Friday, February 26, 2016

Going to the beach in winter? Yeah, why not?

In February 2015, not even my newly fractured wrist could stop me from visiting the beach (South Korea's East Sea) in winter. I couldn't believe that not a year has passed before I saw myself on the beach in winter (again!). Certainly the wrong time to don my wakeboarding attire so I was content with just looking at the scenery, the wildlife, and the surf. I was coasting along California's Pacific coast with Mommy and Daddy, and had a few pit stops while on the road with Biboy and Barbara (and her siblings) in the Bay Area.

If I thought I was crazy for being on the beach in winter, the surfers at San Francisco's Fort Point beat me: they were actually in the frigid water under the Golden Gate Bridge! Fort Point is an entry into San Francisco Bay through the Golden Gate (John Fremont's Chrysopylae), the body of water connecting the bay to the Pacific Ocean. Anyway, these surfers were at it until the sun set... I didn't wait to see if they continued to ride the waves in the dark.

With our family's Brazilian relatives, I also visited Point Emery Park in Berkeley, which is also located along the San Francisco Bay. Unlike in Fort Point, the water here was flat like a lake... perfect for wakeboarding (!), if there was a boat. But then again, it's winter and I didn't want to go into frigid water. So I contented myself with walking on the "boardwalk" and looking at the view.

And then I headed south with Mommy and Daddy. First, we visited the city of Pismo Beach where we walked to the bluff-top Dinosaur Cave Park (there were no dinosaurs to be seen here) to catch the scenic view of the ocean. We met a couple there who found action cameras on selfie sticks to be a novelty... it was the first time I've been mistaken as an employee of Google Earth because I was recording the picturesque views on video with my Sony action camera. We even ventured towards Brown's Rock to watch the few birds that were sunbathing there. After the walking tour of Dinosaur Cave Park, we then proceeded to the Oceano Sand Dunes Recreational Area. Birds supposedly call this area home but they might be in warmer areas because of the cold winter. Anyway, I found the sand dunes interesting (Mommy decided to stay on the sidelines) because it reminded me of the sand dunes in Paoay, Ilocos Norte, which I first saw in 1998. Back then, I thought I ended up in a desert instead of the beach. In this 2015 adventure, however, I found it curious that people were actually allowed to drive their all-terrain vehicles on the sand and the vehicles' tires made deep cuts into the sand. Also, this was my first ever venture into the Pacific Ocean. Yes, I've seen it a few times but this was my first time to be on the beach! Even in the Philippines, I've never been to the eastern seaboard; hence, never been on the Pacific side of the country.

(Hang on... I may be wrong. I've been to Bondi, Coogee, and Manly beaches in Sydney but I was walking on the pathway and not on the beach itself; and not on the water's edge.)

The surf in Oceano was definitely up. The waves were the biggest I've seen in my life! No, the waves were not as high as the legendary waves of Portugal or Hawaii... But still, they're huge!

It was a good idea to visit the sea in winter. But I was deadset to step into it ONLY when the water is back to its warm, tropical temperature.