Sunday, April 27, 2008

Low Tide Afternoon Stroll

April 27, 2008

Low tide, the best time to stroll. Late Afternoon, even better. The lighting is perfect, the hard packed sand makes for a quick, brisk walk. My mister helped me out today by driving up to North Beach Park at 17th ST. I parked my car and he drove me to my drop off point-Reef Rd, The Moorings.
There were young kite surfers wielding their sails and a few other walkers. I traveled north into private beach area. There was barely anyone on the beach. It was deserted and it was glorious. Where were all the people from the lovely beach homes?
To the left is NOT one of the lovely beach homes but an inviting tiki hut, which led to a private path heading inland. What fun to have a relaxing bit of shade. But I was on some sort of schedule; I needed to get home for supper. A few more people appeared as I approached the public beach access. They were out for a leisurely evening stroll.

Section: Reef RD, The Moorings north to North Beach Park
Water temperature: 76
UV: 10 at noon
Wind: From the South
Tide: low
Time: 5:30pm-7:15pm
Length: Marine animals: none
People: very few
Beach litter: very little
(Mister verbiage courtsey of my new blog friend Mo

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Relay for Life and then some Beach

April 26, 2008

My energy level started out extremely low today; I'm sure due to some over-indulgence. This morning I did a symbolic one mile walk around a track because I missed being with my school's Relay for Life "team" on Friday night.

I've brought my bicycle again and traveling south of Jensen Beach Park I found beach parking at which to lock my bike. I then drove back to Jensen Beach Park and started a short four mile hike. Well, it would have be short if it hadn't been HIGH tide. Oh, it was step, sink, step, sink, step, sink. Not the best time to walk but I was there and already I was feeling better.

"Steven instructed the boy in his own peculiar gait. The slanting beach made the distance lower to put down one foot than the other, and the walking took this into account, so that there was no tiring from the difference. The trick was to be just a little quicker with the right foot going south, and quicker with the left foot going north. Jesse had taught him that, proclaiming him a true beach walkist when he accomplished it."
The Barefoot Mailman, Theodore Pratt (1943)

I'm not sure I'll ever be a "true beach walkist". I guess I do push off harder with the foot on the up slope. It is still slow going, more time consuming, requires more concentration and extremely tiring. I realized, as I had traveled half way, that I might not recognize the entry to my no name beach access. So the odd feeling of not really knowing where you are came into play. If I watch the time I can usually guess how far I've gone. Walking 3 miles in one hour is normal for me, but today I was slowing down due to squishy sand. Would I pass by my bike? Of course not, it was right were I left it. I was feeling much more energetic, and tooling back on the street was relaxing and fun, today the wind was too my back. I rode through a nice green golf course (Ocean Club) and past the Elliot Museum. I'm already planning for another great day tomorrow.

Section: Jensen beach Park South to Beach access (MacArthur) before Bathtub reef
Water temperature: 76
UV: 7 at noon
Wind: From the South
Tide: high, going to low?
Time: 9:30am-11am
Length: 4 miles, return by bike 4 miles
Marine animals: none
People: a few happy beach goers... crowded at the beach entries.
Beach litter: very little

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Walk and Ride

April 20, 2008 Sunday

And now for something completely different...
I'm a little tired of all the backtracking over the same sand, since I'm really on a "mission" now. I thought to try combining walking and biking, because when I'm not walking I am biking. Dropping and locking my bike at the Fort Pierce Inlet, I drove to Blind Creek. Kerryane and I used Blind Creek as a destination when we did our car to car walk.

Parking the car at Blind Creek, I headed North. The beach was fairly flat and open. I knew I was going to be on the beach for an extended time so I filled my fanny pack with snacks, water, camera, phone, suntan lotion, bicycle pants, gloves, and bicycle paraphernalia. It was too heavy! I could feel it tight against my hips. Not completely comfortable, but I got used to it. The views were beautiful and the day fabulous; I was distracted. I was happy.

At Middle Cove I had to limbo under numerous fishing lines. I'm not sure if they were catching any fish or just having a relaxed day at the beach. There were a couple of display of garbage “art”, which I’ve thought about constructing myself, but now will re-think because they weren’t particularly attractive. Further North I caught a whiff of horse manure. I was getting close to Fredrick Douglas park. They bring horses for a beach ride once or twice a month. I followed the horse tracks to the park and took a little break. My barefeet were getting a little tired and the slope of the beach was no longer flat. The sand in this section was coarse and starting to wear on me. The sun had been at my back and I was feeling a little sunburned. Four more miles to go?? And I wasn't even finished because I had to get back to my car.

