Most unique to this area are a string of border islands, mere banks of sands covered in wild sea oats, which provide a protective barrier to the mainland. This creates large bodies of water between mainland and island, called sounds. They thrive with life both above and below the water and in turn provide much recreation and sustenance to those fortunate to live and play here.
March 13, 2011 By
There are no two ways about it – I just love the sea! Any time I get a chance to spend some time down at the beach, I’ll take it. Any beach. Any sea. Any season. Any time. There is something about being close to that huge body of water that soothes my soul and revitalizes me at the same time. It doesn’t really matter what ocean either.
I have lived on the Indian Ocean and relished the crashing surf and long golden rough sands of the beaches there. I love the rocky coastline with its tidal pools and sheltered coves of northern Zululand which also dot the Wild Coast and the Cape. The magnificence of the cliffs, long rolling waves and stunning views as you drive the famed Garden Route of eastern South Africa, incredibly duplicated half way across the world on the Big Sur of California. Or driving the Mendocino coastline through timeless redwood forests with breathtaking vistas across the Pacific Ocean and brisk ocean breezes, always cool even in the heat of summer.
The cold waters of the Atlantic up around England with its chalky cliffs and huge tidal variation, smugglers caves and ancient shipyards have their own appeal. Wind-blown walks on high promontories, exploring lonely sea-surrounded castles with wisps of fog blowing in with whispers of medieval happenings. Like I said, any chance I get, I am down at the sea!
And can anything at all compare with the multi-hued aqua colours of the warm Caribbean waters? Gorgeous, silky soft water reflecting sequin shades of blues and greens sparkle in tropical sunshine. There’s a magical playground just below the surface filled with every cartoon fish-character you could ever hope to meet. Beaches of white and pink and pastel coral colours, just beg a lazy afternoon snooze in a hammock strung between palms. Every island a find and potential treasure – a worthy life-long goal, that of acquainting yourself with each one!
We live on the eastern seaboard of the Atlantic Ocean now and close enough that we can reach our ocean shores in a short drive. The North Carolina coastline, I read somewhere once, is actually longer than the Californian coast if measured in miles in and out all the many inlets and bays. An extremely varied and fascinating coastline with stories and fables unique to the people of this state and intricately tied up with the very first settlers to ever arrive from across the sea.
Iconic lighthouses have provided safety and direction to ships both large and small for decades and are often on the list of vacationers to this region. Each one built or decorated in a very different and instantly recognizable pattern. Huge black and white diamonds decorate the Cape Lookout Lighthouse, while black and white twirls mark the Cape Hatteras lighthouse, for all the world like some monochrome candy cane, as unique!
Sometimes my purpose when I travel down to this sea is to explore another lighthouse but often it is just to spend unhurried time there. On the beach, by the sea, listening to the call of the gulls and hearing the ceaseless rhythm of the waves. As I said, it soothes my soul and reminds me that there is something far bigger and more eternal than me. It puts “me” into perspective again.