Jun 12, 2006

Perdito Key Day 2: Digging In The Dirt

To include being shellfish, overcoming hydrophobia, and the difficulty of fishing in the surf.

I kept thinking yesterday evening, Sunday night, was to be our last night here. Boy was I wrong. See, I'm used to happy weekends ending rather abruptly, with the bright promise of a Monday morning greeting me, oh, 'round about 6 am Monday morning. Strange to realise that all the upcoming morning meant was that there's the bright promise of a whole week ahead. Oh my stars and garters.

Yesterday was, naturally, a lot of fun. Plenty of sitting in the sand, fishing (one ladyfish on, two escaped) and I managed to both find some pretty shells and take a chip out of one of my major fears: the water, as well as daquiris on the veranda, a nice smoke or two, and more fireworks.

Yeah, I can hear you now: "Uhm, Irrelephant, if you're so scared of the water, why did you go to the Gulf?" And I answer "Shut the hell up, it's none of your business." No that's not right. I love the water, I just don't like to go out into it very deep, as we Irrelephants are not born swimmers. But the lure of all that wonderfully warm water, which is still quite cool when compared to the 90 degree temp outside is quite powerful, and since I'd already broken myself into the idea by wading out sternum-high to make long casts into the surf while fishing it was only a matter of time before I was out there bobbing with the rest of the family, thrusting my head firmly below the breakers (ever increasing, with Alberto out there stirring the pot) and digging for shells.

Yes, digging. I've formulated the idea that looking for seashells is a lot like playing the lottery: A lot of hoping, and not many people scoring. Oh, the beach is covered in the one dollar prize shells, but the big prizes are still hidden way out there, or have all been beaten to pieces by the surf already. So, my brother in law came up with the bright idea of digging right along the line where the shells and such stop while the surf continues on up the shore, making a sort of sharp, treacherous, very diverse calcified shelf.

Success! Well, for him anyway. But again, I took another chip out of that perennial fear: yesterday found me floating face-down, wearing a face mask, digging like a crazed, oversized Ghost Crab in the surf. Couldn't have been much more fun. Salt water in my ears, up my nose, all over, and hands almost raw from rooting in what seemed like an endless strata of sand and shells. But I was floating in the water, mostly. My Mom would have another stroke to realise that I was out there.

The first two jelllyfish stings of the day were recorded yesterday, too. The wife got an armfull of tentacles, and I somehow managed to get a fair sting across the inside of my thigh. The heavy surf and waves have driven them inshore, where we innocents are trying to fish and enjoy ourselves. How dare they! Stinking insenate, invertebrate, irresponsible marine life. I swear. That and the rather tempestuous waves made fishing questionable; not that it is stopping the FIL however, who landed quite a few nice Whitings, Pompano, and a flounder of all things.

The fishing did get more difficult with Alberto out there knocking and slamming around, though, no question. Surf crashing in, and the ever-dreaded UnderToad was lurking, trying to drag the unwary angler into his insidious clutches. The wind, an eternal presence out here picked up tremendously, blowing our pavillion up the beach a short way before a daring rescue by the wife, and blowing the Annoyingly Loud Neighbor's hexagonal tent a good hundred yards to the gate. Take that, Escalade Snob. The clouds are thickening, and the normally placid water has taken a turn for the Pacific: huge tumbling rollers, and tons of white foam all over, with a manifold increase in the noise. Utterly beautiful. Watching the almost full moon rise behind a huge cloud bank and spotting big groups of brown pelicans soaring overhead on huge, graceful wings topped off a wonderous day.

Monday: we see the remains of the day, and more Alberto.

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