26 October 2007

Late afternoon at the mouth of the creek

04September2007, Tuesday, late afternoon (notes from Tuesday, but not transcribed from the handwritten journal 'til this mornin'.)

Another late afternoon opportunity to wander to the mouth of the creek. It's interesting now that I've committed myself to document the happenings here, to become that self-appointed inspector of this small piece of earth, how the opportunities seemingly present themselves where they hadn't before. There's a desire, at least a week old, to be here daily and see what's changed, what's the same, and what's new to discover. It's a few brief moments from my day to reflect and relax, and to share, if anyone cares to read along.

Hazy again this afternoon. A large colony of gulls stands once more astride the narrow sandspit at the creek's head, fewer than in days past however. It appears the great feeding frenzy of the Labor Day weekend is waning. The humpbacks that put on such a great show disappeared about 1pm this afternoon, and haven't been spied since. The pelican population is down too from yesterday's air extravaganza.

Walked clear across the sandspit, through the gathering of gulls and pelicans, to the north side of the beach. A nice view of the birds paddling quietly where the creek dead ends in sand, currently barred by lack of force and mellow ocean currents from emptying to the sea. The north side is the more heavily used side of the beach. A small dirt road provides access for local folks to get to the beach without entering through the park's "official" parking lot and making the 5 minute walk 'cross the sand. In the winter, when the creek runs free to the Pacific, this piece of beach is only accessible via the narrow farm road. While still scenic in macro, an up-close look reveals extinguished fire pits with half-charred logs, beer cans, various junk food trash, and chain-sawed driftwood. Though within a National Park, this section of the beach is, in essence, sacrificed to appease, accomodate, and not annoy the locals. While not heavily impacted, and not overused, it certainly ain't pristine on this side either.

South of the mouth, eight surfers float atop the 60 degree waves. In my few years of observing occasional surfers on this beach...and there are never many of them here...few actually stand and surf the waves. Mostly, it's laying prone on top of their boards, floating over the waves, or ducking beneath the crashing foam. And those that do get up and ride a wave, don't have a long run before they have to bail out and return to casual floating. Still, not a bad way to spend a sunny afternoon I suppose.

The water on the creek side, in the estuary is clear and warm...warmer than the ocean at least. The submerged slope from the beach to the estuary bottom is steep, perhaps dropping off to 5 or 6' deep within a few steps. It's such a quiet, pleasant, almost warm afternoon that the thought of stripping off the green and gray, and testing the cool creek waters instantly leaps to mind. Perhaps if there were fewer people on the beach...and I wasn't in my uniform (or out of it) which would be quite embarrassing to pull on quickly if discovered...and I wasn't on the government dole and having to explain to my bosses why their midlevel whatever I am is publicly naked on guv'mint time. Gotta do that, though, someday. Perhaps I need to sneak out early some sunny morning before winter really arrives. Someday.

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