So what do you do in Nova Scotia when it is too hot and humid to be outside at home and you don’t want to spend the day indoors because that is what you have to do all winter long. You go to the beach of course.
Nova Scotia has 13,300 kilometres of coastline. Not all of those kilometres are beaches, but I can assure you that there are plenty of beaches along the shores of my home province. With at least 45 being on the radar of local residents and available for everyday use. Plus the beautiful public beaches in Nova Scotia are free for everyone.
I personally live thirty five minutes or less away from five beautiful beaches and about an hour away from several more. My favourite of all these beaches is Martinique. At just under 5 kilometres long, Martinique beach is the longest sandy beach in Nova Scotia. It is also a wildlife refuge area for migratory waterfowl and a protected area for piping plover.
When you arrive at the beach, you breathe in the fresh salty air that lacks the sticky humid qualities of the air you so recently ran away from. You feel the ocean breeze immediately cool your body and perspiration becomes a thing of a time further inland. You hear the music of the waves driven by the tide and you know you are somewhere you want to be.
We arrive with beach chairs, straw mats, hats, towels, an umbrella, sunblock, a cooler with snacks and drinks–sometimes wine and beer, sometimes water and juice. And for me a UV protection shirt. We set up our gear and plop into our chairs then adjust the umbrella to keep the direct sun off us before spending the first little while just listening to, and gazing at, the waves as they break on the sandy shore in front of us. This is where we will spend the next few hours.
Sometimes we arrive to be greeted by a costal fog bank that the sun is trying to burn off. Sometimes it is successful, other times not so much. It is usually a warm fog and the air temperature plus the lack of humidity combine to make for a pleasant day although it is grey in colour. Fog doesn’t stop east coasters. Nova Scotians are a resilient bunch so a bit of fog and the cold Atlantic Ocean doesn’t stop them from playing in the waves.
Other times we arrive to brilliant white waves offset by an electric blue sky and an intense sun that warms the sand and our bodies. Those are the days when the water feels even colder because of the noticeable contrast in temperatures. Those are the days when, even though I am wearing sunblock, I toss my towel over my legs and feet to keep them from burning. The Doc and I, as well as JT, all burn very easy.
Some days we walk the beach, either on the hot sand or where the waves travel up and then retreat, letting our sandals and flip flops get wet to cool our feet. These days, I rarely go in further than my knees, if that, and hardly ever play in the waves. The Doc, not being an original east coaster, almost never goes in because he finds the Atlantic a little too cold for his liking. These days, we both prefer to watch and listen and relax.
Today we just sat and enjoyed the surroundings while nibbling snacks of crackers and cheese and kobossa along with some potato chips. The cooler air and the sounds of the tide at Martinique were more than enough to make the day perfect. If you ever get to Nova Scotia, head down the eastern shore and visit Martinique beach. You won’t be disappointed.
Thank you for reading.
Photos: Jenn Stone