Sunday, June 13, 2010

The Minus Tide

Although I'm now older than dirt, and more inert with every day that passes, certain kinds of geographical questions will still push me to considerable efforts. Some things I just have to know... Up at 4AM this morning. The goal was to be out of the house by 5AM, and on the trail to Second Beach by 6:30AM, just in case this morning's 8:10AM minus-2.3 tide made it possible to walk out to Crying Lady Rock (on March 6)(on May 30).

So away I drove in a beautiful nearly-sunrise morning, and out to the gray slightly drizzly West End. I was only a few minutes behind my planned schedule, threaded through the surprisingly gloomy forest, and was down on the beach by 7:35AM. The tide was already astonishingly low. Yes you could walk on the bottom of the sea, walk walk walk far out towards a horizon full of sea stacks, until you could easily see everything from an entirely different angle. The waves were washing in an inch tall the way they do at low tide on such a flat beach,

but no, not enough sand has been brought back onto the beach by summer conditions to make a walkway to Crying Lady. A moat of water around it still, which I hadn't the nerve to try to cross. Not me, nor any of the other walkers...

No pictures. The camera wouldn't turn on. Metaphysical catastrophe: is a day happening if I can't take a picture of it?

Put the camera away, pulled out the binoculars. Thought I saw a line of pelicans, flying north, way out to sea. Silhouetted cormorant. Eagle action, including one who was apparently building a nest up on Crying Lady Rock somewhere; came sailing in with a twiggy branch in its talons and disappeared into the trees on top of the rock. Would that have been Mr. Eagle or Mrs. Eagle, or do they both furnish the nest??

I wandered around on the bottom of the sea for a couple of hours, then ambled back up the trail. OK, truth, less than two hours. Having the camera broken made me antsy to get home to find out what was wrong with it, and I was mostly satisfied already. And sleepy. So I headed home.

A couple of rangers came down to the beach as I was leaving. I asked one of them if there was any likelihood that by the next month's minus tides there might be more sand, enough to walk out to the big rock. He said probably not, 'it looks like we've had some erosion'... Which is a non-answer, more or less. He did not say, 'no, because by June the beach is what it is going to be for the summer'. I think he didn't know.

1 comment:

robin andrea said...

Did you find out what was wrong with the camera? I like your question: Is a day happening if I can't take a picture of it?

Your description of the day is filled with visuals.