Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Blustery Weather on the Beach

It occurred to me late this morning when downing the dregs of my coffee and preparing to go bicycling on the beach that I never tire of the project no matter what the weather.  True, a sunny day with fluffy white clouds assembled in a blue sky is my preference but I still have an appetite for just about any day at the beach.  Balmy, humid weather makes up for a lot of inadequacies I find.

For the past several days there have been uncommonly high winds from the north.  As to be expected the northern air brings cooler temperatures which correspondingly diminish the traffic on the beach.  Humans are like gnats when it comes to the weather.  The sun and high temperatures are the nectar that draws them. Today by contrast - when the skies were grey and the wind was cool - the beach was barren and drab.  Similarly at the outset of my tour today when I initially struggled against the wind while cycling along the sidewalk on Atlantic Avenue the voyage through central Daytona Beach bordered on desolate.  The picture was menacingly gloomy in part promoted by the spectre of rundown deserted motels and featureless tatoo parlours.  There were vehicles on the road but virtually nobody on the sidewalks.  The arcades were closed, the ferris wheels and superstructures frozen in time.

When I felt the first drop of rain strike my face I knew it was time to turn back and capitalize upon the raging wind to propel me home.  It was then mid-afternoon. The high tide was at 4:52 pm today. Normally a two-hour window before high tide would afford ample time and breadth on the beach for uninhibited travel.  But the force of the wind appeared to do more than heighten the remote swells on the sea; the wind was forcing the water onto the beach at an incredible rate, relentlessly advancing the crescent shore.  At one point the neck of my passage narrowed so rapidly that even though I was not at risk of being stranded by the high tide it was uncomfortable.  I took the next beach access exit at Van Avenue.

An ironic twist unfolded after I stashed my bike in the basement and landed in the apartment.  During my absence the window cleaners had come and gone, leaving sparkling glass where previously there had been the grimy residue of salt sea air. It is however a reminder of the fleeting pleasures of life. Contemporaneously with my admiration of the clean windows I received a bulk email from the condominium corporation advising of the threat of high winds.  Those winds had earlier carried not only the salt sea air but also the sandy grit of the beach.  Everything is on a cycle!

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