Once I looked back the way I’d come and noticed that my path was oddly curvy.
After I had walked and read on the shore for almost two hours, I drove up to the bluffs to park and finish my book, while I ate an apple. By the time I was driving home early afternoon, the sun was shining.
March 1, 2021 I sat in contemplation.
Feb. 17, 2021 South-facing beach
Feb. 9, 2021 The usual blessed everydayness.
I found so many things, including happiness.
Feb 4, 2021 Bullwhip kelp on the beach
A friend taught me to forage sea vegetables.
January 21, 2021 Walked down the cliff
My usual parking lot was locked, so I parked up on the highway and walked down the cliff, ignorantly taking the wrong path, which wanted to drop me in the lagoon. But I managed to get around it and on to the beach.
The waves and froth looked delicious this time, like an extra rich ice cream soda poured out. A man was swimming, bare except for minimal swim trunks, but I wore three thick layers on top. I found lots of things to bring home:
January 14, 2021 A labyrinth and huts
The weather was supposed to be partly sunny, but there was no sun. It was the first time I’ve ever thought, when I got on the beach, “Do I really want to be here?” A breeze, thick fog.
Nov 2, 2020
There were lots of jellies up and down the shore today, and I was excited to see that the creek was leaking out of the lagoon. I know that with winter storms it does drain the lagoon every year, but I haven’t been around to see it before. It doesn’t seem that it has fully drained, though…
In places the creek waters form shallow and wide, quiet streams that flow parallel to the shore, so inviting. I take videos of the wave and sand patterns that are created when these flowings and mingle or collide — and of my feet in the bottom of the stream, as the sand oozes away from under them.
Oct 27, 2020 Bird Tracks and Buzzards
Sept, 2020 Playing under sepia skies.
August, 2020 Walking in Foggy Time
My first solitary visit to a North Coast beach! Getting there and back was wonderful, too.