The beach

Listening as I now am while sipping my electrifying triple espresso to the title theme of Chariots of Fire does nothing to stabilize this morning’s keenness for the beach.  It helps too that the weather today was once again ideal for my 17.23 Km sail along the beach directly into the dazzling sunshine from Coligny Beach Park. The 10 km/h wind was almost exactly from the east which coincides with the axis of Hilton Head Island along the North Atlantic Ocean. In unanticipated fervour, when I set foot upon the beach at Coligny, I directed myself into the wind to gather a view of the beach from that angle instead of heading directly to Sea Pines Beach Club with the wind at my back.  Going past Marker 65 in that opposite direction is not something I do as regularly as I did in year’s past when I had greater physical stamina.  But a quick glance told me it was worth taking a better look.

Oddly I suffered no discomfort cycling into the wind.  I rather enjoyed it, having the air blowing against my face, freeing me of cobwebs of any description metaphorical or otherwise. And because the Low Tide was rapidly approaching, the beach had that vastness which is so liberating. I was so overcome by the variety of views of the beach today that I snapped an unusually large number of photographs.  Obviously the number matters not on an iPhone but it makes the subsequent examination of them upon my return to the apartment somewhat drawn out.  My scrutiny of the snaps today made it difficult to let go any one of them because they all looked so inviting to me.

We turned a corner today.  We’ve been here 2½ months; 2 months remain before our departure. We’ve surpassed the pinnacle and now begins the descent. By contrast the temperatures are rising.  Already the enhanced number of visitors to the Island is noticeable as a result.  Soon young people will arrive for March Break festivities, a welcome exuberance to the predominantly old fogey atmosphere that otherwise prevails.  The beach crowds will thankfully remain focussed around the hotels which are in the public areas of the Island. The bulk of the Island is segregated by gated communities in which the few resorts located there tend to be more exclusive and unattractive to the younger set.

A more immediate disadvantage of the growing population was evident when I exited the beach at Sea Pines Beach Club and my regular bench was occupied. An elderly woman (with her tiny black poodle) were both seated on the bench where I have for the past 2½ months regularly positioned myself for a brief recovery from the beach cycling. In a manner appropriate for the interference I trudged along the broad walkway beside the clubhouse to another bench at the opposite end. There was another elderly gentleman seated on another nearby bench.  He eyed me inquisitively.  Perhaps I was unwittingly invading his customary private territory! Such are the adjustments required with the changing times!