Friday, June 22, 2012

10 Unique Beaches

Refrigerated Beach, Dubai

The Palazzo Versace Dubai property development is now 80 percent complete, according to the Emirates Sunland Group, the developer behind the £400 million project. As a world premier, the hotel will have the first ever refrigerated beach which will include a system of heat-absorbing pipes built under the sand and giant wind blowers, designed to keep tourists cool in the searing 40-50C heat.  

Hot Water Beach, New Zealand

Hot Water Beach is a popular geothermal attraction in New Zealand. This unusual beach attracts 130,000 visitors each year. The hot water can reach 64ºC (147ºF), but you'll have to dig a hole to enjoy it. These underground water reservoirs are formed by volcanoes as it reaches the surface. It's just the perfect location for a nice hot bath. Don't forget to bring some digging instruments and a bucket. 

Inland Beach, Spain

Gulpiyuri beach is near Llanes in Spain. Gulpiyuri's name isn't its only bizarre facet: this beach is found completely inland in a gorgeous little cove which looks like something out of a fantasy. The Cantabrian Sea bored through the earth to create this sandy spot, and though you can't see the ocean, its waves to lap the shore just like any beach — it's odd, like a magical wave pool.

Bowling Ball Beach, California

On the Californian coast is a town called Mendocino. Nearby is a coastal feature called Schooner Gulch, and this is where you can feast your eyes on what has become known as the 'Bowling Ball Beach'. Thousands of rocks appear to have gathered together to defy the tides like an army of small boulders. The weird thing is that these boulders are uniform in size and shape, as well as in their spacing, though man has nothing to do with it.
The explanation is simple and purely geological in nature. Technically called concretions, these hard spheres are composed of materials far more resilient than the Cenozoic mudstone that once surrounded them. Over millions of years, this has eroded away under the constant onslaught of the Pacific Ocean, forming the cliffs that line the shore behind the beach and leaving the tougher 'bowling balls' behind.

Glass Beach, California

Glass Beach is a section of coastline in MacKerricher State Park in California. After World War II, it was used as a public dump for two decades until local officials halted the practice. Since that time, the waves have worn smooth the glass shards disposed on the shore. However sad the original cause, the result is quite pretty.

Airport Beach, Scotland

Barra Airport is probably the only airport in the world where planes land on the beach. BRR is situated in on the wide beach of Traigh Mhor, on Barra island, in the Outer Hebrides, Scotland. If you want to fly here commercially you will want to book with British Airways, which flies to Barra from Glasgow and Benbecula.
The airport is literally washed away by the tide once a day, and if you arrive on a late afternoon flight, you may notice a couple of cars in the parking lot with their lights on, which provides pilots some added visibility, since the airport is naturally lit. Needless to say you probably don't want to hang out at Barra Airport beach, unless you are a aviation junkie, in which case Barra Airport has a fool proof system, as sign that reads: "Keep off the beach. When the windsock is flying and the airport is active."

Red Sand Beach, Hana Bay

The beach is located south of Hana Bay and it's also known as the Red Sand Beach. The trail leading to the beach is on a cliff edge and visitors should be very careful. Water shoes are recommended. The red color of the sand is given by a nearby cinder cone hill surrounding the bay. Swimming here is a different experience from everything you've tried before, just be aware of currents and don't swim behind the lava sea wall. Because the beach is so secluded, nudism is not uncommon.

World's Whitest Sand Beach, NSW South Coast

There's a quiet spot on the NSW South Coast that deserves loud acclamation, Tony Grantham discovers. At first glance, Jervis Bay is not the sort of place to inspire thoughts of world records and extravagant claims. But for a quiet spot it has big tickets on itself, though to be fair, the claims are fully justified. It has an entry in the Guinness Book of Records as having the whitest sand in the world (officially at Hyams Beach, though many others around there are similarly blessed) and the astonishing fact that the bay is at least six times bigger in volume and four times bigger in area than Sydney Harbour.

Green Sand Beach, South Point

Papakolea Beach is a green sand beach located at South Point, in the Kau district of the Island of Hawaii. One of only two green sand beaches in the world, the other being in Guam, the beach gets distinctive coloring from olivine crystals found in a nearby cinder cone. 

