My favorite time at the beach is very early morning, like when the sun is just coming up. The crowds are a couple of hours away and the place is generally empty. The only ones around are a few runners, some walkers, the seagulls, and maybe a photographer or two. Oh, and if you’re lucky, the guy driving what I like to call the “beach zamboni”.
A zamboni, of course, is a machine used to smooth the ice on a hockey rink (or a rink used for any kind of skating). If you’ve ever been to a hockey game, you know that they come out between periods to clean things up. Everybody loves zamboni’s. There’s even a great song about the danged things. If you’ve never heard it, go on YouTube and listen to the “Zamboni Song” by the Gear Daddies (here).
The guy on the beach is smoothing out the sand, obviously, and not ice. But it kind of has the same effect. When the first folks arrive to claim their piece of sandy real estate, they can be confident that all of yesterday’s bumps and grooves are gone, that it’s once again a virgin beach. If some kid dug a hole in the sand that’s 3 feet deep, well that’ll be gone, too. It even picks up some of the trash.
Then tomorrow morning we can do it all again. Me, the runners, the seagulls, and the zamboni guy.