This was the cautionary note that the lifeguards at Ocean Reef Park have inscribed in the message section of the data board that I noted early yesterday upon my arrival to the beach, just before eight o'clock. I also saw 'maybe tarpon and sharks' for Wednesday which had been erased for Thursday, so I'm inferring that maybe those large silver predators that I saw on Tuesday jumping out of the water going after the bait fish weren't sharks after all but tarpon. That could be, as tarpon are more apt to jump out of the water when stimulated than sharks.
But back to the heat--you can get heatstroke at the beach if you're not careful. In fact, as viewed from above, my travels there would seem to the casual observer as the proverbial quest for water, as I venture from fountain to fountain, some chilled and some not. As one of Samuel Taylor Coleridge's characters once remarked, Water, water everywhere, but not a drop to drink. Freshwater, that is--not saltwater.
I drink tap water at the beach with absolute abandon, which is strange because at home it tastes funny--it has all this calcium in it which I don't like and makes ice look cloudy, so I indulge myself with bottled water for ice cubes and lemonade there. But at the beach for some reason I drink quite a bit.
Well, the main reason is I sweat. I drip all day long, even with a breeze. It's still hot but not as stifling as August was. The sun in Florida is very strong and if you're not used to it, it can be overwhelming.
Very clear blue skies and hardly any people greeted me at the beach yesterday. I observed a much larger but less well defined school of bait fish off the shore of Lost Tree Village, in North Palm Beach, which is south of Juno, on my way back but this time the show wasn't as good. A lot of individual fish jumping out of the water, being pursued by something presumably larger, but not as many of the spectacular mass flying fish and aggrieved predator thrashing in frenzied retaliation. The lot of them were moving south again but this time more slowly, as by the time I got back to my car, 4:15 p.m., the school hadn't made it down the coast yet to the guarded beaches.
I saw two baby sea turtles but sadly they were both dead. One had gotten caught a few hours earlier in some dried seaweed and had hundreds of fire ants all over him or her by the time I got there and the other had simply flipped over on his or her way down a hole and hadn't been able to turn back over. Such are the vagaries of survival in the world of baby sea turtles.
No pictures as there wasn't anything worth recording. Some honeys were about but none that had eyes for me without male escorts. Chicks that flirt with me in front of their boyfriends/husbands or otherwise smile or say hello give me pause. One woman more my age up around Juno did say "Hi" to me as we were both walking the same way--however, I threw her back. And I did have to take two 500 mg painkillers because my right foot and back were both acting up. But still--all in all, it was a beautiful day.