Sunday, April 1, 2012

Cold Sand Between Your Toes

Having cold sand squish between your toes is a pretty magical feeling.

It probably indicates one of two possible scenarios; either you're about to go for a surf out of the high season, in spring or autumn when you don't quite have to wear boots yet but it's cold enough that there aren't many other folk about, or that you're up before the first rays of the sun have warmed the sand and you're about to be the first person in the water today.

Cold sand happens everywhere on the planet if you wake up early enough because sand, with all of the tiny little gaps between the grains, heats up and cools down really quickly. It reminds me of early mornings in Western Australia, or running over the sand dunes before the sun's risen high enough to hit the beach on the other side in South West France, pre-work surfs in Cornwall and Costa Rica and waking up in the dark in Indonesia to try and peer at the whitewater way out on the reefs. I love cold sand between my toes not for the squidgey feeling but for everything that it signifies.

Whichever position you might have found yourself in, it's bound to be a good one.

This particular morning at Bells Beach I'd slept in my car aiming to get in the sea before anybody else. I was woken up in the dark by a set of car headlights swinging into the carpark though. Dammit. This local tradie beat me into the sea by a matter of minutes for his pre-work surf and I took this shot just before I locked up my car and ran down the famous wooden stairs to the sand to paddle out in his wake.
I know now why there's a race for the first lift of the morning at ski resorts; everybody wants to lay down the first tracks of the day.

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