Fellowship and Solitude, Walking South along Island Beach Sands


“…to the lonely sea, and the sky…

and all I ask is a tall ship

and a star to steer her by…”

The stars we seek at Island Beach usually have wings:


Long-tailed Drake, Winter Sea, Island Beach, by Angela Previte


Rare Snow Buntings of Late December, by Angela Previte



Today is spring, spring in a time of plague. I don’t know it at first, waking… This morning, I first heard John Masefield’s treasured “SEA FEVER”, repeating and repeating, –as song, as message.  There was a significance in his masterpiece which I could not, at first, decipher.

                        And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.

First Day of the New Year in Stunning, Impeccable New Jersey

I don’t need Masefield’s ship. The sea alone will do. Or even the Bay, Barnegat Bay.

Exquisite Barnegat Bay Island Beach April

Our electrifying, infinite, luminous Atlantic. And that ten pristine miles, of dune and bayberry and lichen and beach plum and even ferns, overlooked by osprey nests beyond counting, — our sacred Island Beach.

First Osprey on Nest Island Beach April 2016

This magnificent park, with some exceptions in terms of structures, has never been altered, -by anything but winds and sands and waters of varying salinity-, since the Atlantic pulled back to grant us this noble beach.


Autumn Meets Winter, December Froth and Seaweed

My sea is different from John’s in other ways. Cornwall’s rocky coasts inspired him, and their “warm winds, the west winds, full of birds’ cries.”  Several of our Delaware Valley Impressionists immortalized Cornwall and can be seen at Doylestown’s Michener Museum in virusless times.  Cornwall’ tumultuous ocean captivates me beyond words, and not only because of King Arthur. Think Maine toppled upon Oregon, and add the British variety of oystercatchers ‘peopling’ crevices among those rocks.

But the gift of our Atlantic is sand, magnificent sand. Jerseyans proudly call it ‘sugar sand’.

Bare Feet of April Island Beach 2016

Bare Feet in April Sand, Island Beach

Those who know me, know that fellowship is huge for me, especially where sea is concerned.  Here is Ray Yeager, master nature photographer, in his favorite setting — Bayside:

Ray Yeager in his Element Barnegat Bay Island Beach April

Jeanette Spizzle Creek Trail Island Beach April 2016

Here, Jeanette Hooban considers which turn to take on the Spizzle Creek Trail. You won’t be surprised that she and Ray and I fully explored both options.

Fox Farewell Island Beach April 2016

Sometimes, our fellowship has four legs – though we are sad at the health situation of this noble fox. Humans feeding foxes ruin their immune systems. Yet, we were honored.


First Moss of Spring Island Beach April 2016

April was cold that year, and we were desperate for green. Healthy real moss where it’s always belonged, coming back to life, on Reed’s Road.


“Artist-in-Residence” – Compass Grass on the Oceanside, Island Beach, New Year’s Morning


Jeanette, Barefoot, New Year’s Morning, 2017

The Old and The New Island Beach April 2016

You can see that ‘the ocean’/’the sea’ means many things to me.

Realize that when I first read Masefield, this Michigander had not met the sea.

Masefield at dawn today revealed something I did not realize:

In this time of Corona-House-Arrest,

what I miss most is the POSSIBILITY of BEING WITH THE SEA.

Sea Fever

I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by;
‘And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea’s face, and a grey dawn breaking.
I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
                       And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.
I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull’s way and the whale’s way where the wind’s like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s over.

7 thoughts on ““I MUST GO DOWN TO THE SEA, AGAIN!”

  1. Hi Carolyn. So good to see these photos and the fond memory of that day. Awesome images from Angela too. Stay safe, better days are on the way. Oh, and thanks for the cameo shot lol.

  2. Fay, I thank YOU for all the beauty you’ve created for us to share, indoors and outdoors, in woods and on sand — your quiet deep appreciation of every aspect of every adventure is a gift beyond price. Blessings and blessings! Carolyn

  3. So grateful for this note, DEAR Angela! I had no idea, when I began to slide back into the need for the second hip to be changed, that it would mean this long without YOU! With you and Ray Yeager, always, as you walk those sacred sands, bathing yourselves in infinity! smiles c

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