What do you call that? The place where water meets the shore? There’s a name for it, if there’s sand. I learned it in school …
A beach. That’s it.
Sorry. It’s pretty technical terminology if you’ve grown up on ships and stations.
There was a beach on Janus that I visited once. I was part of the first survey team, before we’d even named the planet.
It was a curving, crescent shore, between two rocky headlands. The rock was all basaltic and block pyroclasts, very dark outcroppings of rock charging into the surf, framing the bay. They were laced with the bright vermillion of the branching coral tree-fungus that grows there, swaying in the wind. Between them, the water was very dark because of the sand - almost black, but very fine. Hideo, Coase and I stood out so brightly in our orange atmosphere suits.
We were assaying the place for the terraforming project. I remember kneeling down and feeling the sand through the suit’s glove, watching it pour through my fingers.
I’d seen beaches in the movies, but it was the first time I could imagine lying there under the red sun, without a suit on, and just taking it in.
It’ll take nearly a thousand years on Janus for the atmosphere to be breathable.
Funny thing is, with all the hypersleep travel I do, I might actually be alive then. Maybe I’ll come back.
They say there are beaches like that on Earth, but I’ve never been there.