Monday, November 4, 2019

The Bay Boys

It was three years ago that we first lingered upon the Gulf of Mexico on Longboat Key. That decidedly memorable occasion marked the commencement of what has proven to be our incremental descent from Hilton Head Island in South Carolina further along the coast of the Atlantic Ocean to the State of Florida. Most recently we've crossed over the peninsula to the shores of the Gulf of Mexico. When we first visited Longboat Key we stayed at the the Resort at Longboat Key Club.  Its inexorable magic captured us immediately and we were lucky enough to secure an apartment rental for the following year at a property located on Longboat Club Road just down the road from the Resort.  That sojourn meant we were once again directly upon the Gulf of Mexico.

This year however we are stationed across the golf course of the Resort in an apartment facing Sarasota Bay. As I write I am looking across the adjoining boatslip (were several yachts are moored) onto Sarasota Bay. Ironically a direct view of the sea borders on monotony.  Unless the current weather is tumultuous and causing crashing waves, the sea is normally placid and tedious.  The view of the Bay is by contrast regularly ornamented with clusters of sailing boats, distant residences, sparkling lights at night and random wooded islands. I don't say this to be disparaging but rather merely as a reminder that staring into vast open space with a remote horizon is limited in its scope.

Certainly there is advantage being immediately adjacent the beach when it comes to swimming and sunbathing.  I have within the past week (following our arrival here) surmounted the former privilege and accustomed myself to frequent two of the "beach access" entry points to swim.  It is really a small adjustment. I like that I can combine the nautical pleasure with with my cycling (and significantly refresh myself while en route). As my limbs and joints increasingly stiffen and harden the former delight of walking upon soft sand correspondingly declines.

In the course of my investigations of different access points to the beach I have discovered that the character of the shore changes noticeably.  This alteration embraces the width of the beach, the drop of the beach to the sea, the depth of the sea, the extent of shallowness, the presence or proximity of buildings and the location of piers. I consider this a corollary of being a "Bay Boy" without which I would not have enlarged my acquaintance with the island. It is illustrative of the hidden rewards in what may at first appear to be compromising choices.

Our primary focus is not the view but the exercise.  Today for example included bicycling (15 kms for me and 35 kms for His Lordship all the way to Cortez in Bradenton Beach), swimming in the sea (me) and in the pool (both, though again less enthusiastically for me). The result of these outings is hunger and sleepiness.  After my short swim in the pool I lay on the lounge chair and quickly drifted off.

This evening's meal includes the usual composition of raw vegetables and shrimp with the added delight of sautéed burgers and beef tenderloin (both of which I intend to adulterate with Kerrygold Pure Irish Butter).  My yearning shifted suddenly to protein this afternoon. Sometimes I succumb to wheat and butter but I believe the protein is less of a conviction in the end.  My addiction to sugar is allayed by Savannah Bee Company honeycomb.

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