Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Don's Blog Beach Scene III June 2016

The first few days we had this idyllic situation with a waist deep area of still clear water sheltered by a 3 foot high sand bar which allowed us to see the various little fish, rays, and even a 2 foot long sand shark which got everybody's attention. 

When the surf came up it added to the possibility of skim boarding. Here is Blake with his board  coming off the sand bar into the little lagoon.

One of the reasons we love the beach is that the urgency of life disappears. The difficult choices that we do have to make include which swim suit to put on and what kind of fresh fish to get for dinner. We would go to Goat Feathers Seafood Store about 8 minutes east on C 30A. We could choose between fresh grouper, snapper, pompano,  huge shrimp and more. We just had to get there before 7 in the evening. In between dips in the lagoon Jan was on her iPhone and reading a book. I was reading "Norwegian Wood" by Haruki Murakami.

The June sun is hot so we made generous use of some old beach umbrellas. The beach quilt  in front of Jan was picked up at an antique store along an Alabama highway 20 years ago for $40. I have used my surgeons skills to keep it together. Its charm is that it was already ruined before we bought it so we can use it without worry.

 When we first started to come to this area we stayed at a beach rental, the Sunshine House, owned by John and Billie Sloat who lived next door. It was the perfect gulf front beach house and was seemingly indestructible. Through the years we lengthened our stays to two weeks. Unfortunately both houses were condemned after a hurricane and we had to move up the beach to the west. Initially when we started coming in the early 70's there were literally no gulf front houses west to a public beach access and east to Blue Mountain Beach.  Because of this we could skinny dip in the mornings  by walking a ways to the east.

This trip I called Susan Meyers who is Billies daughter who lives in Fort Walton and we had a great time telling stories about her folks. One story: John had mentioned to Gordon that sea turtles make specific marks when they come out of the gulf to lay their eggs. Many years later Gordon came into our room about 11:00 one evening. To quote him, " one night I saw what appeared to be atv tracks heading from the ocean to the dunes and I immediately knew what it was.  If John had told me perhaps that is why I knew almost instinctively what it was.   I followed the tracks to the dunes and there she was digging with her back fins and laying eggs." We all got to see this amazing phenomenon. Several years later on another trip a little later in the year we  observed a sea turtle hatch and watched the confused little turtles walking toward the gulf and the full moon. It is spectacular to see a mass of baby sea turtles trundle their way to the safety of the water.

Gordon and I walked down the beach to where the Sunshine House had been. 

 Behind me are two vacant beach front lots (180 feet) where the the two houses had been. There is no doubt that 'you can never go home' especially to the Sunshine House -but you sure can come and play at the beach.

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