Solid Gold Summer Sunsets and What Lies Beneath

Solid gold summer sunset at Malibu Beach

There is nothing more breathtaking than a solid gold summer sunset. Malibu Beach provided an amazing foreground for an unforgettable night. As the sun dipped lower on the horizon, I left my seat in The Sunset Restaurant, kicked off my shoes and snapped a few photos.

Solid gold summer sunset in Malibu

It was one of those magical nights when the color glinted off the waves. That’s when I noticed a few heads bobbing in the ocean. Wasn’t it feeding time?

Golden sunset at Malibu Beach

It made me think of a year ago when I watched another beach …on a movie screen.

Da dum.

Da dum.

Da dum.

Dadumdadumdadumdadum… Jaws at the pool. What a blast, but it freaked swimmers out. Soon very few heads bobbed in the water while watching the film.

jaws at the pool

I spoke with my mom while on my epic road trip. When I mentioned my son, Kelly, was surfing, she expressed concern about a rash of shark attacks. After some surfing of my own, I learned less than 1 shark death a year occurs in the United States and an average of 19 bites. I couldn’t find any news about shark attacks. Then I had a thought.


Have you been enjoying the summer sunsets? Have you watched Jaws? Would you go swimming in the ocean at sunset?

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67 thoughts on “Solid Gold Summer Sunsets and What Lies Beneath

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  1. When “Jaws” first came out in 1975 I was a kid. My parents refused to permit me to watch it. I still haven’t seen it. Though I did see the “Mythbusters” episode where they debunked the Hollywoodness of it…


  2. I’ve seen all the Jaws movies, and loved them! I also love swimming in the ocean at sunset, mostly because of the fright factor. That said, I don’t venture far from the shore. Banana boats, on the other hand…no, no, no.


  3. My wife Sue would enjoyed taking pictures of the sunset also. I remember years ago swimming at night in Hawaii and being scared out of the water by someone saying it was dangerous because of sharks. Write on!


    1. Sue and I share a great hobby!
      I remember that fish feed at daybreak and twilight. Great times for casting out a bobber. Not such a great time to swim! Truth be told, I don’t know the stats for time if day and shark attacks. Do you?


  4. Sunsets over the ocean are breathtaking… We landlubbers have to make do with sunsets on a horizon of trees, prairies, or mountains. I’ve never thought of being in the ocean at sunset…. That is a wild thought! We were in the Keys in April and I watched a small nurse shark swim along the beach in the tide. Not sure if it was a biter, but I wasn’t taking chances. BTW my school’s mascot is the shark! And yes, I have seen Jaws and read the book. I believe the opening chapter is a young woman swimming in the ocean in the evening…..


    1. Right!!!! Scariest scene the second time watching the movie. I scrunch down in my seat and peek over my hands every time. Yep. I’ve seen the movie several times now. Nurse sharks are notorious biters, if my memory serves.
      Go sharks!


  5. Great shots Susie.
    Watching the sun sink slowly into the water does something peaceful to the human soul. I don’t know how, I don’t know why, but I do know that it’s something I absolutely crave whenever I go too long without it.


  6. If your lovely sunset shots are solid gold, Susie, my mind-numbing struggles to shoot Manhattanhenge this week equal splintered wood.

    Yes, I saw Jaws. When it was first released at the Serra, a dump of a long gone movie-hole in Daly City, California, a place best known for bland architecture and fog.

    Since I’ve never learned to swim and only mastered the art of not drowning in the bath tub three years ago, swimming in the ocean is not on my ‘to do’ list.


    1. Great to see you, V!
      Thank you so much. I never know how they’re going to turn out until I get home and look at my camera. Sometimes I get lucky! The sunset did most the work. Backlighting is hard, so you would probably need a DSLR to get the effect you’re looking for, but I thought your pictures turned out great!
      I can see how swimming might be a challenge. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. A few weeks ago when I was in Florida, I was watching pelicans diving for fish just beyond the surf line at the beach. There was a porpoise also swimming around looking for fish, and I even saw evidence of a school of fish break the water. With baitfish and feeding going on, I would never go out surfing, yet there were a few people out on surfboards as well. Beautiful sunset photo!


