Pacific Ocean, BC - M Jago
I grew up in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, quite close to the beach. As a kid, innumerable outings were made to one of three beaches that wrapped around Semiahmoo Bay in the Pacific Ocean, and many happy hours were whiled away as I searched out the small crabs that dwelt under the big rocks when the tide had gone out, or used bull kelp to pretend I was Indiana Jones. As I grew up the various beaches became sites for walking and running, for hanging out with friends on summer evenings, and for horseback riding in the winter. I don't recall swimming very often at these beaches, but they were the places where I became intimate with the smell of salt water, the call of gulls, and the sea life that was hauled up in fishnets and on hand lines. These were not often the twinkling sunlit blue beaches of calendars and postcards; more often grey and green and hard with a stiff wind blowing, but they are emblematic of the Canadian West Coast.