Admittedly it was torpor more than gusto that propelled me late this morning to nearby Tower Beach rather than heading as is my custom to the less proximate Pope Avenue and across to Coligny Beach Park. In my defence I was feeling the exertion of my limbs from repeated non-stop cycling in the past several weeks; and, in addition I was uncertain about the effect of the northwesterly wind even though my recent insight led me to believe it would be suitable for a tour up the beach from Tower Beach towards Coligny Beach Park rather than the reverse. This was important because I knew from consultation of the Tide Chart that low tide today was at noon, the ideal circumstance for beach cycling. Of equal import was the sunshine and deep blue sky with billowing white clouds. The views were ineffable! It is however impossible to calculate the effect of the wind when cruising through the parkland from Harbour Town to Tower Beach. The sea pines and other thick foliage beneath the towering boughs mask the true direction of the prevailing wind. Nonetheless as I approached Tower Beach and neared the open sea it became increasingly apparent that I would have the wind at my back if I ventured along the beach in what I mistakenly called northwards when it is in fact easterly. The corollary naturally is that the wind of 24 km/h from the northwest would be at my back. Turns out I was correct.
After arriving at Tower Beach, and having conducted my routine stopover at the drinking fountain for an inexpressibly soothing slurp of ice cold water, I trudged along the boardwalk to the sea. It was magnificent! The clear air contributed its magic to the firmament like sugar to a pie! Once again I caught myself muttering an unholy ejaculation! And once again it was beyond my comprehension that we together are entitled to this unsurpassable fortune!
Today is a Saturday. And by most accounts a cold one. Which partly explains the noticeable demise of traffic whether vehicular, pedestrian or cyclical. Most certainly there were fewer people on the beach. I did not encounter one cyclist on my subsequent sail to Sea Pines Beach Club. There was just the swirl of the tiny particles of sand upon the broadened beach.
Midway between Tower Beach and Sea Pines Beach Club near the dunes I sought and found a bank of white sand upon which to collapse my bicycle and prolong myself for a hour of ignoble indolence. Granted I was layered in a Speedo T-shirt, a Walmart striped blue and white golf shirt (years ago I bought ten of them for some extraordinarily low price and they haven’t had the decency to expire since), a light hoodie, a Patagonia fleece, a rolled silk scarf and a Columbia outer jacket. While prone upon the beach I was remarkably insulated from the penetrating wind though I did notice the continual draft of fine white sand about me and upon me. But as my late father often observed, sand is a clarification (he actually had another word for it – perhaps it was filter – but I cannot recall it at the moment). The two items of concern when adopting this prolongation upon the beach are one’s iPhone and one’s spectacles. Outfitted as I was today I had about me endless pockets within which to store these devices. There was a small challenge confronting me with the side pocket of my jacket; viz., closing the zipper from the prone position. I eventually settled upon a point halfway to enable me to withdraw the iPhone on demand when the sunlight and clouds were opportune for a snap. But there was some preliminary frustration. The accommodation never stops!
As I was reminded when I regained the perpendicular and continued on my way to Sea Pines Beach Resort, we have more than passing familiarity with this area in particular and Sea Pines in general. I recalled for example one of our earliest stays on Turtle Lane (a gated community with another) directly overlooking the beach. Nearby is a home I have admired for years. I have always imagined to whom the place belongs, what family gatherings they must enjoy during the season and what must be done to maintain the place endlessly.