|Seal Harbor Beach, August 6, 2010|
With the kids home from camp and the town filling up with all the wonderful friends we see only once a year, my beachcombing has been unusually social for the last month. Earlier this month I spent an afternoon at Seal Harbor Beach with my daughter, who is 9, an old friend (who is my age) and her daughter, who is 2. It had been sticky hot for days, and here in Maine we don't tolerate that well, but there was a soft breeze off the ocean that felt lovely. My friend had brought the most amazing beach umbrella - it had more joints than I do and could block the sun from any direction. It even had a sort of screw on the bottom end of the pole so it went into the sand very quickly. I must have one! Although truth be told I don't hold still on the beach for very long...
Seal Harbor Beach is relatively shallow for at least twenty feet from the low tide line, so the water is often warmer than other ocean beaches. ('Warmer' is a relative term - the Atlantic Ocean is numbingly cold and hypothermia is a possibility year-round.) Because it is sheltered in a cove there is very little surf so it is a good place to bring smaller children. The shoreline is naturally rocky, covered with pebbles and larger rounded stones we call cobbles. The town "replenishes" the sand yearly, which is environmentally questionable, but practically a god-send since there is only one real sand beach on the island and it is usually packed with tourists. Over the course of the summer, the sand wears away and the stones work their way back up, so water shoes are a must.
The beach portrait: