9/22/08

Saltwater in my soul

One of the questions I am frequently asked is:

"What do you miss the most"?

Well apart from the obvious answers like family, friends, decent bacon and cheese - I miss the sea. In fact there are times when I literally ache to be by the sea.

Since I was tiny I have always loved the sea with a passion, well looking at it and swimming in it anyway. You see you're unlikely to come across anyone else more adversely affected by seasickness!

I have had some pretty horrendous experiences on the sea, most notably a ferry journey from hell between two Greek islands, when I thought I was going to die. I have even been found lying on the floor moaning during the short hop across the English channel between Dover and Calais, on a huge stabilised ferry!

But this has never quelled my passion for the beauty and serenity of just being by the sea. Maybe it's because I'm an 'islander' and from a nation of famous seafarers, after all us Brit's are indelibly linked to the sea throughout our history. I think saltwater probably makes up a little bit of what runs through our veins.

If anyone has ever doubted my love for the hubster, then they only need to consider how I moved to an entirely landlocked state, miles from the ocean for him!

It's now almost 3 years since I last caught sight of the sea and that was from around 30,000 feet, probably the only other time my passion wanes somewhat! Next year I plan on visiting the UK and one of the first places I will be going, is to sit on a beach for a few hours and satisfy my yearning.

The coastline of England changes dramatically dependant on where you happen to be. But my favourite coastline is the dramatic one surrounding the county of Cornwall. That's the bit of England referred to as the toe, the long skinny bit sticking out on the bottom left.

I have been on some great beaches in my life in different parts of Europe. But the one in these pictures, taken on the Canary Island of Fuerteventura, was the most breathtaking. Just miles of white, silvery sand and clear turquoise water - simply stunning.

I love nothing more than to swim out and then just lie back and float as I'm buffeted by waves and gaze at the sky above. It is indescribably peaceful and relaxing being cradled by the water, with the distant sounds of life overtaken by the sound of the sea. When I can't sleep I have a sound machine that will play the sound of the sea and it will relax me and send me to sleep within minutes.

To be honest though, it can also be a wild day with huge crashing waves, turned to a steely shade of grey and spray filling the air. You'll still find me just as relaxed, but in awe of it's power and stormy beauty too.

The sea has a smell that cannot be replicated, a sound that pricks my ears in anticipation of that first sight as I top a hill, or round a curve. I scan the horizon for a seagull, knowing it will lead me back to a source of great comfort to my soul.

Here I am in my element a few years ago; hopefully it won't be much longer before I am once again reunited with one of my great loves.

22 comments:

Lynne said...

I love the ocean. I used to go to the shore every summer when I was younger. For the past almost 20 years, we've gone to Hilton Head every year. The first time we went, after we checked into our condo, I walked the block or so to the beach. I didn't stop until I was in the water up to my waist - still in street clothes. I love to just sit and watch the water. It makes me feel like my problems are smaller than a grain of sand - it really puts things in perspective for me.

We didn't go to HH this year, but I'll be there next April. I can't wait to hear the sound of the waves, smell the ocean breeze and sit in wonder.

Mare said...

When I was a kid, our yearly vacation was spending the week at Aunt Emma's house. She lived one block from the ocean, and I have some very fond memories of these visits. Being born in June, I am a water sign, and I love the ocean. When I would go back to visit my family, I always would plan a stop by the ocean-just to look at it. The Atlantic Ocean does have my high school ring-a big wave kinda took over and when I surfaced...no high school ring!
So, I share your love of the salty air, the sandy beaches, the birds cawing, the shells, sand castles,...[I could go on!!]

Mary said...

Count me in. We head to the Maine coast each summer. I love falling to sleep at night serenaded by the waves.

Antler said...

Oh.....We live on an island salty sea all round. I can go out of my house, walk a few minutes and see it on 3 sides....I can walk 10 minutes and be on top of the cliffs.

I love it - would seriously miss it if I had to move.

Not only that, the dog would be sad too!

Sandi McBride said...

Oh for a lovely rasher or two of British bacon...I keep telling Mac that Canadian bacon IS NOT British bacon...sigh...You must come visit me, I'll take you to Myrtle Beach...it's lovely this time of year or any time of year...
hugs
Sandi

Giggle! said...

Oh Bugger! My Hubby feels it too!

