I recently taught a class down at the Central Coast and spent several days in a hotel on the ocean front. I was lulled to sleep every night with the sound of the ocean in the background. It was a constant white noise of indeterminate waves. I couldn’t pick out the sound of just one wave, but rather I was hearing all the waves crashing together on the beach and off shore. It was constant.
I thought back to my beach days growing up on the East Coast. We didn’t call it the beach back there, it was always the shore. I can’t recall a day at the shore where the sound of the waves ever blended together to make white noise like they do in the Pacific Ocean. In the East a wave will crash, and then there is silence for a moment and then the next wave crashes. Some crash and continue crashing down the beach and you hear them fade in the distance. Some waves come in and crash up and down the beach at the same time in a wondrous thunder.
Though I love the Pacific, I do miss the individual character of the single wave addressing the shore. However, for falling asleep, both oceans have their merit.