Sunday, September 12, 2010

Too Far North

I blame Nick. >:( I like seaglass a little too much, and so does Hilary. So we decided that on our day off, we 2 would trek to find the beach that did frequently have good seaglass specimens. The geography goes as follows. SFS is on the southernmost point of the island, and there is a large expanse of shoreline here heading north east. The next bay is East Bay, with a beautiful, 20 years-in-the-making-but-not-really-going-anywhere hotel overlooking the ocean, where we cooked out last night. Continuing north, Shark Bay follows, then Highlands Bay, then Robert Todd Bay, then Valley Bay/Long Beach, which takes you almost all the way to the northernmost tip of the island on a peninsula. Our destination was Shark Bay, where Lizzie our intern had recommended we go, not too much farther than the walk the second group took to East Bay last night. Hilary woke up at 7, ate some breakfast, slathered on an uncomfortable amount of sunscreen, grabbed an obscene amount of water and set out for Shark Bay.

We were joined by a local black dog who seemed to be along for the journey for nothing more than some company. Our trek led us through the salinas where we took pictures of some flamingos, but were fairly unbothered by locals or wildlife. The road turned to dirt and we continued on past the hotel at East Bay, looking for our turn off to cut out towards the coast. With the navigational help of the dog, we found a few trails that led us past an old water well, through some scrub brush and up towards a small house on the hill. To the right of the hill, we headed up to the southern tip of what was supposedly Shark Bay, and it was. It looked just like the map. However, it was high tide, and the beach of Shark Bay was nonexistant. The breakers were also fairly strong on the east side of the island, so we decided to take a path along the cliffs to the next part of Shark Bay to look for a no avail. However, we did stumble upon a cool flat paved area with a carved piece of driftwood, that we stopped to take pictures with. 1.5 hours in and the dog was still with us, so we lovingly nicknamed him Trooper.

All along the east side of the island, global trash washes ashore. There were many nets, shoes, plastic bottles and broken buoys, lighter casings, and coconut husks, along with a variety of other odd objects like tires and baseballs. Ever wonder where the balls go when they fly out of ATT park in the San Fran Bay? Here apparently. We kept walking along the shore which was increasingly unavailable and rocky, as the rugged terrain kept getting steeper. We passed the house at Shark Bay, apparently past the Highland House, and all the way into the Robert Todd baybefore we found beach. 2 hours had passed and we finally were able to kick our socks and shoes off and jump in the water. An hour of searching produced many cool colors of sea glass, several curious fish friends, and Trooper waiting patiently at the beach, even though we hadn't so much as touched him. We took a quick nap break at 1 and headed back into the salty beast to collect more. The best glass was within 3 feet of the surface, so we were getting pummeled by the breakers like beached dolphins just to collect. As 245 approached, the tide was bringing too much algae to see or keep from being dizzy by the wave motion, so we got out and napped on the beach. Nobody was around and no boats came by; only us, Trooper, and 2 airplanes shared the beautiful white-sanded beach.

At 330, it was time to go home and we found the road a little quicker this time, although we were exhaused so it took longer to actually walk. Just as we found the main road, the skies got dark and downpoured on us. Luckily all we had with us were snorkel gear, swim attire, and 2 waterproof cameras. I consider that drench to be my freshwater shower for the day, and Ill push back my real freshwater shower til tomorrow. I only get one a week so I have to make it count. The other "showers" (baths?) are in the ocean with the biodegradable soap and shampoo I brought with me. We accidentally took a longer road to get back to town than before so even though we knew the way, the walk was still 2 hours back. Hilary and I had hit it off from the very start so we filled our two hours with stories or sagas from home, chatting about the Center and various other chit chat topics. We finally made it back in with Trooper, drenching wet, thouroughly exhaused, sandy from head to toe (the white sand here is quite sticky) and looking like all hell had broke loose. Hilary and I looked at the map to see exactly where we had gone, cleaned ourselves up to look like civilized people, and scarfed down a hefty snack.

Dinner was light for me and I went off to bed to nap before finishing reading the articles for tomorrow. Besides finding a giant cockroach on the counter where my toothbrush and toilletries are, the evening was pretty good. A few more hilarious recaps from the previous night and I am ready for bed.

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