When Hurricane Ike left Cuba and bypassed Florida on its way to Texas, it got windy so we decided to check out the beach.
The wind blew steadily at about 25 knots. Sand blasted our legs; salt spray dampened our clothing and fogged our glasses. The surf was up, at least as “up” as it gets in South Florida. (If you want surf, you have to go north at least to Sebastian Inlet) No one swam in the shallows or picnicked on the sand, but the windsurfers came out in force.
We watched a whole lot of top speed planing (aka blasting), some awesome turns, and daring jumps.
As the afternoon wore on our admiration for these athletes grew along with questions about our own sanity for even being there. Actually, aside from the lifeguards, one other person ventured to the beach—a photographer. We’re still digging sand grains out of our collapsible tripod legs.
While photographing the windsurfers, an all chocolate brown seabird surprised me. It flew into the wind and plucked small fish from the surf.
I later identified it as a Brown Noddy. The only place they breed in the United States is Dry Tortugas, a group of islands 70 miles west of Key West, so I considered the spotting a real treat. I also made a mental note to get some chocolate when I got home. Umm…I love chocolate!
I wouldn’t wish a hurricane on anyone, but here at least Ike gave us an exciting day. My heart goes out to all those in the Caribbean and Gulf Coast who still suffer from the effects of this violent storm. Hurricane Andrew ravaged our home in 1992, so we have some understanding of their anguish. The hurricane season is not over yet, so those of us who live in this segment of the world stay alert and prepared while praying for calm in the weeks ahead.