    1. Thanks so much, Susan!
      I learned that where there are porpoises there are generally no sharks. Porpoises hang out around the fish so you were probably safe. Probably being a key word. Most of the shark bites reported in the US, happen in Florida. *gulp*

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t know the facts about the time of day sharks are more likely to attack, but I do know fisherman fish at dusk and dawn because that’s when fish “feed”!!! Just spreading rumors..

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Shark attacks are the very least of a surfers worries down in Southern California. Here is the reality of Surfing, body surfing and swimming in the Southern California beach waters when it rains and for 72 hours after the rains stop.

    It is the very present threat of stepping upon a stingray that is far more likely than a shark attack’, when stepped upon they whip that tail upward and drive that 15 inch long venomous spear like barb through the calf muscles, the venom causes severe muscle cramping and severe pain. We had to carry one guy along with the stingray to shore’ they had to kill the ray and pull the barb out as it speared all the way through’ he was in as much agony from the venom as if he had been stung by jelly fish, and was taken off to the hospital. Rare, but as with Shark bites it’s the one attack that ruins your day, and to add when speared by a stingray’ you’re going to bleed a lot, and that one thing you do now want to do in ocean waters is bleed’ because that does attract sharks’ sharks of varying species. It was the say sea creature that suddenly turned against the Late Steve Erwin when it pierced his chest and heart, but stepping on a stingray although more common than shark attacks are not something which happens often.

    But the real threat to Southern California Surfers and the very reason that make me retire from the sport of Surfing was the Toxic Sewage Spills and heavy metals runoff which was occurring with increasing events after rainstorms. My Father had a lot of years employed for the city, he flat out warned me to stay away from the beaches for a week after every rain storm and or Sewage overflow. The Post rain surf’ is very contaminated’ everyone stays away from the beaches when it rains, because those coastal waters are extremely contaminated, from Ventura all the way down to San Diego. You’re risking your life going into the water for up to 72 hours after it rains down there. It’s nothing to take lightly or to assume it will be ok’ it’s Russian roulette in entering the water and wearing a wet suit does not keep you from ingesting the contaminated waters, and that’s by far an understatement.

    So. Cali Beaches when it rains’ are usually closed due to gross contaminated diseased water’ as it is a serious health threat of contacting Cryptosporidiosis or other parasites thriving in human waste polluted waters which regularly contaminate southern Cali beaches when it rains, than being bit by sharks.
    That’s the reason the California State steps in and shuts down miles and miles of coastal beaches when there are Sewage overflows and or

    Stay out of the water for 72 hours after rain. That is the most critical times as the beach waters are at their most contaminated with heavy metals, pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, a petroleum products mostly motor oils, toxic Brake dust and fuels from thousands of cars washing off the freeways and roads down into the concrete river channels and spewing out into the ocean and getting washed through wave action up and down the coastline. L.A. has concrete river canals so there is no absorption of all those toxins. It’s a given that surfers down there know to stay out of the water for 72 hours during and after it rains in the L.A. Basin.

    They call it the seven Surf illnesses’ down there. You can get hepatitis – A, MRSA’, Meningitis, Vibrio Vulnificus, Leptospirosis, Encepphalitis, and other nasty diseases and respiratory illnesses.

    Here in Oregon our Ocean beaches here of almost 400 miles of coastline are treacherous’ a lot of people die in the rough seas’ some killed by sneaker wave that crash in and flood way up upon shore’ usually rolling huge tree logs over the beach goers and children playing near them, sneaker waves washing people out to see. And the rip currents combined with chilled cold waters drowns a lot of people, or some people fall off the sea cliffs. But in Southern California’ it’s the diseases in the polluted waters during and after rain storms, that will get you ill.


  9. Those sunsets are gorgeous, absolutely stunning. After seeing Jaws as a kid I purchased a “Jaws Protection Wrist Band” on the the boardwalk. I felt safe, along with the other hundreds of people on the beach wearing them and clearly helped make a genius very rich.


