San Francisco is not known for its beaches, or at least it’s not the first association that comes to mind, though the well known Mavericks surfing contest takes place on the fierce western shores up in Half Moon Bay a few miles to the south. But those who meander to the western edge of the Golden Gate Park on rare and fortunate sunny afternoons are treated to this grand view across the Great Highway, a vast expanse of natural sand where the Pacific Ocean comes in as it pleases, signs of shifting tides visible far into the drifts. Locals don’t speak much of this beach to the turistas, because most of the year, it’s overcast with rowdy freezing gusts that will have you wrapping on the layers right quick. Hardly a beach suitable for beach wear.
But on this day, a friend and I biked around the Cliff House, looked down, and saw that for this moment, life was good, and the sun shone down upon us and agreed.
An oft stated semi-myth of Saba is that it has no beaches. In fact, this is a somewhat ambiguous statement, and depends on what might be defined as a “beach”. Down in Cove Bay, just below the airport and around the corner from the tidepools, large rocks have been hauled in to make a small pool-like breakwater, and some degree of artificial sand has also been shipped in, but the relentless weather means that the big rocks all around the sand are always visible. A truer definition of a persistent year round beach is at the Cave of Rum Bay, a picture I shared in an earlier blogpost,but the beach is inaccessible, except by boat (or a long swim around from Wells Bay). Wells Bay itself used to have a reappearing seasonal beach, but the increase in large swells battering the lee of the island over the past several years has locals generally pessimistic about whether that beach will reappear…ever. In the end, Mama Nature will do as she pleases.
In any case, families frolic on the Cove Bay beach area, and this little girl dragged her lawn chair out into the shallow water. She looks kinda winsome in this picture, but she’s probably just curious about some skittering nearby crab.