Digging to Roam

Sentimental Saturday, the Ocean and Seaside

I am going to take you on a trip to the ocean. With pictures let this post remind you of the beauty of the seaside, or if you’ve never been to the ocean I hope I can transport you there and get you to add the ocean (any ocean) to your bucket list.

Pacific Ocean – Westport, Washington – 2008

The ocean is all about perspective, when you stand by the ocean you realize how small you really are and how huge the world really is. In this photo, perspective brings us to a different place, it shows the wear of time. The ocean’s turbulent waters wear rocks into sand and wood into dust, zoomed in closely we can see just how worn down and whitewashed this driftwood has become.

Sun bleached driftwood

Zooming out of that piece of driftwood shows how large it really is. I’ve been coming to that beach since I was born and that piece of wood used to be miles down the beach, and it was so huge people would climb on it and hide in it’s tangled branches. Over the span of 16 years, between when I first remember it until this picture was taken, it wore down to this mass of whitewashed roots.

North Carolina sand and ocean

Every seaside location has a different story, there are different shells populating the beach, different people flocking to the shore. My favorite beaches all have the same thing in common, the freeing feeling that comes with a long stretch of sandy beach, uninterrupted ocean waves, and wide open sky.

North Sea, Yellowcraigs Beach, Scotland, 2012

This photo is not the best quality of the infamous Fidra island which inspired Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island. Yellowcraigs beach is cold, cold, and more cold but it is magnificent. There are tide pools to explore, soft sand to rub your feet in, and all the wind you could want to fly a kite. There’s something magical about the never ending blue captured in this photograph.

Mediterranean Sea – Marseilles, France – 2011

While not technically the sea, the port city of Marseilles in the Provence region of France certainly has the feeling of an seaside city. As a transportation hub between Africa and Europe, Marseilles has an eclectic vibe and a food culture that centers around seafood. This photo shows one perspective on the depth that the city has, from the religious iconography of the church on the hill to the historical residences next to the docks, to the sailboats populating the bay.

Atlantic Ocean, Cliffs of Moher, Ireland – 2006

The ocean is far from being all sandy beaches. Through time the powerful currents of the sea have carved deathly high cliffs, like the Cliffs of Moher. Drawing tourists from all over the world, the Cliffs of Moher are breathtaking. I like this picture because it captures the reality of the sea, it’s foggy, it’s wet, and it’s scary.

Humpback Whale Tail in Capecod, MA

In Cape Cod, summer 2008, I went on a whale watching tour with my dad and brother. It was an excellent day for spotting, and I captured several photos of humpbacks in the water. It can be easy to forget just how magnificently diverse the ocean is. There is so much unexplored nature in the depths of the sea, and whale watching is one way to be reminded of why we have to protect our oceans.

Pacific Ocean – Grayland, Washington – 2008

I snapped this shot of my cousin as she ran down to the beach when we were taking the dog for a walk. If you want to know the feeling of being at the beach, of living at the seaside, just look at this photo. The dry ocean grass and the soft damp sand are never ending when you sleep seaside. Only a short walk away and you’re at the edge of the world.

Most of all what I love about the beach is the impermanence of it all, it’s not carving your name into concrete to last for decades. It’s a moment in time, and if you snap a picture, you’ve caught a unique piece of time that will never return.


  1. mplanck on September 15, 2013 at 6:47 pm

    Just a perfect trip for an armchair invalid. My husband is promising a trip to the beach in October! I can't wait! So appreciate the wonderful photos, so varied in location and perspective, with your always informative and poetic captions.Your second photograph, 'Westport 2008, immediately drew my eye to the conformation of a horse's head, like the white horses of the sea…It is

  2. Rose L on September 14, 2013 at 5:47 pm

    You have seen many beaches! Love the4 shots, especially the first one.

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