The studies say it, so it must be true. A recent article summarized a research study with;
“People who live within view of water have lower psychological distress, study finds.” – Treehugger
It is easy to find islanders who agree. Islands are defined by their water and houses hug the shores. Grander estates stretch along bluffs providing great views of the water, but also ships, whales, and mountains. Shoreline communities are more of a mix. Some communities are long rows of custom multi-story homes with manicured lawns. Neighborhoods that echo the past are clusters of cottages and cabins sitting beside each other just like the dozens of fishing resorts that rimmed the land about a hundred years ago.
Want a quick check on how valuable that waterfront is? Browse through the real estate listings and notice the uptick that comes with access.
One solution is to enjoy the view without buying the water. A street or two back, or even just the opposite side of the street cuts the view a bit, but it also cuts the price.
Another solution is realizing that there’s more than salt water views. Streams, ponds, and lakes can be equally peaceful and more affordable. They may also be more peaceful. Many of the lakes are only for non-motorized boats, or maybe only let the motors run for certain hours. They don’t get salmon swimming by, but the water’s calmer, just right for a quiet day of fishing. Catching, well, that’s up to the angler and whoever stocked the lake.
Shorelines come in a continuum of grades, but the simplest way they are described is no-bank, low-bank, medium-bank, and high-bank. The closer you are to the water, the easier it is to launch your boat or cast your line. The higher the bank, the wider the view. Low gets to deal with tides and waves. High gets to check soil stability for slides and such. There may not be any funiculars operated by the municipalities, but some impressive ones lead from houses to beaches.
There are even a few places where boats can be moored rather than pulled up onto the sand or boat launch. Several marinas provide a mix of dock space. The biggest ones are on the north end; but smaller ones anchor some neighborhoods as well. Patient sailors have access to the Puget Sound, the Salish Sea, and the oceans of the world. Some even sail to Seattle for overnight excursions turning dinner and a show into something very Northwest.
Everyone gets to search for stress relief that fits their style. For some, it is a crowded street with the city wrapped around them. That study suggests that, at least for some folks, sitting and watching a view of water, whether salty or fresh, can be just what they need. That’s something islands can provide.