Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Looking out to sea

As much as I adore bicycling on the beach my primary focus is oddly not normally the Atlantic Ocean but rather the destination to which I am cycling. This is not to say that the sea is uninteresting (though I suppose in a general way it is); instead the landmarks - being located adjacent the water - are what usually capture my attention.  In the context of our current hibernation on Daytona Beach Shores it is Ponce Inlet which has clearly overtaken my focus since our arrival.

Today however my eyes were set upon the sea. Regrettably there is a popular sentiment that if you've seen one ocean you've seen them all.  Personally I know this not to be true.  I like to think I can speak with some authority on the subject because I have spent considerable time on various sea coasts throughout the world, the Pacific Ocean (British Columbia, California and Mexico), the Atlantic Ocean (Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Maine, Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard, Nantucket, Hilton Head Island, Florida, Ireland, England, France, Netherlands and Norway).  Without exception my recollection of the sea in every one of those locations is unique. Where I temper my gusto is capturing the scene photographically on my iPhone which is not exactly well-suited to the panorama of wide-angle shots.

Anyone who loves the ocean as I do knows the allure of the limitless horizon. This vastness is further augmented by the equally huge sky above.  The combined effect of these two hyperbolic elements is that everything within their bounds appears miniscule by comparison. The people and the sails are dwarfed by the immensity of the perspective.

Very often the horizontal scene seaward is diminished by its lack of variance. Essentially the sea is just one very great extent, mockingly unchanging by virtue of its constant repetition.

Until there is something in particular to arrest the eye the view is merely endless and rather more hypnotic than diverting. Small wonder one eventually succumbs to less ethereal magnification.  It is not every day that the sea lends itself to any such particularity.  The commotion of humanity is by necessity restricted wherever it occurs and certainly when it comes to being upon the face of the ocean. I was nonetheless determined to screw my vision upon whatever I might discover at sea.  Happily I was not disappointed.  Fo reasons I am uncertain there was a small parade of yachts today in Ponce Inlet.

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