Joy of Ocean

I will admit it. The past 6 months I have not been working out as much as I usually do.

I usually stay a little on the heavy side, but also usually work out around 3 hours per week or more.

The last 6 months for a variety of excuses I have been averaging less than this.

Yesterday I went up to Orange County to visit a friend Neil Patel. He was helping me with a few internet things, and got done very quickly. After lunch I started driving south. I was compelled to go to the north end of Laguna and explore the beaches. Even though I life guarded in south Laguna for many years, on some beaches literally know the location and shape of many rocks, I have spent very little time on the beaches north of main beach Laguna.

In my wanderings I came across Crescent Bay. It has been raining the past few days, so I was not expecting much. By the time I got out of the car, and made it down to the beach, the clouds had parted and the sun was just pouring down.

The beach is about a quarter of a mile long, and as the name says, forms one long Cresent of lovely clean tan colored sand. The beach slopes steeply into the water, and the waves rise up fast and break hollow and hard. For Laguna standards the waves are a bit soft, not like the spine breakers of Aliso where I used to work, but still enough to dislocate the shoulder of the average tourist.

The houses in the area are each one a small palace, perfectly maintained, parked on a circle shaped street with only one entrance. It really feels like paradise, or an area from the 1960’s, not like a beach and neighborhood of 2008. The beach had only a few dozen people on it.

I left my gear on the lifeguard tower as no one was in it, and I could keep half an eye on it there. I started a slow run toward the far end of the cove. As I got to the end of the cove there was one house with a small beach shack literally hanging from the cliff. It was in one of the most picturesque places in California. It was beat up and disheveled, but all I could think is that I would gladly trade all I own, just for that one room shack hanging on the cliff.

As I got to the end of the cove I was greeted by a puppy bull dog who wanted to run with me. His owner, and friends, true Laguna locals were playing a game I have never seen. Nowhere in California have I ever run into a more creative group, then those who live in Laguna. If some anthropologist were to follow the roots of much of what becomes our casual language and dress in the U.S., I am sure they would trace much of it back to Laguna. What they were doing was a game of beer horseshoes. They had poles set up with red beer cups on top of them, and then threw Frisbees at the cups. If you knocked down the other teams cup, the other team needed to drink a beer. It was actually beautiful to watch. They looked like a group, maybe just past college age, who had been friends for a few decades. Beer and plastic red cups can be part of a valid textured culture as much as any other.

I did a few loops of the cove until my calves were burning well. Then I stopped and found a couple of 14 year olds playing in the sand. I asked if they were locals, and they proudly said they were. I then asked if there were any submerged rocks in the surf that you could hit. They said not here. This by the way is a very, very important thing to determine when visiting a new beach.

The waves were only two to three feet, but with unfamiliarity, and a bit of out of shape-ness I approached tentatively. I had forgotten my surfing glasses, so my vision was a bit off.

After 20 minutes of boogie boarding my apprehension dropped and I really got into the groove of the beach. I remembered how much I have always loved the ocean. Literally love it. It was so beautiful. The rocks curved out the two ends of the cove, with some large rock formations jutting out of the water and the far ends to punctuate the cove.

Afterwards I went up on the beach and did crunches, pushups, and some other basic exercises until my body was well spent. A very satisfying feeling indeed.

I finished with a small bag of pretzels while I watched this amazing cove play out the end of its day.

I vowed to return soon with my wife and friend Mark.

So, thank you ocean, I do love you.

2 Comments

  1. Pam

    Thanks for the new game idea! Too bad we can’t play it on *our* beaches 🙁

  2. You are really incredibly eloquent when you talk about the ocean. It’s clear howmuch you love it. How can you stand to spend all that time indoors adjusting folks like me?

    But thanks for doing it… now I know how much you’re missing the ocean, I’ll appreciate you even more.

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