No, those are not ants struggling in the water. Although I definitely thought they were when I first looked down the side of the cliff and saw little dots floating on the clear, crystalline blue Pacific Ocean.
No, not ants at all.
As I clutch at my rapidly cooling coffee, my mind has been drifting away from the cold winter days and back to last summer. What better things are there to do on a chilly, Tuesday morning than dream about the summer?
I posted about our trip down the coast earlier in a two part series (part one and part two), but then I discovered some photos on my digital SLR that I thought would be fun to share. Hopefully, you guys can do with some nice, warm photos of the summer. Am I right?
These photos were taken with my 55-250mm lens on my Canon Rebel T1i during our trip through Big Sur last October. The 55-250mm lens is not a lens I use often because I tend to be very close to my subjects or am in a setting where I prefer to have a wide angle lens that can capture a broader swath of what I see. I reserve this lens for when times when I know I am looking for something specific, such as birds I know will be out of my range, people who are far away, and some landscape shots where I am trying to focus on a specific point of interest. I rarely need to take sniper shots. But when I discover ants swimming in the ocean, having the lens helps to clarify that they were, indeed, surfers enjoying the water.
What I love about these photos is the fact that you can see clouds of sand billowing like smoke in the water. Up close, we might not see anything but water, but from up high—it’s beautiful and mesmerizing.
I don’t actually know how they got down there. The cliffs are high, and there was no clear path down to the water. And a brief search on the internet has revealed that this surf spot is at a prime location. And it’s private land. Out of respect for the landowners, I don’t plan to reveal where these photos were taken. Not that it’s difficult to figure out where this is . . .
Before you do try to find access to this or other beaches in California for your surfing needs, please note that a lot of beaches are private. The ocean may be free access, as is the strip of sand between low and high tide, but many of the beaches are not. This means that, without prior permission from the landowner, the public does not have access to those beaches. People, of course, are not particularly happy about this. Last year, California Governor Jerry Brown signed legislation to force a billionaire to provide beach access from his property. The controversy continues.
The exception to this is, of course, if the general public has been using land for a very long time and have acquired a prescriptive right to use the beach. I won’t go into the more complicated legal issues that come up surrounding this issue here. But just know that there has been a lot of litigation surrounding this issue.
People get tetchy about beaches, apparently.
(For more information about the beaches in California, California’s government provides an access guide that, unfortunately, costs money to purchase.)
As for me, I just want to enjoy the view!