Saturday, January 31, 2009

Thinking about a beach...

I have been dreaming about being be on a nice sandy beach. A deserted one would be best. There would be a thatched hut (it is my daydream and I might as well daydream big) or tent with a campfire right on the beach for sitting and singing and talking at night. A comfy beach chair for reading and an umbrella ,(one with a thatched roof, in keeping with the surroundings) would be at the ready for relaxing and to enjoying the wonderful view of the sun, sand and water. Hot sand and gentle salt water waves lapping at the shore would provide a soothing melody in the background. There would be cooking by campfire and I would sip red wine from a plastic cup with a like minded companion. These are wonderful day dreams for a day in the middle of winter.

I have been thinking about a spectacular camping trip I had with my daughter Tegan, her girlfriend Mary and my live in companion at the time, Basile. We camped at Sauble Beach, on Lake Huron, for a few weeks that summer about 4 years ago, as I recall. Days were spent lounging at the beach, playing in the water and evenings were spent by the campfire laughing and giggling and having a great time. We would stay up at night until the camp warden came by to tell us to be quiet for the night. It is the only time I have ever been shushed by the campgrounds police! In the mornings we fried eggs and bacon, packed snacks or a picnic lunch and headed to the beach for the day.

It was the year that Tegan finished grade 8 - just before going into high school. Basile kept us all in stitches and generally provided entertainment. He let the girls bury him in the sand - and make him a sand body resembling a mermaid. We all laughed at his "sand boobs". He was always up for water volleyball with the girls, kibitzing with them in easy repartee and day in day out was charming and an ideal camping-mate.

The campsite had 2 tents - one for us and one for the girls, and of course we had the requisite big tarp in case it should rain.

A great time was had by all - wonderful bonding opportunity for all 4 of us - and at the end of those weeks we were sad to go home.

Memories such as those are the real treasures of life.

I miss summer.

As I look out my window across the lake I see a brisk wind has come up. It has driven the pack ice that was lodged at the mouth of thee west channel, through the channel and into the Harbour itself. The south-west wind (apparently 23 mph according to my iPhone) has whipped up the waves and created a seersucker pattern on the surface of the water. The wind is racing the patchy clouds across the sky and the sun is peaking in and out of the clouds causing the circles of light which play on the water to put on a swirling light show. An engaging scene.

I get out my binoculars and check the beach at Hanlan’s Point. The waves look to be about 2-3 feet high. At the beach, the waves are creating a spray which flies up into the air as they hit the barrier wall of snow and ice, which is about 20 feet out from the natural shoreline. If the cold temperatures and if the wave action continues, there will be an interesting ice formation to see there in the coming weeks.

I found a video on the net which shows scenes from a Toronto Island beach. The video is by Rob Thompson (Funded by an Arts Counsel grant). The promo from the site says:
"The video "Toronto Island Beach" is a unique video shot from a single stretch of beach over the span of an entire year: from hot summer days to frozen winter evenings, from the intricacies of life to the shadows of death. This video was designed to be downloaded from this web site (it’s free) and watched on your laptop, iPod or cell phone from the same location it was shot. It is a unique viewing experience that lets you watch the seasons change before your very eyes. “It’s a strange and mesmerizing experience. Truly weird to be sitting there on a hot summer day but see a snow storm on the video!” Download. Go to beach. Watch! It’s that simple. "
I wouldn't say it was "mesmerizing", but interesting enough to watch. I might add it was weird as well to be watching a video showing beach sand, water and sun which were shot at an ice covered beach I can see from my window. I am sure the location is Hanlan's point (the beach I view from my window) because of the fat, naked old man in the video. Hanlan's point is our naked beach ( Toronto's only official "clothing optional" beach) where, according to my daughter, old fat men hang out to watch the (the very few) young ladies who have the "balls" (so to speak), to go and sunbath.

You can download the video from the link above, or go to this URL to get more info and see other videos that this guy has produced.

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