Friday, August 6, 2010


Yesterday was another hot & hazy afternoon, so I set off on my bike down Old Beach Road in search of cool breezes. I did not head to the beach (old or new) however, as I've begun to view sand as a hassle. I feel awful about that — what an uptight, kill-joy, fuddy-duddy attitude (!!). As if dealing with sandy feet and shoes and towels creates that much extra work. But when it comes to relaxing in the sunshine (entirely justifiable, as we all need Vitamin D, right??), I'm partial to rocks. Nice warm rocks. They're great in the off-season, too; no towel needed. I just plop myself down on a gently-sloping bed of gray radiating warmth, my backpack for a pillow, and veg. Or "chillax," as a friend said in an email message yesterday.

There are lots of spots to access the rocks — and no one can accuse me of giving away local secrets, as these are clearly-marked "shoreline public access" points. One of my favorites is at the far end of Easton's Point, off Tuckerman, where Super Son says the hard-core surfers venture out to catch some serious waves when conditions are right. No surfers yesterday, though. It was calm, relatively speaking, as I sat looking over a sparkling late-afternoon sea to a few silhouetted chimneys above the Cliff Walk, across the way. One other woman was chillaxin' way off to my right in the direction of First Beach, the ABC (Atlantic Beach Club) and Flo's. A couple to my left were fishing. They appeared to be catching fish, actually — the bowed pole says it all — so I wandered over to ask what they were catching before getting back on my bike to head home. One can chillax for only so long before feeling guilty about everything else one ought to be doing ...

The fisherman seemed a little uptight as I peered into his bucket (do fishermen not share fishing secrets??). He gave a one-word answer to my catch-anything query: "Scups."

"Are you trying for striper??" I asked, knowing nothing about fishing but knowing Mr. Betty often hopes for striper when he's out fishing (catching nothing) and that he almost always orders striper if he sees it on a menu.

"Nope." said the fisherman. "Tired of striper. Scups."