Saturday, February 22, 2014
Several miles away from our perch on the edge of the Pacific are a row of cliffs that rise steeply from the ocean waters. They are a uniform purple, their thick shape emerging from the early morning mist of salted spray that hovers over the choppy waves like a silvery ghost. Behind the cliffs, the sky is pink with yellow undertones, a brilliance cast from the emerging sun still hidden behind the low hills to the east which promises the warmest of days.
The ocean stretches out for miles towards the horizon, the waves frosty blue with bright white caps which glow intensely, reflecting the brightness of the sky. As the dawn rolls in, right on time, the wind whips up a trail of moisture from the peaks, leaving an ephemeral white trail behind them which lingers for a moment then disappears into the water and air. The light above plays on the water's surface, casting a hint of pink which creates a soft glassy hue. This is also true for the water left cascading backwards on the sand to the sea, though the shades of pink vary depending on the amount of water on any given area of cold beach.
I watch the tiny shape of a person on the sand, perhaps a few hundred feet away. They are silhouetted and black against the glowing ground.
Lines of seagulls hover just inches above the water line, coasting on the breeze, barely moving a wing.
We sit on a dirt pullout, a single fence of wooden posts spaced five feet apart and connected by two thick jute ropes spaced a foot and a half apart. A white van is parked to the right of us, the driver taking photos of the landscape with a black phone. To the left, a woman has a towel wrapped around her waist as she undresses and squeezes into a black spongy wetsuit. Along the coast, about a hundred feet to the left are a row of cars where surfers are in various stages of undress with towels providing a modicum of modesty.
There are a few surfers in the water, about a few hundred feet away. They look smaller than the seagulls, like black pebbles amid the influx of the white capped waves and dark blue waters.