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Castaway on Boneyard Beach

January 2022

I had read about Boneyard Beach (named after the bleached trees washed up) near Jacksonville FL and so we decided to take a day trip from St Augustine to see if it was worthy of painting. We knew that dogs are not allowed on the beach itself so we took them for a walk along the trail through the trees first.

I really wasn’t sure if the beach would be all that fantastical as it’s name…….but as we walked down a path to where it cut through the dunes, Jim turned to me and said “I’ll take the dogs, you need to walk back along the beach because it is that good.”

And it was - my first view of these large unearthly natural sculptures exceeded my expectations. I was in awe as I walked back towards our parking spot, camera in hand. It was like being in some alien landscape and I was dwarfed in size by many of the structures.

At several points in the walk I had to scramble up rocks and across tide pools. Much of the time I was alone but I always saw footprints that let me know I was on the right path…and made me feel a bit like Robinson Crusoe. At one point I saw a large orange blob in the distance that I mistook for a tent but appeared to be a giant buoy cut adrift and marooned when I got closer.

After meeting Jim and the dogs for picnic lunch I grabbed my painting supplies and hustled back down where I captured the feeling of the scene, leaving some fine tuning and darker details for later. One of those day trips that feels satisfyingly worth the time And what a pleasure to soak it all in by walking the length of the beach.

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