If you go to the ocean and it’s not frigid, you have to go in. So I did.
The mornings here have been misty and overcast with a decent breeze coming off the Pacific. The breakers keep coming in in long, creamy lines down on the sand, which we can see from the deck high up on the hill.
It’s been a lot cooler here than I’d expected or packed for– right now Grand Marais is hotter than the Oregon Coast– but the sun came out this the afternoon, so I suited up and walked down to the beach.
I felt surprisingly self-conscious, the tourist instead of the local for a change, and cautiously unfamiliar with currents; I wondered if no one else was in the water because they knew something I didn’t, or if they just had a higher temperature standard than I did.
So I took it slow. I waded, weaving deeper and deeper, and then shallower to give my ankles some relief. But it wasn’t anywhere near as cold as Lake Superior and I acclimated and felt that easy happiness of bare skin and sun and water, and it didn’t matter that the other beachgoers stayed on the sand.
I found more shells and watched pointy-billed sea birds wheel and turn and saw remnants of clear jellyfish floating back and forth with the waves. Then when I was finally chilled I walked barefoot up the hill and took a hot shower and fell asleep on a blanket on the deck with salt still in my hair.