Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas at the Beach

A generous friend of ours loaned us the use of their beachfront condominium in Ormond Beach for the week of Christmas. It was a nice getaway, even though the weather was kind of stormy the first couple of days. It was a little raw to be out on the beach, but the gale-force winds attracted kite-surfers, who zipped around in the roaring waves, catching big air and possibly pneumonia.


After the cold front passed through, the weather warmed up to the high 70’s and we took to the beach, which was nearly deserted in December.


Someone brought a dog down and I watched in amazement as she raced up and down the beach at breakneck speed, the embodiment of pure joy.


After a while I got bored, so I drove down to the nearest bait shop to buy some shrimp. Outside the bait shop, I saw this:


At first I thought it was a disabled person who wanted help to get across the busy A1A, but on closer inspection, I realized it was a dummy in the wheelchair. I asked the person in the bait shop why it was there, and she just shrugged and said, “We always put him out there.” Every time I drove by the bait shop, the dummy was there, and I’m still wondering why.

I fished for awhile, but my streak of bad luck as a fisherman remains unbroken.


Eventually I took a walk on the beach, disturbing the sandpipers.


Lots of these starfish were washed up from the heavy surf of the previous few days. They get tossed onto the sand at high tide and die.


I took the liberty of deputizing myself.


On Christmas day, we drove down to Ponce Inlet and poked around in the tidepools for awhile. I noticed something moving and found this little squiggle of sand being extruded by some unseen creature buried beneath it.


There’s a long breakwater at the entrance to Ponce Inlet, and it has a walkway constructed for fishermen. We walked out onto it and noticed that 90% of the people fishing were Chinese. Most stood on the walkway, but some climbed out onto the wet, treacherous rocks for a little solitude.


The weather started to turn ominous, so we headed back, watching dolphins slip through the water on their way into the lagoon for the night.


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