I went back to the beach last night, hoping that the red tide was still in effect. After recommending that all my coastal readers check it out, I was a bit anxious; if it was already over, I’d feel like a jerk.
I was by myself this time, my dad and my brother asleep in their beds. Drove down and tried to park away from any street lights. I looked out at the water… and it remained dark. Uh oh, maybe the phenomenon was done. I clambered down some rocks to the sand and threw my sandals aside. I’d heard that with the red tide that if you walked in the wet sand, that you’d leave glowing footprints, so I gave that a try. Nothing. But man, that water was warm, for ocean.
I looked out at the water, long and hard. Wait, was that a bit of light out there, or was it just the reflection of the moon, or the street lamps? No, it was blue! The red tide was still around. I guess the organisms were staying out further, or needed more of a kinetic push tonight, because only the larger, rarer, distant waves were lighting up. That’s why I didn’t see anything before.
I rolled up my jeans and waded out into the water to get a closer look (yes, I am aware that jeans and sandals are a fashion no-no). Wait, was I alone out here? Jesus, there’s no one else, just me on a mile-long stretch of beach. I gotta do this more often.
I tried to get my bulky jean cuffs to stay above my knees with mixed success. Fuck it, I want to get closer. Then I hestitated. If I walked out there, would the light just move further back? Would I scare away the plankton? Hell, is that even possible? Can you scare plankton?
I got out there a ways, maybe 50 feet from the breaking waves, grinning as the roiling white foam flashed blue and turquoise. It looked like there were strands of those blue Christmas lights in there, lighting the foam from within.
So odd, subtle yet not. I mean, it’s not like the waves were bright beacons turning night into day. It was just like any other coastal night, except sometimes parts of the waves glowed shades of bright blue. But that little bit managed to skew everything, in a good way.
Just me, and empty beach, and dark sky, and black waves, and liquid light.
I’m no nature boy, but I love me some ocean.
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