Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Those Of A Nervous Disposition..........

........please read no further.

You have been warned !!

Whenever I'm asked (by friends in the UK) where we are here in sunny Buttonwood Bay, I always describe the location of Sebring within Florida, as being like Leeds within the UK.  Right smack in the middle.

That being said, we're not exactly on the doorstep of a beach, but yesterday we needed to do a bit of shopping and all the stores we wanted just happened to be in the town of Vero Beach - which also happened to be on the Atlantic coast and therefore came with......a beach.

Now we'd been to this town and beach before so it was with a bit of deja vu that we went there again yesterday. Last time had been in early December so we'd not actually gone into the water but the plan, for me at least, was to 'do the deed' this time.

After a spot of lunch, we easily found the same little FREE car park right on the edge of the beach that we'd used last time. Within seconds of placing my beach bag and towel on the sand, I was in the water !!

And now we come to the warning I made at the top. As Debby was with me, she used my camera and so there now exist lots of photos of me going to, frolicking in, and coming out of the ocean. These are not for the squeamish but as they are as rare as an honest politician, I'm going to publish a few here.

I'm not much of a swimmer and without my glasses, I'm never sure how far I am from the safety of the shoreline. Combine the two and I'm just happy to mess about a few yards out - just far enough out to still feel terra wetta under my feet.

The Atlantic waves were wonderful and I spent most of my time trying to brace myself against the biggest of them, and failing miserably. Even with my poor eyesight, I could still see when tsunami sized waves were heading my way and so I'd turn my back on them and wait for them to hit.

And hit they did. I'd be swept off my feet, tossed like a pair of skivvies in a washing machine and spat out further up the beach, much to the consternation of anyone who happened to be standing there already.

You get the idea from these two photos.

On more than one occasion, I appeared like a beached whale on the edge of the water line. Once the tide, with it's foamy froth, had receeded and left me high and almost dry, children would scatter and run screaming to their parents. The lifeguard would get off his seat and grab his harpoon in readiness to make the local version of News at 10. 

And I'd be sitting there in the shallows like a confused escapee from a retirement home (not far from the truth !) trying desperately to work out how to get back up on my feet whilst retaining SOME shred of dignity.

Have you ever tried to get back onto your feet when sitting on shifting sand and with new waves crashing over you every few seconds ? I can tell you now that's it's far from simple. Oh sure I could have rolled onto my knees and headed back out to sea doggy fashion but the downside to that method was that I just knew I'd be exposing more of my ass to public gaze than a Sun reader on a building site. The world, or at least this part of Florida, was not ready for that.

I began to see the benefits of nudist beaches. I mean if everyone else was nakie, I'd not have felt so stupid waddling back out to sea on all fours with my butt crack smiling at those still on the beach.

As it was, I edged back out to the relative comfort zone of the ocean by pushing myself backwards on the sand until the water took my weight and I could then paddle the rest of the way out. Far from being in any way dignified, this manoeuvre probably attracted more attention as I would've looked like one of those turtles returning to the water after laying it's eggs in the sand.

I was sure I heard Attenborough's dulcet tones as I made my way back out.

There was one photo that still puzzles me........

Those who know me well, know that I'm not vertically challenged. Ok I'm no basketball player but I'm no hobbit either. So what's going on in this picture then ??? 

I suspect that someone was swimming close behind me and those aren't my feet at all. Either that or those waves had pounded me much more than I'd thought.

Another theory is that I had just suffered a shark attack and my feet were actually bitten off and were now drifting behind me. This theory is reinforced by the next photo where I'm bravely 'stumping' my way out of the water, totally unaware that I'm footlose and fancy free. I guess I was still in shock.

Once I'd dried off in the sun and took over camera duties, things returned to normal.

There weren't many people on the beach and this suited me just fine. Less witnesses to report me to the local branch of Greenpeace.

Sand does tend to get everywhere and it took me a while to clear my hands so that I could take a few photos of my own. 

Here is a view northwards along the shoreline. 

I'd waded back into the water to take it as the breaking waves were just so photogenic and I wanted to be close to the action. Of course as soon as the first glob of spray hit me, I rushed out of there as fast as my stumps would take me as water and cameras don't go together.

We had such a fun time. I don't think I've ever enjoyed myself more at a beach.

Just one final photo.

I'd taken some of Debby last time with her face lit by the setting sun. This time it was mid afternoon and I wanted a different shot. She loves the sun and was sitting near me lost in her own little world. I raised the camera and with the waves breaking in the background, this is the view I had.

Soon afterwards we left the beach and went shopping again and finally returned to Buttonwood Bay just after 10pm.

As Wallace would've said......a grand day out.

Oh and for those I may have left traumatised, my feet are back in place again.  I think the foot fairy came during the night.


Daphne said...

That's my idea of a perfect beach. I'm glad you had such a lovely time - it shows in the photos. Fantastic.

Katherine said...

I wasn't nervous at all until you got to the crack bit. Nice that you had such a lovely time, 'though. :-)

Milo said...

Looks like you had fun! It's 8c here, so not the weather for the beach. V jealous of all that sun and sea!

rhymeswithplague said...

We lived for years in Boca Raton, 100 miles south of Vero Beach, and now we spend our vacation time at New Smyrna Beach, 100 miles north of Vero Beach, but I can't say I've ever been to Vero Beach's beach. I've been through V.B. on U.S. 1, but that doesn't count.

Did you know that V.B. was Billy Graham's winter home? That's the reason it has such righteous waves! (groan)

Frances Langford (the movie star) used to have a great restaurant in Stuart...I wonder if it's still there.

jay said...

Aha! So that's what you look like! Perfectly normal except for the shortness of the bit between knee and ankle. ROFL!!

Looks like you had a great time though, shorty. And you told it so well.

Stll chuckling.

Susie said...

This really made me laugh. I think you should make more of the opportunity and go to the beach all the time if Debby can capture such comedy.
Your photo of Roundhay Park at the bottom of the blog is beautiful. It probably looked like that this morning as the sun put in a brief appearance. It's now a windy cold night in Headingley and even the students are staying in.

britoutofwater said...

Your life is just WAY too tough, isn't it?!

AnneDroid said...

That looks fab. Not the thing to read before going to work - I feel jealous now...

Debby said...

Life is indeed good.

Silverback said...

Coming from you, Susie, I appreciate the comment.

Yes I constantly remind myself how fortunate I am to be here. I did, however, serve my apprenticeship with almost 30 years of working in Leeds city centre.

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