June 29, 2011 by David Gillaspie
To the average flatlander, west coast means a warm California beach, someplace pretty enough to make it on a vacation brochure.
Picture a surfer, a beach comber, and a confused clam digger to complete the idyllic setting.
Those are Pink Beaches, so-called because of all the sun-screened skin around little swimsuits.
They aren’t the Blue Beaches found further north, named because you turn blue in the cold water after the initial flush from red to purple.
A Pink Beach comes with a daiquiri and a cabana on a sugar sand shoreline; a Blue Beach offers a Hamms pounder in a can, a parka, and a stroll through tangled kelp.
Walking into the blue surf isn’t a birth regression to the primordial soup of shared origin you get with fruity booze and warm oceans.
A Blue Beach walk in the water is more a therapy than a source of wonder; the rushing cold liquid forces more blood from your feet than if you were soaking in a tub of leeches.
The idea is to circulate more blood upward against gravity’s pull.
If you walk in to your ankles, you walk out with a line. Go up to your calves and the line raises.
This is where the 16 0z Hamms make a difference. You can get wet up to your ankles, but you need to chug a tall boy to raise the line.
Once you acclimate, chug another 16-er before moving above your knees. Take the time to chug one more before going waist high, then go all in. (Check with doctor to make sure you’re fit enough for a Blue Beach.)
On a Blue Beach you might come out red or purple and that’s okay, but the name comes from those who earn the blue skinned badge of courage for staying in longer.
The three Hamms left in the cooler are the ultimate reward for adding your part to Blue Beach culture.
You’ve earned it if you’re blue enough.