We are fortunate to live close to the ocean. No matter which route we take, in less than an hour we can see the Pacific Ocean stretching out to the horizon. It’s a cold ocean here – you certainly don’t go in there for a leisurely swim. It’s also very dangerous – it has vicious underwater currents that pull you out in the ocean, and so-called sleeper waves that are way stronger than regular waves. But despite the cold and dangerous waters, the beaches on our North Coast are a favorite destination of mine.
Forget about white soft sand. Here the sand is grey and rather coarse – walking barefoot can turn into a challenge. Still, strolling along the beach is a perfect pastime. There are shells to find, sometimes even a broken sand dollar, beautifully shaped sea glass and the empty crusts of crabs. All kinds of seagulls, cormorants and brown pelicans occupy the sky and the rocks. Harbor seals pop up in the waves and stare at the people on the beach full of curiosity. On good days you can spot whales in the distance.
I love the driftwood. It’s everywhere on the beach, piling up into interesting shapes or lying as logs in the sand, inviting you to have a seat and look out over the ocean. Dream a little bit and forget about your daily life for a moment. It always works. Just a few days ago, my daughter and I sat on one of those logs, eating sandwiches and enjoying the sound of the ocean. It was one of those typical grey days, when the clouds hover over the coast and don’t move away. There goes your dream of sunny California. What is left is a rocky coast with its very own untamed beauty.
One of the best wild places in the world.