I envisioned the perfect beach day with blue skies and sunshine, but we woke up to a covering of dark clouds on our first day at Figure Eight Island, NC last Friday. The rain held off, so we headed to the beach in the morning to find tidal pools and in the late afternoon on a shell-finding mission. The overcast sky seemed to touch the ocean on the horizon, and accentuated the blue-green hue of the translucent water. Even waist deep in the surf, we could still see our toes and shells buried in the sand. The beach looked nearly empty to the north and the south of us, but I loved the gloomy beauty of this day with only hints of light peeking through the clouds.