Finally I arrived at the Fort Pierce Inlet and my bicycle was ready to roll. I was looking forward to a change of pace. My timing was off, the walking took longer than I had anticipated. I still had 8+ miles to get back to the car, usually a breeze...but the breeze was against me, slowing me down. I traveled along HWY A1A. This was still better than retracing my steps. I will be using this "walk and bike" strategy again. I was extremely tired but had covered a lot of ground.
Section: Blind Creek North to Fort Pierce Inlet
Water temperature: 72
UV: 9 at noon
Wind: From the South
Tide: low going high
Time: 12:00noon-4pm
Length: 8 miles walking, 8 miles return biking
Marine animals: none
People: plenty at each beach access, very few otherwise...
Beach litter: very little

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Earth Day Celebration and a short Full Moon Walk

April 19, 2008 Saturday

Today was the "Living Green" Earth Day Festival at our local Oxbow Eco-Center. I volunteered to work at the welcome booth and my daughter got creative at face painting. The celebration was hopping with tons of people learning about the earth and walking through the grounds. The Oxbow is one of my favorite places to walk, off the beach. The most enjoyable walk is a trail that parallels the St Lucie River. It actually has ups and downs, which is rare in Florida. The flora and flauna are wonderful.

Later Saturday evening we were able to get over to the beach to look at the full moon. It was gorgeous, lighting up the sand, allowing for a short stroll in the coolness.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Weekend Traveling Madness

April 13, 2008 Sunday

Traveled 25 miles North today and early! I headed toward Sebastian Inlet and hoped for low tide. I was off by one hour and the tide was coming up fast. Parking at a tiny turn off, I topped the dune and saw Surfers. Boy, they were happy and looked like they were having a grand time. I never took up that sport. I'm more low impact. The thought of getting hit in the head, staying under too long and the slicing of the fin don't appeal to me.

There were lovely bungalow houses all along the water (some still with hurricane damage). The people had their coffee cups, newspapers and were working on a relaxing Sunday morning. I could see the inlet on the horizon and despite the rising tide the walk was pleasant. The clouds were dark and moving, but patches of sunlight often found holes and transversed across the sand.

By 11:00am I even saw someone with a beer. As I made my return I also saw a standing surfer. (I realize this is redundant but he was standing ALL the time, never lay on his belly once) He used a paddle to maneuver and rode those waves with the best of them. People have such fun.

Sebastian Inlet

Section: Archie Carr Wildlife Refugue South to Sebastian Inlet
Water temperature: 76
UV: 7 at noon
Wind: From the South
Tide: low going high
Time: 9:30am-11am
Length: 2 miles give or take (4 miles, RT)
Marine animals: none
People: surfers and happy Sunday beach goers
Beach litter: very little

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Return from the Bed

April 12, 2008 Saturday

Hooray! I'm outside and walking again. I was so happy to be relatively healthy I took another adventurous drive and headed South 65 miles. I ended up at Juno Beach Pier Park. It was crowded with people, and high tide, but lovely clouds and beautiful colors surrounded me. All of the photos I publish are taken with a Canon A550. I didn't go walking on the pier, I'll do that next time when I walk North from there.

I had only a slight idea of where I was walking, so I headed South. The tide had been much earlier, and as always, I wasn't. The walking was difficult. The sand was fine and squishy. But still there were great stretches without buildings or people.
I not sure what I was thinking about today. My mind seems blank. Rosemary Mahoney, in her book Down the Nile: Alone in a Fisherman's Skiff,
felt the same way. Because of the physical repetition of the task (walking or rowing) if you relax, you feel good and your thoughts wander. Section: Juno Beach Pier South to a nice parking lot close to the Juno Police Department
Water temperature: 76
UV: 9 at noon
Wind: From the South
Tide: high
Time: 11:00am-1pm
Length: 2 miles give or take (4 miles, RT)
Marine animals: none
People: crowds, but sometimes there wasn't anybody
Beach litter: medium

Friday, April 4, 2008

Off the Beach and into the bed

April 3-5.2008 Thursday-Friday-Saturday

I have been knocked to the bed by a flu. After driving to the Orlando airport to pick up my daughter, suddenly I had a raging fever, chills and sore throat. I couldn't even sleep because I felt so badly. My skin, muscles, and joints ached. I rarely get ill; this was very disappointing. I have beaches to walk on and spring break is the time to do it. I'm so sad.

My neighbors, however, are truely wonderful, they're making me turkey/chicken soup and I believe it's really working wonders. I'll feeling a bit like the character of the book "Oblomov" by Ivan Aleksandrovich Goncharov. Oblomov can't be bothered to get out of bed.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Walking on the beach with a friend

April 2. 2008 Wednesday

Usually I love to walk by myself. It is reflective and calming. Today we tried something new. My friend Kerryane walked with me. It did take a little bit of coordination to get the two of us headed in the correct direction (sort of) at the correct time (late again) but we had other things to accomplish so...we drove about 19 miles South with two cars and put one car at Blind Creek then drove to Herman's Bay and walked North. Aren't we clever? No backtracking! and doing it twice. Not that doing it twice is really a pain, but when you're working on mileage it does seem wasteful.

