Sunday, September 5, 2021

Create special moments by the sea

What’s more fun in the summer than a trip to the beach?

Even if school has started, a day or weekend at the beach is a great way for the family to beat the heat while enjoying the magic of surf sand at the ocean.

Even better, take along 50 Things to do at the Beach by Easkey Britton (Princeton Architectural Press, 2021). This handy book is chock full of tips to transform your day into a meaningful and inspiring return to nature. 

Follow along as Britton, an environmental scientist and professional surfer, shares important information about the connection humans have with the sea—its impact on our health and well-being, benefits of seaweed varieties, medicines, calming effects, ability to lower heart rate, and more.

At the same time, the sea is a powerful force that we strive to understand. Learning about tides, rip currents, waves and the creatures that live there can help preserve the ecology of our land. Knowing details like that can also help keep you safe at your chosen beach, Britton says.

Once the author has engaged readers with facts about the ocean, she delves into many fun things to do at the beach. Beachcombing (barefoot if the sand is soft) and finding seashells are popular activities which easily become part of your relaxing day or can be incorporated into a scavenger hunt for treasures like a crab shell, sea glass, something rough or something smooth, or whatever strikes your fancy. Watching sea birds and searching for dolphins or whales will also keep you occupied throughout the day.

Then make some sand art. It can be very simple or very complicated. Using a child’s sand pail and a stick you can create a wondrous selection of castles, moats, and rivers. Beautiful sea sculptures are often showcased at special festivals where artists try to build the most amazing structures; perhaps you’ll arrange your beach visit to coincide with one of these festivals.

Of course, you can head into the water to play in the waves or swim. Just be sure to follow any restrictions for the day and know where dangers might be hiding (rip tides, sharks, jellyfish, steep drop-offs, etc.) Britton recommends that vacation beach goers stay in water shallow enough to touch the bottom, use mineral-based sunscreen, and wear UPF protective clothing.

Finally, Britton encourages readers to give back to the sea: Practice conservation, eat sustainable seafood, do a quick clean up in your area, help restore coastal habitats, and leave no trace from your visit.  

Doing things like this will help ensure that our country’s beaches are safe and enjoyable for generations to come.

 Photos from free sources.

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