Monday, July 30, 2007

the only swimmable beaches in the state

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of swimming in the Pacific ocean -- El Capitan State Beach to be precise. Correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems that the only swimmable beaches in California are on the south-facing stretch between Malibu and Gaviota. To the north, it gets too cold, rocky, and shark-filled; to the south it is simply too polluted. On the east coast I grew up with the notion that "going to the beach" meant swimming in it. Here on the west coast there are people who seem to love going to the beach without swimming and without realizing they are being swindled and snookered out of one of life's great experiences. On the other hand, the surfers get it; they will not be snookered and go to great lengths to bond with whatever conditions the coast serves up. But for the simple act of heaving one's body in the surf and frolicking with the kelp, the Santa Barbara area has the best beaches in the state.


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