Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Unique Things to Do at the Beach

Here You Are

If you're away from home at a beach or tropical resort with your family or children, perhaps everyone isn't a fisherman. Maybe they get "motion sick" easily. Or more likely you need some "downtime" to just relax and enjoy the ambience. That IS why you're on travel vacation in the first place, isn't it? Not to worry, the beach isn’t just for kids and teenagers. All the family can enjoy the shore provided, of course, there aren’t “elbow-to-elbow” tourists. You can also do more than just get a tan (or a sunburn). Get up and get active with some of these suggestions. The old favorites are always fun which is why they’re still popular. You can toss a foam rubber ball Frisbee, play with a beach ball (nice because they deflate for easy carrying and storage), go inner tube surfing (cheap and increasingly harder to get but you can also deflate them). Don’t forget your sand sculpture or sand castle building tools. Here are some additional suggestions to consider for enlivening your beach / resort vacation.

photo: A Sea Porcupine, from the Caribbean waters off San Andres Island, Colombia

1. Collect driftwood

Especially if you’re of a creative bent, this can be not only a unique, but profitable pastime as well. What figures or forms do the driftwood shapes conjure up in your mind? What might they look like when painted or polished? How might you mount or display them?

2. Collect shells

Long a popular beach pastime with children and adults alike, it can still serve as an interesting activity for the kids (or you). Even more so if you’re on a new, foreign or strange beach which may well offer up some unique surprises. Make a collage, a display or shadow bow of your best finds when you get back home.

3. Catch crabs and crustaceans

We used to walk along in the surf of the Chesapeake Bay with a framed meter-square piece of window screen to trap all kinds of small crabs, crustaceans, sand worms and even small fish. It made for an interesting series of “catches” and provided endless hours of simple fun for me and my siblings. With eleven younger brothers and sisters, it also kept us out of “trouble” or at least reasonably so. Sometimes a fisherman would buy our “catch” for use as live bait, much to the profit of the local ice cream vendors.

4. Surf fishing

There are all manner of collapsible of multiple piece rod and reel kits you can easily pack in a suitcase or store in a car trunk. Whip it out, local regulations and conditions permitting, and try your hand at whatever the regional waters offer. Some surprisingly large catches can be made in less than two feet of water. Just put on a snorkel and dive mask, wade out to waist-deep water, stand still for a few minutes with your face in the water. You’ll often be thrilled at the number and size of the fish and other sea creatures you’ll see all around you below the surface. In many tropical waters, it’s like standing in an aquarium.

5. Catch live bait

As was mentioned earlier, like bait can often be sold to local fishermen (or use it yourself). Use a cast net, walk along in knee-deep surf with an old window screen and bucket. Minnows, crustaceans, sand worms, small eels and crabs are all susceptible to this method. Be sure to check local regulations first. Keep them alive and fresh in a bucket partially filled with water.

We'll look at a few more unique activities for non- fishermen in another upcoming post. See you then.

Larry M. Lynch is an English language teaching and learning expert author and university professor in Cali, Colombia. Now YOU too can live your dreams in paradise, find romance, high adventure and get paid while travelling for free. Need professional, original salt or fresh water fishing related content or articles for your blog, newsletter or website? Have a question, request, or want to receive more information or to be added to his articles and information mailing list? Contact the author at:

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