My Pacific Experience
The very first time I visited the West Coast of the USA (the Pacific), I experienced the vast space that is the coastline connected to the Pacific Ocean, some of it only accessible by vehicle/vessel, but great to park and just stare off into the ocean and relax. I did that and was feeling like I was in some 80s movie, in a jeep on a cliff, with a dog as my “roll-dog”, if you will. Minus the dog, I did just that, and it was something that I always wanted to do, all of my life. I actually went to quite a few coastal areas, which were all natural beaches, filled with billions of small and big rocks and such all over the place, driftwood all over the place, all along the Pacific Ocean, and I realized, THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO ONE OUT THERE ON THESE BEACHES!!! I mean no one, for miles, not one person, unless the property was owned by a motel. Me, being from the East Coast, couldn’t believe the amount of space that was out there, on a beach no less, and you’re not body to body with 1 million other people blasting noise from radios, no bellies and cottage cheese thighs all in your face while you try to relax??? WHAT WAS THIS SORCERY!!!??? This was completely unheard of to me. I started to think that there was something wrong with the land, like maybe there was radio-active material washing ashore (actually after the Japan Fukushima plant problem, there have been reports of some radiated items flowing over the Pacific), or used drug needles (like NY used to have in the 80s), or even toxic waste deposited by disgusting, irresponsible companies- whatever the case, I couldn’t figure out why it was 75 degrees outside and NO ONE was on any of these beautiful beaches. I had to take advantage of that opportunity, and immediately!
So I get out the Speedos (what? You gotta problum?!) and I go with a travel companion, I don’t even get but halfway to the water, still on the beach, and suddenly I notice it’s actually freezing!! It was 75 degrees and it’s freezing all up and down every place I went along the Pacific Coast. 75 degrees in NY, you’re sweating out of every crevice of your freaking body, this felt like 40 degrees! Still, I got in the water and it felt like my heart was going to stop and I’d go into anaphylactic shock and hypothermia!!!! It was soooo damn cold I couldn’t take it any longer. Before I could even get a chance to reconsider going deeper and doing a little swim, while I was distracted, I was overtaken by waves out of nowhere, bam right on my back! Man, listen, I got my ass out of there!!!! Me thinks that’s a major reason why I consistently didn’t see anyone on the beaches! lol Still, the ocean does offer some very calm moments, sunrises or sunsets and I meditated every chance I got. It’s strange, at home, I try to use sounds of the ocean (MP3 recordings on a Nomad Sleep Machine) to help fall asleep, to no avail. When I was actually sitting on the beach, I felt so relaxed, and at night that I would start yawning uncontrollably. I took a very long beach walk to seemingly the middle of nowhere, on my last night in Oregon, around sunset. I was tired because I barely slept at all, the whole trip, due to me enjoying every moment of my trip, not wanting to blink. The wind was cool, but not quite freezing yet on this particular day, but I knew it was coming. lol I came to an empty, seemingly desolate place to rest, and I wondered, “wow, have I ever really been out on a BEACH at night??? I’d never done that, nor thought to do that, I mean you associate the beach with sunshine, that’s daytime not nighttime. I wonder if I would actually fall asleep to the sounds of the real ocean”.
Of course, I did, for about 45 minutes, but I was suddenly awakened by an odd sensation in my pants, that was running down my butt, down my leg, dripping from my body as it reached my toes, making them feel like they were being licked by a thousand virgins, soaring like Virgin airlines, wearing virgin wool, oiled up in extra virgin olive oil. If that sensation is what the terrorist are promising when promising 72 virgins, then sign me up and Jihad my bod. lol It was the tide coming in, not diarrhea, silly! I had fallen asleep where I thought the water could not reach, but apparently, it did, a good 30 feet from where I saw the tide before a dozed off. When I came to, the day had completely given to the night sky, and where I was absolutely PITCH BLACK around. There were no stars or moon or a damn hint of light, it was completely cloudy, the tide was rising I couldn’t see a damn thing in front or behind me, but the lights off to the distance, north or south. I had wandered too far from my hotel. I had also not really done much night photography with absolutely ZERO light that the human eye could see, I wondered what the would look like. I heard that if you leave the lens open for long periods of time, you’d get light that your eyes couldn’t see. I decided to try to take some pics but I had only gone out with my Sony A6000 and I didn’t expect to be out that late, and never thought of being out where I was at the time anyway. So I wasn’t prepared to shoot at night, but I made the most of the situation shooting and using my bag and shoes as a tripod, wanted to test this new Rokinon 12mm I had just bought for dirt cheap. I was amazed at the ambient lights I saw, the picture itself is MEH but it was a learning experience. Seriously, I couldn’t see a DAMN thing and couldn’t get the Rokinon to see a damn thing either, and it’s manual so you have to set the A6000 to shoot without a lens because it won’t detect the lens. I even tried focus peaking and nothing was turning any color to show me what was in focus, all I could see was a tiny light off in the distance. Just had to wing it. I never knew the sky would produce light even though I couldn’t see any at all, again, I’m not a pro photographer, so I never know what to expect until I’ve done it first.
After a while of walking and legs being tired, I headed back looking for life on the beach. Oddly enough, I bumped into more people who came out at night, to enjoy the beach of all things. So I was definitely on to something. If you ever feel like you really want relaxation, isolation, quiet time with your thoughts, head out to the Pacific Coast, Oregon to Washington side, and experience it for yourselves! Your nerves will thank you later.
As always, the finished products can be found on the main site of www.drunkphotography.com.