  10. In 2001 I was shark tooth hunting…using my wire scoop I dredged for some tooth treasure when I noticed that the waves on my right were “churning”. Right at my feet I saw a bullet shaped head, a fin and then another fin. SHARK!!! Can’t watch Jaws and don’t get in the water. I’m such a chicken.


    1. I have make wire wrap’ fossilized Shark tooth choker necklaces for my Wife’s teen nephew as he is into Shakes in one of his classes at school. We like to explore the tide pools’ and gently stick our big toes into the green sea Anemones and have them close in around out tow, with its soft gentle caressing green fingers tickling…

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Oh, MY GOD!! I would have completely freaked and wouldn’t have slept for weeks. WOW! I guess there’s a bracelet surfers are wearing that emit a sound wave to deter sharks. I might get one for the next time I go in the water. *gulp*


  11. Susie I forgot to ask you’ have you even witnessed the awesome ‘Green Flash’ it’s a west coast occurrence’ it’s a where your sit hand in hand and or cuddling and watch the Sunset’ just before the top of the sun settling down into the sea… there at the very right and last few moments the sky just atop the setting sun turns an awesome green and then it’s gone until another perfect cloudless evening to happen again. It is liken to finding lucky clovers or perfect delicious wines tucked away in little seaside boutiques, or finding awesome Victorian prints long hidden away from the sunlight and non faded in old vintage wooden frames. Well’ Susie if you ever make it to the West Coast Sea, do bring binoculars for the Setting Suns ‘Green flash’ and our twice annual whale migrations. There are plenty of Beach houses to be rented out, bring your favorite Kites as I know there is an ‘into the wind’ kite store there in Boulder’.


    1. You’ve been to Boulder, Brock! Yep. Into the wind does have a variety of kites!
      I’ve never witnessed the green light, but have seen it in pictures. I’ll be sure to tell my son since he’s out there for at least a year. We have gone whale watching in Santa Barbara and saw quite a few. 🙂
      Thanks for the tips!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Durango was our always morning first Town to venture into, when the sun fell warm upon the face, on chilled October mornings’, they were never long stays, as we were always on the move to the next nights stop’ or racing a Snow storm coming in fast and hard.
        Boulder’ oh yes’ ‘back to travel with the ‘Ghosts’ and my official weeks of school hooky every October, of yesteryear. Dad avoided major cities, not because he was wanted’ for they were honest Gamblers’ and murderers of game birds both, they only stopping for snow chains’ hard tack’ Peter smokeless shells for their Pheasant Guns’ before we were on the road again.

        ‘Into the Wind – Kites’ they have a sister outlet in Newport, Oregon’ a few miles west of here, where I got this Neck tattoo’ of a dragon’. Here in our ‘hundreds’ of miles of awesome coastal beaches. I’ in black swim trunks, muscle tee’ black wrap around shades’ and laying on my back watching the 50’ foot long Mylar dragon kite’ snake dancing up there in the vivid blue sky, or if the sea winds are blowing inland a bit harder then it’s our Diamond ‘sherbet green’ and ‘pastel orange’ ‘Tie –die’ bow tail kite. Usually the spools’ buried deep in the sand while I lay back love’ n’ and just watch it sail up there in the wind in the Vivid blue skies on lone secluded beaches. ‘Hang n’ in the skies’ it’s not every one’s joy in life’ but it sure keeps the elder years at bay.

        As for the Green flash of the Sun’ there are things that the camera just cannot convey to the heart’ that which only the eyes can convey directly to the heart in the moment of experience which is a heart and soul exclusive privilege’ of the moment of awe with all senses alive.


  12. Spectacular sunsets Susie. We had a pretty spectacular winter one in Melbourne last night too! As for swimming in the ocean at sunset, yeah maybe depending on where I was, but I think I’d stay in the shallows! 🙂


    1. Thanks, Miriam! Mother Nature did all the work.
      You’re on your way toward spring now. Winter sunsets can be stunning.

      I looked it up and you’re right about the shallows. It’s the third most common area for attacks. 6-10 feet being the most common depth. Still, you’re more likely to be struck by lightning. Who knew?

      Liked by 1 person

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