His passion is for surfing! He LIVES for surf!

But he moved to the ONE town that doesn't have anything even close to a wave!

And he did it to be with me!

Breaks my heart that he has to be without it... so I'm feelin ya!

*Hugs*

BTW I have an award for you, the post before my last xx

Jill said...

Oh I will rival you on seasickness... I have never been on a boat w/o feeding the fish - my poor husband usually warns everyone around me when we get on.

I know what you mean about living near a body of water too. We currently live on the Bay of Bengal now - with the sea less than a mile from our house. Unfortunately it's so polluted we can't even go in the water. But we can sure smell it!

Anglophile Football Fanatic said...

I feel the same way. I find myself feeling a bit claustrophobic not being near to the water. Even if I don't go to the beach often, knowing that the sea breeze is blowing inland is enough for me. And, like you, I get very seasick.

Brit' Gal Sarah said...

Mare - very intersting as I am a June baby too and I never thought of the water sign thing before. That explains alot about my love of water generally.

Kelli said...

Great post! I can feel your passion and love for the water. Peace and calmness fell over me as I read your lines about how you feel floating in the waves, looking up at the sky! Brilliant!

Daryl said...

Ah the ocean ... I dont love the ocean to swim in but to walk along the beach and take pix .. its fabulous

Come to NY and see the Atlantic from our side ... its quite different than the side you're used to ...

:-Daryl

gingela5 said...

I love the ocean too! My husband and I are planning a trip to Florida next year so we can relax by the ocean. Although here in Oklahoma I think Lake Arcadia is pretty close to the ocean! :) haha

willow said...

You certainly are land locked out there in Okie land! I feel the same way about the sea, too, and wish I lived close enough to enjoy it more. Sigh.

Katie said...

ohmygoodness. I want to LIVE ON THE BEACH. I would rather be poor in paradise than anywhere else.

cute pic! :)

pamokc said...

Yep landlocked and I don't recommend going to the nearest seaside right now -- that being GALVESTON, which might be having a few issues for the next few days, weeks, months ....

I do love to be beside the seaside myself! A favorite English memory: Fresh fish & chips at Hastings and feeding chips to the seagulls. Then it got scary and turned into a scene from The Birds.

Expat mum said...

I used to miss the sea even when I lived in London!
This morning I walked home from Michigan Avenue, up the beach and through the park. Beautiful - except the beach is on Lake Michigan which is fresh water and therefore doesn't smell. (Sob.)

Stuart Peel said...

I can see the Med from my building, and I try and get to and into it whenever I can. It's one of the reasons I came here.

And yeah, the bacon in Spain is rubbish too. Certainly not good enough for a bacon sarnie with loads of ketchup !!

Rob (Inukshuk Adventure) said...

Sarah, I'm with you on the sea sickness thing. I suffer terribly and always le Shuttled to France. Having said that, I love the sea and so miss living near it. We have Lake Ontario just a few minutes away and that's great, but it's not the Ocean. There's not the small of the sea!

I'm now drooling for a bacon and HP sarnie......yummm!

Mmm said...

Yes, I love Cornwall too..and DEvon. My family lives in Norfolk so only about 1.5 hours from the sea. We often go to Wells-next-to-the-sea whenver I am visiting.

I am land locked too. Not so fun but then again, I am not so into the ocean as many are. I don't even like the smell of it but do love the land around it!

Great post.

Janet said...

I love the sea. I think you're right Sarah, we Brits have salt water in our blood.

In California, I was lucky enough to live by the ocean for 5 years, and it's the only thing I miss.

I've been to Fuerteventura too, as you say lovely beach, as long as you had a wind break. :-)

Brit' Gal Sarah said...

I am not surprised to see so many of you share my passion, there's just something about the sea.

But I am sorry to hear a few of you share the seasickness!

Thanks for all the great feedback everybody :-)

Janet said...

Sarah, sadly, the downside of being along the coastline is what my Gulf Coast friends are suffering right now.

I know it may sound crazy, but one of the attractions to us of the village we live in is that it's about as far from the sea as you can get in England. And our village is one of the highest points in Oxfordshire. There's too much flooding in the UK now, and I'm personally concerned about rising sealevel in future years.

But I love visiting the seaside. I just don't want to live along it.

Janet