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A snapshot of coastal glory

WHEN
1:55pm
1.2.14
WHERE
Little Corona Beach

Sometimes you don’t realize just how big the ocean is until you—or in this case, other people—are in the middle of it. You can get that sense in this photo, though. Photographer Jon Zich spotted these two paddleboarders a good distance offshore, cutting through a thick, huge bed of kelp at low tide. Boaters hate kelp—the stuff can stop you dead in the water if it wraps around your propellers. And swimmers aren’t all that fond of that slippery, slimy plant either—it’s just not something in which you want to get tangled. So you have to wonder what our boarders were thinking. Perhaps they were experiencing something altogether different—delighting in the calm sea, the warm afternoon sun, the salty air. “It’s hard not to be affected by the natural beauty surrounding us,” says Zich. “The vastness of the Pacific Ocean can take your breath away, even after seeing it many times.”