This is no clock ticking for folks on the east end to enjoy the local ocean beaches. East enders are walking their dogs, doing their yoga, taking walks, surfing, even just sitting on the benches at the beach all year round. That said there truly isn’t anything as ritualistic as being at the beach in August.
This last weekend I was at Atlantic Beach for a picnic dinner with friends. It was a snapshot of everything wonderful about the Hamptons. As we sat in four wonderful beach chairs, we all admired, the folks and kids who were swimming, surfing, jogging, walking dogs, or just sitting around snacking like we were.
There were many of the latest expensive SUV’s parked right up to the crested sand above the breaking waves. Most with makeshift campsites including fires, BBQ apparatus and coolers along with all sorts of beach chairs. You couldn’t help but feel the joy and jubilation of everyone jointly celebrating the end of a beautiful August Saturday at the ocean.
We were no different, having just finished a day long sail along with two swims in Gardiner’s Bay we trekked over to Atlantic Beach in Amagansett to end the day with that special vibe only “our” ocean never fails to deliver.
Is it not a ritual? Can you not remember being at the ocean as a child in mid-August knowing school is just weeks away? Or as parent knowing summer vacation only had a few days left. There is a magic to feeling chill of the fading sun that causes one to put on a light summer long sleeved shirt or light jacket right next to the crashing surf.
My children loved to roast marshmallows on long sticks over beach fires years ago when we stayed in Montauk for August weekends. It’s a shame they were unable to visit me when I lived right off Ditch Plains beach a counted 453 steps from the surf. I thought of their excitement those first few moments at an ocean beach after we would arrive.
Yes there are many east end locals whose whole lives have included daily beach visits. Some for just a coffee or cigarette break. Others to get in an hour of surfing before or after work or others just to park an stare at the forever horizon over the breaking waves.
But make no mistake about it, beach days in August on the east end is what summer is all about. Those beach stickers for easy close parking are badges of honor come the busy summer season. Many times one can identify a celebrity or two of with their families just doing the beach thing. It is part of the Hamptons August beach thing, but so is walking down a bit to set up with plenty of privacy and room to enjoy, relax and realize the beauty that is an August beach day in the Hamptons!