So I go to Pepperdine for the Christian scholars conference and I run into this other alumnus from my period at Carolina—- Francis Collins. I’m sure you’ve heard of him. Turns out he became a Christian while he was there, and in fact so did I. So picture us singing the UNC fight song at the science and faith conference. Anyway, he presented an awesome powerpoint lecture on genetic research and its ability to help us cure diseases, and he also talked about creation and evolution in a helpful and non-confrontational way. I was still left wondering why in the world the God who can raise Jesus from the dead in a nano-second would need or bother to set the clock to millions of years until the creation process worked itself up to homo sapiens. It doesn’t really compute.
Whilst at Malibu I had various myths I had previously believed firmly refuted by the empirical evidence. I am referring to myths about the Pacific Ocean. It turns out Brian Wilson (no not the pitcher for the Giants) lied to me all those years ago about California beaches etc.
Myth Number One— the blue Pacific is more beautiful and more user friendly than the bonny Atlantic. False. Unless you are a surfer dude and just love giant crashing waves with lots of current, undertow and the like, it is not. In fact the Pacific is a good 15-20 degrees cooler than the Atlantic. There is no Gulf stream off the Pacific coast to keep it warm. Unless you prefer Maine kind of cold to Myrtle Beach kind of warm when you go swimming you can forget the whole Pacific for normal summer time swimming.
Myth Number Two— You can also forget the Pacific for body surfing, which I do every summer in N.C. or S.C. You will get yourself thrown straight to the bottom with those gigantic Pacific waves if you are not on a board. Forget about it. The Atlantic wins hands down.
Myth Number Three— the beaches themselves are better on the Pacific than the Atlantic. Not the ones I have seen up and down the coast (I’ve been to various places in California from San Diego north, and places in Oregon, Washington and Vancouver as well). In fact, at Malibu you have these rickety old houses right on the beach! That is totally not allowed in North and South Carolina where there are no private beaches up and down the basic coastline. It’s public property, shared by all. Sand is sand anyway, and there are plenty of big broad soft sand beaches in the South Atlantic states.
Myth Number Four— There are more beautiful women on California beaches. This one will be debated, but in terms of population density there are far more human beings living east of the Miss. who go to south Atlantic beaches than persons who go to Pacific beaches. Sorry Beach Boys, you can sing all you want about California girls, but you needed to come check out the Carolina girls before rendering a verdict.
Myth Number Five— The seafood is better from the Pacific than the Atlantic. There is good seafood everywhere, but if you want things like flounder or large bay scallops, or swordfish, the Atlantic has an edge. Not to mention that it is way less expensive to buy seafood on the east coast, and way less expensive to rent a place at the beach on the east coast, than on the Pacific.
Myth Number Six— the weather is better on the California coast. Not if your vacation is in May, June, or July. You have what they call the June gloom in Malibu and the general region. This amounts to clouds and mist and even fog from the marine layer in the morning, though by the afternoon you get some blue sky finally. You also get more heat intensity from the sun, so you need total sunblock there. Tanning is no longer much of an option in California if you want to actually avoid skin cancer. And since the water is 60F and the wind picks up, even in the afternoon its chilly at the beach in Malibu.
Myth Number Seven– the beaches are readily accessible in California. Let’s ignore the private west coast beach places for a moment where you can’t go, and talk about general accessibility. Guess what, there are not many hotels visitors can stay in real close to the beach in and around Malibu. I looked. And this is one of the beaches of choice in north L.A. You need a car to get there. I had to walk three miles each way just to get access to a public piece of beach strand. There were all these millionaire mansions eating up the prime coastline and blocking all access to the beach itself. I walked past Cher’s zillion dollar umpteen acre shack in the process. I ended up after all that walking carrying a beach chair feeling like a Norse god— Thor, very Thor. Give me Wrightsville Beach or Cherry Grove Beach any day, any time for any purpose but surfing!
Having said all that, here are a few pictures of a pretty decent beach at Malibu with some industrial strength sea gulls, big ole waves, and some tasty clam strips at the clam shack.