Heading to Heide-A-Way Beach

I haven’t always found it easy to be spontaneous but I’m beginning to think that a bit of spontaneity in one’s life is highly gratifying. This summer has been full of on a whim type decisions and trips to good end. We’d been planning some island camping on the weekend but last minute changed our location to a beach with no name. We didn’t even know where it was exactly but decided with the amazing weather (no wind) to head out and see if we could find it.

Friends of mine were already out there for the week and a vague facebook status update became our lead for finding them. Find them we did, on a huge sandy beach soaking up the sun. It was a huge happy surprise.

The beach

Lily was SO excited to play with fellow home learners Maya and Lily. This salvaged float turned boat by their dad, Ben got a lot of use. Don’t be fooled. Even though it was hot hot hot with all the sun, the ocean water was freezing cold!

Lily and Maya getting a ride.

The tides were really huge during our stay on the beach. After moving some of the piled driftwood, we set up our tents as far back as possible but the water still came almost up to our camp. It rose and fell about 6 metres giving us an extra 200 metres of beach when it was low.

High tide was right up to our camp

There was never a dull moment. (you can click on any of the pictures to see them bigger)

Face paintingBalancing KidCamp KitchenCamp

Even if it just meant standing in deep sand watching the waves wash over our ankles, cooling us down.

Enjoying the cold waves washing over his ankles

The beach was ALIVE with sand fleas at the high tide mark where they feasted on piles of decaying seaweed. Did you know sand fleas aren’t bugs at all and are actually crustaceans! It’s much more obvious when they change to this orangey colour after they die. This is a picture of our campfire the day after. Drawn to the heat or the light?

Sand Flea Suicide

This beach was so big, I didn’t even explore the bigger half of it. We found some incredible and curious things. Shannon found her second Japanese glass fishing float! We explored an eighty year old shipwreck right there on the beach when the tide was low. Flattened into the rocks but still mostly intact.

Ben and Shannon camp in luxury and decide to bring an old bathtub in their skiff. It’s now stream fed and heated with a fire underneath. What better way to wash off the salt from the ocean water and relax in the evening?

DefensiveCreekside BathStrange


Running after supper and a dessert of baked banana smothered in chocolate cashew butter. The beach running got even better at dark when you could then see the phosphorescence under foot.

Running after supper

It was so hot that we had to get in the shade at times throughout the day. The adults mostly read or slept and the kids painted wood or their faces, made necklaces and bracelets with beads or read funny poetry.

When you run out of paperAround the campfire

Accenting whatever we did, day or night, was the sounds of Grey Whales blowing and feeding. What an incredible sight. They feed by scooping up the sandy sea floor capturing little sea creatures in their baleen. It was wonderful that they were so close but it also meant they weren’t in deep water and we didn’t see much tail out of the water.

Us, disheveled and all

Nothing better than spending time at an amazing place with good friends.


7 Responses to Heide-A-Way Beach

  1. That all sounds so wonderful! I need to take some photos so that I can share our great adventures too. And I agree, a little bit of spontaneity increases the fun factor!

  2. Erin says:

    I love spontaneity. I think I suffer from too much of that drive at times! My life is chock-a-block full and my to-do list can get long if I don’t say “no’ occasionally. When it comes to adventures like where you went to, I would have a REALLY hard time saying “no”!!!

    It all looked glorious, and what great fortune to have great friends to double/triple?? the fun!

    The beaches you can access are simply stunning. My beach-loving heart is beating wildly as I savour these photos.

  3. Sarah says:

    oh wow. It’s bedtime here but I couldn’t resist checking your blog before I log off. I starting reading but quickly decided to skim over your post, because I am SO looking forward to coming back and savouring it all tomorrow! ;)

  4. Sarah says:

    oh my god, this is too fabulous to be real! What a wonderful trip. Each time I read something I stopped and had little dream about what it was like, and it just kept getting better and better! Spontaneity, friends, beach, good weather,fun, food, camping, A BATH on the beach, whales… Just brilliant.

    I have to say I truly think you live in the best place ever, you are SOOOO lucky.
    What a great summer for you all, I’m so glad things are good up there for you, seems like you made a very good move ;)

    lots of love X

  5. Dawn Suzette says:

    What an amazing time Annie!
    Thanks so much for taking the time to share with us. Your spontaneity this summer has inspired me for sure. Our last trip out to the farm was put together in a couple of hours and I have to say that althought our camping trip next week has had some planning your trips gave me the inspiration to go ahead with it… just me with the kids! Yikes! :)

  6. debbie says:

    this is so beautiful! it was a nice fantasy vacation for me here in ohio…SIGH! what a charmed summer memory for your family. and WHALES? come on…

  7. Magda says:

    Wow, Annie, what a great trip – it looks like a magical place… Yay for spontaneity, summer and ocean beaches! :-)

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