Being on a coast where the water is just above 65 degrees (and my family calls that wet-suit temperatures!) we had to have at least one beach day. Overall (although not in the same day), we managed to catch a beach sunrise, spent a full morning basking on Isle of Palms and getting introductory surf lessons from my uncle, and did an evening beach hike of approximately four miles roundtrip. I think that adds up to a full day!
First was the long evening hike. I think the hashtag “hiking happens” is very apt. We went down to Breach Inlet to take a short walk and see if the low tide had revealed any new shell treasures and ended up walking along the beach for about 1/3 the total length of the island. Part of what hooked us was watching the amazing patterns and currents of the sand blowing across the beach. Walking between these scouring flows was mesmerizing and made it too easy to just keep walking.
As you can see in that last photo above, the sunset isn’t out over the water as it is at home. It’s behind us. It seems obvious that the location of the sunset appears to change based on the coast you’re on, but this small detail ended up being quite a surprise when we noticed the dofference firsthand. On the west coast, we look west over the ocean, towards the sunset. On the east coast, they look east, so towards sunrise. Well! In that case, we knew that we had to see a sunrise! So a plan was made to catch the sunrise at least once before we left.
Sunrise was around 7:05 on our chosen day, so we got up a little after 6 AM, grabbed a hard boiled egg each, and set out for Sullivan’s Island for sunrise and a morning swim. We were not disappointed!
As for our longer beach day, my uncle was a rockstar and offered to teach us how to surf. I surprised myself and felt super excited by the fact that I managed to stand up twice, and one of those times I actually rode be wave for several seconds before I came off the board! I was psyched! Uncle Grady is an amazing teacher!
Without getting too lost in deep meanings and impressive sounding lessons, the things I picked up during our surf lesson were simple yet essential: don’t think about the movements–just do them, always know where your board is, and take action in the moment–if you wait, you might lose it. I think those largely speak for themselves. I can see why surfing is a way of life and a theology for many enthusiasts, and all I had to speculate from was barely a half day’s worth of experience!
I did notice how different it is from scrambling and being on the mountains. Up there, steps are calculated and planned and acting without thinking can often cause problems. With the surfboard, you know what you have to do, and when the time comes, you do it. Neither sport or method is better nor is my breakdown all encompassing of what happens in those sports, but from an outsiders’ perspective on surfing, it’s enough to wet my thirst and make me eager to try again and learn more.
Overall, an awesome [cumulative] day at the beach!
To follow our trail…