One of the things I miss the most about going home during the summer is the beach. I love the beach. This is Panmure Island. A lot of people prefer places like Basin Head Beach. I understand why - Basin Head has a bridge you can jump off and squeaky sand (I've never understood why they call it "singing" sand - it doesn't sing, it squeaks). I think Panmure will always be my favourite - I practically grew up there.
When I was a kid Panmure was the only beach I ever remember going to. My grandparents house was just a couple of miles away. We would go to the beach and play. I know when I was really little I didn't know how to swim but I don't ever remember being afraid of water. I used to stand at the edge and try to jump over the waves. I'd play in the sand. I'd bug my mom or big sister to buy me ice-cream.
I don't really remember taking friends to the beach when I was really little. That's not exceptionally surprising. We always lived in the country and there generally weren't any other children my age around. Often one or more of my cousins went with me but they were usually older as well. But because I was alone so much as a kid I think I was generally pretty good at entertaining myself (umm my older sister may disagree with this - she generally thought that I was a pain in the ass).
When I was little we were still allowed to play on the sand dunes. People didn't know then how important they were. There were all these trails going from the road to the beach over the sand dunes. You can still kind of see them because the grass hasn't grow back over them properly. Now there is a boardwalk for you to walk along. It also had a little sight-seeing tower.
Panmure is kinda cool because it's a stretch of beach connecting a peninsula to the rest of the island. It's just road and then beach on both sides. There's the "bay" side on the left. It's a very pretty bay - the sun sets over it every evening and I've seen some truly spectacular sunsets there. The bay side is warmer than the "ocean" side. It's shallower, calmer and generally has less jellyfish. But it's also full of eel grass - yuck!!! I hate eel grass. I think this is the side where they used to have swimming lessons but I'm not sure - I took my swimming lessons someplace closer to home. The "ocean" side is on the right. It's the side with all the dunes. The water is colder, there is more sand, and it's the side where we usually spent all our time - even though it had way more jellyfish. Oddly enough I don't ever remember being stung by a jelly fish until I was about 16. The ocean side is the one in the pictures.
I remember going to the beach after PEI got hit with the tail end of a hurricane. It was weird to see how overnight the basic structure had changed. The sandbars were slightly off. The drop-offs weren't in the exact same places. I was with my friend Melissa and that was the day we found our first sea urchin. I had heard that they had been processed at a fish plant at the other end of the island but had never really seen one before.
Another time, during a oddly warm January I went to Panmure. The weather was warm enough to just being wearing jeans and a sweater. It was weird to be at the beach then. There was ice under the snow pushing it up in weird formations.
I've been to the beach at night as well. I remember one night there were sooo many stars - it looked as if someone had taken a dark blue bowl and poked holes in it. It was an amazingly clean night. And then off in the distance - way out in the water I could see lightening. It was...I don't even know what to call it. I must have sat there for an hour just looking at it.
Every time after we left the beach we'd rinse off in the public showers. Most of the time we snuck down the road and used the ones at the campground - the water tended to not be as cold. Then we would hop in the car and go to my grandparents. We'd have baths there and then visit for awhile. And my grandfather would always have strawberries and biscuits for me. Still my idea of the perfect end to a day at the beach.