It never rains in Sunny California, or rather, almost never. We are taken by surprise by a late November storm with horizontal rain, strong winds and dramatic black, purple and grey clouds intersected by short sporadic bouts of sunshine. Driving in rainy weather is one of those extremely rare sensations. In California we are about as challenged by slick wet asphalt and worn out window wipers as the East Coast is challenged by snow and sleet. We are so blessed by sunny warm weather most of the year, that we felt like creeping under a warm cover, but the day – and life – is just too short for such selfish miserable pity feelings.
I remembered how the Germans love to encounter severe weather, whether rainy, windy and bitterly cold beaches in Denmark during winter storms – or the hottest sweltering days in the desert of Death Valley, Nevada during August (so hot venturing outside your air conditioned car can be deadly.
Today we chose to embrace the weather, found weather proof sailing jackets and baseball caps and took a walk on the windy beach at the long, wide and sandy Newport Beach to let the wind and sand sweep into our faces. Powerful waves were beating the sandy beaches, foam was gathering along the edge of the water.
The seagulls were all facing into the wind, in strange, seemingly non-sociable large formations, to keep their feathers straight. No day for ruffled feathers. Wonderful unique photo opportunities of rare weather phenomena were everywhere. A kite surfer was whisking back and forth creating a great daring spectacle with his bright orange kite for the less daring and adventurous of us.
The pier was standing strong and somber against the sinister looking waves, and a walk into the ocean was a stronger, more challenging sensation of wind power. This was not a perfect day for surfing or fishing. A different day in otherwise sunny California. The skinny palms were bending dangerously in the wind.
Written by Zia Hansen. Photography by Zia Hansen