From last summer. Crystal Crescent Nude Beach, Nova Scotia. Model: Kristen.
About half an hour before these photos were taken, I damn near broke my ankle. Kristen and I met up at the Halifax Shopping Centre, which was an adventure in itself, with her trying to direct me to which part of the parking lot she was in (easier said than done).
We then drove 30km south to Crystal Crescent Beach for our photo shoot. As it was a weekday, the beach was pretty deserted. Crystal Crescent is actually a series of beaches, the last and furthest of which is an unofficial nude beach in Nova Scotia! Also available at this site is Pennant Point, which is a challenging, 11km hiking trail that loops around the nude beach.
Stupidly, we decided to walk along the beach to get to the nude section, rather than the well-worn (and much safer) dirt path. This was stupid because much of the beach is strewn with enormous rocks and boulders, close to the water’s edge. Much of the trek was only boulders, in fact, with no sand in sight for a few kilometres.
Everything was going just swimmingly until I stepped on a loose rock and my left ankle twisted, rolled, then buckled underneath me. My body weight came crashing down on my ankle in an awkward squatting position, made far, far worse by the added weight of my two camera bags that had been slung over my shoulders. The extra fifty pounds of camera and lighting gear is probably what did me in, as I think my ankle would have been relatively fine without it. I gasped in pain and knew immediately that something was wrong. For a second, I thought my ankle was broken, as I was not able to move from the position I landed in and was in a great deal of pain. I managed to shimmy the bags off my shoulders and somehow didn’t let them slip down the rather large crevices that separated each boulder. Once my gear was safe, I worked on returning my ankle to a non-pretzel position. I wasn’t sure at this point if I could go on or not — but I was stuck in the middle of nowhere, Nova Scotia. Kristen sure as hell wasn’t going to carry me back to the car. So after taking a few minutes to recover, we pressed onward to our destination where the photo above was captured. The cool water of the ocean helped ease the pain, and the limp back to the car (along the path) was not nearly as painful as it could have been.
However, my ankle got much, much worse as the day wore on. It swelled to many times its original size and became discoloured. The buckle on my sandals had to be let out several notches to accommodate the ever-growing size of my ankle. My range of motion became more limited, it hurt like hell just to walk, and I couldn’t drive or even sleep properly. I ended up at a walk-in clinic where I got some anti-inflammatories, an ankle brace, and confirmation that I did indeed sprain the hell out of it. The rest of my two week trip was followed by constant nightly icing of my ankle to reduce the swelling that easily built up every day from walking around. When I got home, six weeks of physiotherapy helped to get my ankle back in normal working order. Even now, some eight months later, I feel as though my ankle is only at about 90-95% of what it was before. It no longer causes me pain, but I can tell my range of motion is slightly reduced compared to my other healthy ankle.
The upshot of all this is that the photos turned out really well! Thankfully there were no other nude sunbathers around except one who joined us towards the end of our shoot. If you plan on visiting, note that Crystal Crescent’s nude beach area gets very busy on weekends and I’d strongly recommend keeping your camera out of sight. Because we were shooting mid-day (something I don’t normally do), the sun was awfully bright and harsh. Occasionally some thin cloud cover would give us a brief respite from the unflattering light, and we made it work.