Two recent visits to Arthur’s Beach: once on my own and once with my lovely sister. Both visits were blessed by unseasonably warm weather, clear skies and a calm sea. Both were for me a reminder of why I started this business of cleaning beaches in the first place – as an act of profound love for the sea in general and for this special place in particular.
The first of these two visits, I arrived just as the tide was beginning to recede. As you can see, Arthur’s is split into two by a massive rock outcrop. (The second half of the beach is only just visible behind the rock – the tide at this end of the beach reaches all the way to the cliff face.) Rather than stay in the first bay, which is where I do most of my cleaning - my bags usually fill up before I get very far – I decided to walk along the tide line and clamber over the rock and head for the far end.
I’m glad I did. This is what I found:
Turquoise blue sea nonchalantly meeting with golden sand. Apart from the birds I could hear but not see, the beach was deserted. I stepped onto the beach feeling like the luckiest person on the planet.
This really is a beautiful beach. A place to sit and dream, perhaps, feeling the sand between one’s toes. Or to swim, naked, and feel the bite of the cold water in the sea and the benign touch of the surprisingly gentle breeze out of it. I swam first and dreamed later. Then I clambered back over the rock and picked up two bags of ocean debris from the other side of the beach.
The swimming is what drew me to this beach nearly two years ago. It is where I fell head over heels in love with the sea, and where I first discovered the ocean debris and beach litter that has become such a huge part of my life and work. I was more than happy to share this wonderful place with my sister a week later. And yes, she swam naked, too!