During my visit this year to San Jose, California, we happened to drive to the coast with a friend. He brought along his kids and told us that we were going to the "beach". Before this, the only beaches that I had experienced were the peaceful beaches of the West Coast of India where one can easily walk around and experience the gentle sea breeze. Needless to say that I was expecting a similar experience. But nothing in the world could have prepared me for the Pacific Ocean.
It began with the picturesque 17-miles drive. You have to pay USD 9.50 for one vehicle to enter the drive which takes you through the residential area of Carmel with quaint houses on both the sides of the road. I was told that some of the richest people of California and some Hollywood stars have their summer houses here.
As we drove through the winding roads, our friend's kids were getting impatient. They wanted to step out on the beach as soon as possible. And same was the case with me, though I chose to keep quiet. When we actually reached the Pebble beach, there was no sea breeze to welcome us. What greeted us was a wild sea wind against which we struggled to keep standing. Kids could not be left to themselves else there was a risk of them getting blown away. The waves were huge and the sheer strength of the largest ocean in the world could not be ignored. The Ocean was clearly the master here.
So we chose to bow down to it and try to find a quieter beach.
Continuing down the 17-mile drive, we found a small beach which was windy as well but was comparatively quieter. This is where our friend allowed his kids to play a bit in the sand while I took off to click some pictures.
The rocks had some red coral growth on them which has withstood the constant attack of the waves. And there was a colony of sea gulls who were not too happy to see me. So they took flight before I could take a picture. Though I did manage to catch one sitting on a rock in this picture.
Huge volumes of pungent sea weed gets washed on the shores. I do not remember seeing these on any of the Indian beaches.
On the whole, I feel that every ocean as a character. While Arabian sea is more like a gentle lady, Pacific Ocean is like a young man who has just discovered its strength and likes to intimidate anything that happens to cross paths.