ON Monday, I was waiting to attend a meeting (some people from Durban were to host an event here) at St Michaels and had a few hours to kill. I watched the coming in of the tide as well as the flow of the hundreds of people who came and went as time moved on. It was a busy but not overcrowded beach day.The waves were rolling in as swimmers boogie-boarded or just bobbed up and down as they thrust through each wave front. Nearby, the inflatable water slide was ever busy (as were the nearby restaurants) and in the lagoon, people paddled peacefully upstream in their hired boats.Moms and dads accompanied their children whilst they fished or just explored the rocks and big logs that had been washed onshore. Couples sat quietly as the sun began to set, having refreshments and picnics on the grass banks or on the waterside rocks. Local vendors plied their trade and in one corner, a Christian group with an oversized cross had gatherings whilst adherents to the Muslim faith relaxed happily nearby with their families. School and youth groups had their beach fun as the ever vigilant lifeguards ensured that bathers kept between the beacons. The tide was coming in at a pace and people crossed the lagoon holding hands and in some cases, allowed themselves to be washed by the surge into the lagoon.All ages, dimensions and origins were there and I couldnt’ help but appreciate how all and sundry were respectful of each other’s presence on the beach. People, like the tide, came and went. Those with young children left early and were replaced by the sunset leisure strollers and dog walkers (off beach).At last, the water slide gave a sigh of resignation as it was deflated. The boats were put to rest and the beach was nigh empty whilst the restaurants hosted the last of their hungry and thirsty customers. In the apartments, guests sat on their balconies and bade farewell to a lovely warm day. The hotel lights provided lovely reflections on the still water as the evening closed in. This is the essence of what the South Coast is and that is why we host people from afar even over long weekends. We are a place where external things can be put aside and true leisure prevails.It is not over yet- there is also the South Coast Bike Fest (www.southcoastbikefest.co.za) coming up at month end so let’s make this time of year somewhat special.