A page a day

A professional writer's private thoughts

Archive for beach

Stellar Santa Barbara Sunset


I took this photo last night at Haskell’s Beach, next to the Bacara Resort in Goleta. Enjoy – and season’s greetings from the South Coast!

Seal the deal

Perched on a rock.From a distance (and in this sub-par photo), this seal just looked like a rock perched on another rock.

Then the rock went swimming as I ran by and I realized it was a little harbor seal, probably hiding out from the juvenile great white shark that has been roaming our coast this summer.

Or maybe it was lazy like me and wanted to sleep in. Glad I didn’t – it was a beautiful beach morning, between pelicans diving, seals snoozing, and a slow hazy burn off that made the landscape all sepia toned.

When I ran back down the beach, the lazy seal stayed put. Hope to see you again.

Just another day in paradise

Devereux morning

Another beautiful summer morning in Isla Vista. Looks like it promises to be a great warm August day. Take advantage while they last – the days are getting shorter and fall is just around the corner. I started shopping for sweaters this weekend. Then realized I was being an idiot and spent the rest of the day outside. Enjoy.

Now with more sand

DoritosEvery day I try to pick up some trash from the beach at the end of my run. Today it was a water-logged bag of Doritos. “Now with more salt and sand..”

Stupid thing to take a picture of, but I just liked the color of the red bag against the dark beach.

After UCSB graduation in June there were mylar ballons on the beach every day for a week. I guess people let them go after their parties and they drifted away. Picking up all those balloons really made me mad. Cleaning up bottle rocket detritus after the Fourth of July didn’t bother me as much.

You’d be surprised how many people leave unopened beers behind on the beach. I see at least one a week. (No, I never pick them up and run home with them. Or drink them. But I’ve thought about it.)

That’s all I’ve got for today. I hope your weekend is beach trash free and that you find some unopened beer.

A fortune made of sand

Sand dollar.

Saturday morning I went for a very long beach run all the way from Isla Vista to past the Naples surf break, which is about five miles up the coast from I.V. The tide is out far enough now to go all that way on the sand, and it was a beautiful summer morning to be out in the sun, running, thinking about things, and listening to good music.

On my way past the beach at Ellwood I noticed that there were lots of whole sand dollars in the surfline. I will often pick up a perfect whole sand dollar, because they feel lucky to me. I’d put them in the same category with pennies found in the road or silver dollar pancakes. You don’t see them very often, and they inspire this perfect little feeling of happiness that is entirely real and pleasant. They’re not always common on the beach here, but maybe this is summer sand dollar season. Lots of luck to go around.

There was no surf to speak of, but there were pelicans, starfish, nice dogs and walkers and plenty of other sights to see. The Bacara looked like a sleepy Meditteranean village perched on a hill. It’s less offensive to me than it used to be, but I really hope the new owners decide to abandon the proposed condominiums that would have major impacts on Haskell’s Beach. The more wild this stretch of coastline stays, the luckier we all are.

By the way, did you know that sand dollars are also called sand cakes, sea biscuits and cake urchins? Baking and the beach – the perfect combo!


Orange starfish.

Pelican perch.

Pelican perch. This guy let me get really close to him without blinking. But he was watching me out of the corner of his eye.

Random Fridayness

Below Isla Vista

Usually when I run on the beach I pick up some trash to throw away. I didn’t pick up this chair, surely an involuntary cliff diver off of Del Playa in Isla Vista. Something about it made me think of a movie I saw this week, “Safety Not Guaranteed.” If I could go back in time, I’d return to 1997. I’d still go to UCSB. But I wouldn’t let anybody tell me I wasn’t good enough to run on their cross country team. #regrets