The luckiest people on the planet are the ones that take that chance of going to the beach every day or the beachgoers as well as the ones that live on the beach.
There is no better life I suppose than a beach life. There are so many things and moments during the day from, sunrise till sunset to be enjoyed making it every minute of your life count.
The good news is that today if you love the beach you can actually adopt one. Yes, it’s true. You can become a parent to a beach and care for it on a daily basis. It means that you won’t be a single parent, but on a contrary, you’ll be part of a group that will care about that particular beach you love so much, observe it regularly and makes sure of her good health. It’s all about getting to know your beach better and enjoying on the way.
Some of the most beautiful beaches in the world are usually wild or a part of a national park, a protected area where you won’t find any hotels, restaurants or shops, except for the beach left in the wonderful natural environment. The campers though can enjoy their beauty to the fullest whenever allowed.
We all want our beaches tidy and clean. Beaches that are Blue flag awarded, meet the highest world standards for coastal environment, water quality, safety and access for all. The blue flag is an international eco-certification for beaches and marinas. Whenever you see a blue flag flying on the beach you’ll be certain that this beach has a clean water and sand, all amenities and facilities needed such as toilets, showers, change rooms, parasols, lifeguard etc. A waste separation on the beaches or different types of garbage such as plastic or paper will be available to be disposed of properly in separate cans. Also, the beach and the surrounding area include access paths to the beach and parking area that have to be maintained and kept clean at all times.
The seaweed is alive ecosystem and for some of the alive species, like the birds that live on the beaches serves as a food. I agree that it may not look attractive, but people that love the beach should love seaweed too. The seaweed that is left to be dried on the shore is used later on as a fertilizer.
I’m always glad when I see a sign on the beach. It makes things so easier. You’ll simply know what to expect, what is allowed or not and about the safety as well.
Because, some beaches, for example, include more of a sports activities, others allow pets and dogs while some don’t, some have turtle nests buried in the sand, finally some are calmer and others have bigger waves.
ON THE SAND
So, while you are lying on the soft warm sand in one laid-back afternoon, sunbathing under the gorgeous weather here is a thing to know: beaches can be made up of sand, gravel, shingle, pebbles or cobblestones or sometimes shells, but the sandy beaches are mostly made of silica (SiO2) in the form of the mineral quartz.
Many of us like walking and strolling along the shore and for all of us that enjoy that probably the biggest challenge would be the longest beach in the world, Praia do Cassino (Casino Beach) in the city of Rio Grande, Brazil (nearly 210 km long) or the biggest sand island in the world, Fraser Island located in Queensland Australia. What’s even better we’ll just have to go straight, no traffic, no fuss. Vehicles can disturb the beach life. Avoid driving on dunes or other beach habitats.
We, the people like having a lot of fun on the beaches and luckily for us the normal beach recreation doesn’t disturb beach life.
That’s why a lot of the recreational activities such as swimming, paddle board, kayaking, snorkeling, volleyball, jogging, yoga can be practiced daily by the visitors on such recreational beaches. Speaking of which, building sandcastles is one of the most popular activities, especially among kids. In fact, I haven’t seen a kid yet going on the beach without one of those cute packages with a shovel and a bucket ready for one memorable sandcastle. Sometimes though it seems to me that the parents enjoy even more than the kids do. So, here is your biggest challenge, the tallest sandcastle ever made, 16.68 m (54 ft 9 in), in Duisburg, Germany, on 1 September 2017. Although, some beaches may have ashtrays free for use keep in mind though that there may be cigarette butts in the sand which can be quite dangerous for the kids while playing.