Almost the first thing we saw, after walking off the boardwalk at Herman's Bay, were shells. We're talking mounds of different, near perfect shells, a sheller's paradise. It was enough to slow a walker down to standing still. Which we did until our feet hurt; we're barefoot again. We picked a few shells to carry until we put them down. I did take pictures...which will soon be posted. A small thunderhead pushed quickly (and quietly) past us. Most of the clouds were luminous.

The beach soon broadened and flattened, and with only one condo in sight, was quite pleasant. We chatted and walked. Kerryane really walks faster than I, so I had to work to keep up. Sometimes we were quiet. We passed Ocean Bay park and then Walton Rocks, where a fisherwomen confirmed we knew where we were. There are many paths into the dunes and none of the parks are marked beach side. We debated if we would actually be able to find the car at Blind Creek. Just a silly thought.

Once back to Blink Creek, Kerryane departed for another appointment, but I wasn't ready to stop. I took the car South to Normandy Beach. In the parking lot I watched as a car backed out over the remains of their lunch. We're proud to Americans but why no pride in community or self? As I picked up the garabage, depositing it in the trash ten feet away, I wondered how these people could be so lazy and in my eyes disresptful. The aroma of french fries and hamburgers waffed up through the heavy broken bag. My mind went to wastefulness as well as laziness, then quickly to freegan, which I had just read about. Oh my, I'm not sure I can take you to all the places that I go when I walk on the beach. Besides it might not really connect in your mind; it would be a situation where you really had to be there.

To the beach I walked, with my shoes in my hand, North to Herman's Bay. The shoes came in handy since my feet were already sensitive to the cutting shells. On the shoes went when the shells were thick, off again as the sand smoothed out. This was only a little time consuming, besides I had the camera out taking pictures of the numerous birds that flocked on this section.

Section: Part 1: Herman's Bay, St Lucie County North to Blink Creek park

Part 2: Normandy Beach North to Herman's Bay and return

Water temperature: 72

UV: 7 at noon

Wind: From the South

Tide: low toward high

Time: 2:00pm-3:20p North
3:30pm-4:15pm North-South return

Length: 3.5-4 miles 1st leg

1 mile (2 round trip) 2nd leg

Marine animals: a few tiny jelly fish babies, there were a few dead birds but plenty of live ones

People: a few

Beach litter: medium, I didn't pick up anything. Again the items were too big. Way, way too big. We couldn't figure out some of the stuff, except I did recognize a TV.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Driving to the Beach...

April 1. 2008
Okay, I had a late start this morning but remember I am on Spring Break. I've decided this week I need to drive to walk because when I go back to work I will only be able to walk close to home. I drove approx 46.8 miles to Jupiter Inlet Colony. I found a park called Coral Cove. The beach was completely different than our lovely beach on North Hutchinson Island. At the park area this beach had ROCKS. Big rocks; the waves were crashing through them. The waves on both days have been wild but today, on this section, they were even harsher. I took pictures this time but you'll have to wait for me to figure out what I'm doing with the layout.

I think that they had shipped in sand because it was not cool, white and snowy soft but black gritty and contained many shells. The slope and sand were heavy due to my late arrival after low tide. I was walking South into the wind today; my hat wouldn't stay put. The clouds surrounded the area and looked like rain but they just flew around and didn't put out. The sand quality did improve a bit as I walked along, and the tall condos turned to large beachfront houses.

As I'm walking along what was I thinking about? The laundry was done and the toilets weren't that dirty. Today I was thinking about what to write, what to tell you, what would be of interest. I have been barefoot for two days but today I could have used shoes. I did find two separate shoes but I decided to continue without. The walking was difficult and really gave me a workout. I did a lot of concentrating on putting one foot in front of the other. I didn't accomplish as much distance on the beach, more distance on the road, but now I have a better plan for this section.

As I was driving through Hobe Sound, on the way home, I saw an appropriate bumper sticker, "The Ocean is My Playground"

Section: Coral Cove Park, Jupiter Island South to Inlet

Water temperature: 72

UV: 7 at noon

Wind: From the South

Tide: low toward high

Time: 1.15 hours (round trip) 1:00pm-2:15pm

Length: 1.5 miles give or take (3 miles, RT)

Marine animals: a few tiny jelly fish babies

People: a few

Beach litter: medium, I didn't pick up anything. I was already working hard and the items were too big.