Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The other beach

Calling Seal Beach, California, the 'other beach' sounds like the 'other woman.' That's not the case. Though not mentioned by name in the books, it is the main beach, Kathryn's Beach.

Note the difference in the physical features of her beach and her father's beach. The photos linked with the last two blogs point out the rugged difference quite obviously. (I'll post the link again at the end.)

Here are snippets of Kathryn's Beach/Seal Beach, California.

... a greenish cast to the water and the glitter in the wet sand ... Seagulls screech at each other ... sandpipers play a hurried game of tag with the tan foam at the waves’ edge as it advances and retreats ... The endless sound of the waves coming and going, and the occasional sound of a boat motor revving to pull away from the pier ... The last of the commercial fishing boats begin to come in with their morning catch. They pass into the channel leading to port. The boats are near enough to see the swarm of seagulls following them to the wharf beyond my view. The familiarity of the sights, sounds, and smells wrap around me in a maternal embrace. (Kathryn's Beach)

...the essence of the sandy saltwater scents, and listening to the sound of the crashing waves as the tide comes in ... As the tide rises, the mist of the breaking waves reaches out to touch me from the darkness. (Kathryn's Beach)

The sound of the pounding surf is a loud distraction ... Thundering waves resonate in my chest each time one comes in and hits hard, high on the beach, and again the aftershock when the backwash collides. The sound carries for blocks in the thick, evening air ... people run quickly to see what is happening with the Pacific. Surfers huddle on the beach with their wetsuits hanging at half mast on their trim bodies. They evaluate the quality of the waves with the precision of the Army Corps of Engineers ... [they] fidget – longing to be in the water. Low-hung clouds darken. Hypnotizing lightning comes. It spiders across the dark clouds, driving most of the people from the beach. Strikes of lightning light the beach long enough for me to see the surf is more violent than before ... The wind is coming inland, bringing with it the smell of the ocean ... For a long time I stand and watch each flickering in the distant sky. The umbrella is only a ruse. The rain ignores any attempt to be shielded from it. High tide will be monstrous tonight. Finally, long after I come inside, the lightning moves up the coast and away. (High Tide)

The evening breeze is beginning to blow inland. It is still hot out, a July hot. The sand is radiating the heat it accumulated from the day. The breeze is slight and gentle against my cheeks. (Storm Surge, manuscript)

The September beach ... The sky is clear and a crisp, rich blue. There are no clouds or smog today. The warm sand feels good on my feet as I carry my shoes ... three people [are] in the water wind sailing. They glide effortlessly over the waves. (Storm Surge, manuscript)

Beach photos in YouTube:

Beach photos on website (again):

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