While there stretched and relaxed on the sand a thought for some of the living creatures living there under the sand. I don’t know if you ever had a chance to see them before, but crabs and insects live in the sand and turtles nest their eggs in the sand, usually at night. We should always watch for the signs though, they’ll say if there are turtle nests not to damage any. We may encounter some animals or birds on the beaches. Feeding the wildlife, chasing or provoking is no good at all and we shouldn’t do that, instead, we should always keep a reasonable distance from the animals so not to disturb them in any way. You can bring your dog to the beach if the beach is pet-friendly and has a sign for that. It’s good practice to always leash your dog. Of course, cleaning after your dog in the same way as you clean after yourself is an expected behavior. We want our beaches clean and healthy because we love spending our time there and enjoying the beauty of it all whenever we get a chance.
When we are on some beautiful beach soaking up the vitamin D of the sun rays and feel that need for vitamin SEA, we should remember to use biodegradable cosmetics and always let our body to absorb the liquid an hour or two before we go in the water unless we want to kill some of the marine life. Look for the cosmetics with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide in non-nano form, which is considered safest for both coral and human.
IN THE OCEAN
The ocean covers 71% of the earth’s surface and from that, we only have discovered about 20%. Swimming can feel so good and be relaxing especially in the warm tropical crystal waters surrounded by coral reefs.
Probably you’ve already noticed how the people that live on the islands can stay in the water for hours. They enjoy it so much and yet is a quite normal activity for them. I’ve seen many times a group of people in the water chilling out for hours. At first glance, it seems like there is a bar somewhere in the water. But, then after a while on the island, you simply start doing the same thing, and you just can’t get out of the water it simply feels too good.
As much good as it may sound when you are a visitor in a place that you are not familiar with is always for the best to avoid going and exploring on your own and tell someone where are you going or what are you up to, even when traveling alone. Always check the safety level of the ocean when going to the beach for swimming or snorkeling and prefer going on the ones that have lifeguards.
If you get tired over there when swimming, don’t overdo it and know your limits. It’s never good to swim or snorkel when drinking alcohol. You’ll put yourself at risk since the waves heights sometimes can increase very quickly and your reaction will be slower which may cause you injuries. When we are caught in a rip current we should stay calm and let it go with the flow. You should just relax and float, a current will eventually release you offshore. Don’t forget to breathe, don’t panic and don’t fight the current you won’t win that one. Before you go snorkeling check for the rocks underwater too.
You should get familiar with the warning flag system. This includes different colors of the flags flying for different safety levels of the beach. The double red flag means that the water is closed for public use, the red one signifies rough conditions such as strong surf or currents, the yellow is for medium hazard and the green is for calm conditions lastly the purple flag is for marine pets such as jellyfish, stingrays, and dangerous fish.
There are some animals and species that you really don’t like to mess with when in the water. We have that violet or purple flag for the dangerous fish flying on the beach when they are a visitors in the shallow waters.
Keep an eye on the jellyfish which technically is not even a fish but an animal without backbones. They sometimes may be found floating in the shallow waters. Although they won’t attack humans when people get close to the jellyfish or touch, it may accidentally be stung which can cause an unpleasant itchy feeling. Another one of the species that like the shallow water is the Sea Urchin. Their spines are sharp and contain poison which can cause painful reactions to humans. Also, stingrays may be camouflaged in the sand on the bottom of the shallow waters. Finally, a shark is obviously the fish you wouldn’t like to meet. They can swim in the shallow waters usually in the dawn or at sunset when they are hunting for their prey. We should avoid swimming when the water isn’t very clear and has poor visibility. When fish start to act strange is a good sign that a shark may be very close to us.
In most of the cases, you should only take your memories and garbage with you when leaving the beach. There are rules and regulations for what is allowed to be picked up as a souvenir from the beaches and oceans.
As far as I know, touching the corals or taking anything from the ocean in most of the countries is illegal, or at least in the ones that follow the best world practices for ocean safety and conservation. In some instances, even seashells from the beach may be forbidden to be taken home as a souvenir. Some countries ban taking sand from the beach and carrying it with you in your luggage won’t be allowed, which it may make a sense since the beach will be quickly gone if every visitor out of 1 million visitors takes 1 kg of sand with them.
In the end a reminder: Participate in beach cleanups whenever you have a chance.