Monday, November 13, 2017

Windy Day

When the wind blows off the Atlantic Ocean on Daytona Beach Shores it howls.  It carries more than just gusts and draughts.  There is in the salt sea air mixture the finest amount of sand picked up from the beach. Like the salt water that comes with it, the grit sticks to one's glasses, gets in your hair and maybe even between your teeth!  I have quickly learned to assess the strength of the wind by remarking upon the distance from the end of Sunglow Pier at which the wave swells begin to break.  If I strained my eyes today I could see white caps as far out as a mile. The first rolling, breaking waves tell the full story.  Today the waves were breaking a good distance from the end of the pier. And the swells were high, promoting large curls of frothing white water pouring onto itself. While it might be a surfer's dream, for me it was a swimmer's danger.

Today - a Monday - began like so many Mondays throughout most of my life; that is, with an abrupt return to business.  While still lolling in bed early this morning I heard a ping on my iPhone on the bedside table.  Though I hadn't any idea what it might signal, I was curious and awake enough to investigate.  It was an email from an estate agent in Jupiter Beach.  Last evening I had sent her an enquiry about seasonal rentals in that area and she had responded at 6:15 am this morning, politely but succinctly requesting me to telephone her to discuss the matter. Without hesitation I knew she was someone to whom I should respond immediately, she clearly liked to get down to business!  Nor was I disappointed.  She and I had a lengthy and productive conversation in which she directly and frankly addressed not only what she could do but also what she could not do.  In the result we have arranged to meet on Thursday next at 11:00 am.  She offered to collect us at the Jupiter Beach Resort & Spa where I subsequently booked a room for us.

Following that baptismal awakening to the day, I cut myself some orange slices, drank black coffee and consumed the usual combination of ham, bacon, hamburger, eggs, cheese and cherry tomatoes. I felt in the mood for a purge so I tossed my used clothing into the laundry then threw myself into the shower.  Refreshed and cleansed I left the apartment and descended to the lower garage where the bike and car are now parked while the staff refurbishes the upper drive.

As soon as I exited the garage and began cycling on the sidewalk I knew in an instant that the wind today was not to be dismissed as a determinative factor in my bicycle ride. Though initially I rode south (with the wind at my back) towards Ponce Inlet, it was mere moments before I reversed my course and headed back against the wind towards Daytona Beach.  My reasoning wasn't entirely based upon the strength of the wind since when cycling on the sidewalk in the lee of the adjoining condominium buildings and hotels, one is effectively sheltered from the undiluted effect of the Oceanic wind. But I felt that I was better to endure a moderate struggle into the wind towards Daytona Beach so that I could delight in sailing back on the beach with the wind at my back.  I can't help but observe parenthetically that such rationality is a shameless product of some contortion of Existentialism and the Protestant Work Ethic, maybe including the "no pain, no gain" athletic mantra.

The jaunt along the sidewalk against the wind wasn't entirely a smooth ride. When occasionally I drifted into large unprotected spaces between buildings it wasn't uncommon for a blast of wind to propel me sideways (potentially into traffic overpassing me). But it was unquestionably less effort than facing the on-coming wind on the beach where there is nothing to diminish its force.  It helped that I diverted myself along the route by curiously examining the details of the buildings and the various retail outlets.

When I began to feel drops of water from the sky I figured it might be time to turn around.  Because today was the first time I had cycled as far on the sidewalk in Daytona Beach it wasn't until I got onto the beach that I knew exactly how far I had gone.  I was within sight of the Daytona Beach Pier at the foot of the International Speedway.

As predicted my ride back home on the beach was an unqualified sail!

Once home I trundled to the pool where I submerged myself for fifteen minutes in the hot tub before taking a dip in the pool.  I swam back and forth, stretching myself as I went.  The resident janitor happened by and we spoke to one another briefly.  He is a former naval militiaman.

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