World's Most Crowded Beach, China

Reputed to be the largest sandy beach in Asia, world's probably number one bathing beach is situated on Huiquan Bay in Qingdao, Shandong Province. Also called Huiquan Bathing Beach, this beach is noted for its clear water, mild waves and soft sand. Even in winter this place is crowded with keen swimmers. 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Check In, Swim Out: The Boggsville Boatel

Artist and boat-builder Constance Hockaday has constructed a series of floating hotel rooms and a theater at Marina 59 at Far Rockaway in New York City. Boggsville is a floating hotel and theater built in the Neutrino tradition, that is, fashioned out of abandoned and re-claimed boats from the marina. Five of the vessels are leisure fishing crafts from the 70’s and early 80’s, ranging from 28 to 35 feet long. Another is a 70’s drifter houseboat remodeled into a rustic penthouse. The boats are all moored around a floating platform in the middle of a small bay.

Named for Ms. Nancy Boggs, who would move her floating brothel to either side of the Willamette River of Portland to evade the law – depending on where the authorities were bringing trouble to her business – the Boatel explores the boundaries of the hospitality experience.

The Neutrino drifted into Port Isabel, Texas where a 19 year-old college dropout named Constance Hockaday was living with her parents. Hockaday, a rather alienated young woman, immediately became enthralled with the idea of living on a boat and not paying rent. Before long, she was on the boat, so to speak. Her life hasn’t been the same since.

“It’s kind of a post-apocalyptic adventure,” said Katie McKay, 34, a designer from Brooklyn who was staying aboard the houseboat with four friends. “It doesn’t feel like you’re in New York at all.” 

The Boatel is the work of an artist, Constance Hockaday, who said she hopes to attract the romantic and the adventurous — and amid them, the marina’s neighbors — to this unlikely getaway. Under the auspices of Flux Factory, a Queens gallery, it will be open for reservations Thursday through Saturday all summer long, an experiment in urban vacationing and D.I.Y. ingenuity.

“When you think about it, the water is the last remaining open public space,” said Jean Barberis, the artistic director of Flux Factory. “As artists and creative people venture more and more into the outer boroughs, there’s less and less unclaimed territory on land. But the water is still completely open.”

Boggsville Boatel is a floating hotel and theater fashioned out of abandoned and re-claimed boats, all of which sleep 2-5 people. Five of the vessels are leisure fishing crafts from the 60’s, 70’s and early 80’s, ranging from 28 to 40 feet long. Another is a 70’s drifter houseboat remodeled into a rustic penthouse. Rooms include dinner and access to the Swimming Cities GOING AWAY PARTY on Sept 10, from 8pm-late. Kick it on your poop deck four blocks from the beach with cold beer, all of your friends and swim trunks—plus Cocktail Cruises in Jamaica Bay, Jerk Burgers & Pineapple Hot Dogs by Carnival Queen Lamar Iposa and Sea Shanty Karaoke.

July 7 – September 4
Marina 59, 5914 Beach Channel Drive, Far Rockaway


Americano is a Guido vessel with a long sloping bow. This boat is very private. The windows are tinted and the inside is very Slick Rick. $50 a night.

CRUMB is a quaint and comfortable boat and was probably previously owned by an elderly couple. There is a private sleeping area; it's spacious and perfect for rolling around in. She sleeps 4 people. This boat also has a shaded top deck with reclining furniture. $50 a night.

New York, NY is Euro. This boat has been remodeled to be more open than she was originally designed to be. She sleeps 3-4 people, and she has a breakfast nook, a great space for preparing lunches, and a desk for the writer-ly types. $50 a night.

Queen Zenobia is a classy little 30-foot yacht. She can sleep 3-4 people, if they are willing to snuggle up. On this boat there is a comfortable little breakfast nook and plenty of deck space for lounging around. $50 a night.

Ms. Nancy Boggs is a rustic floating cabin. This 1967 Drift-R houseboat has been remodeled into down-home love nest. This boat can sleep up to 5 people. There are two beds, one of which can fit 3.5 people. It is the perfect place to roll around with more than one or two. It has a spacious breakfast nook and several decks for sun bathing, fishing, or picnicking. $100 a night.


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