The day after our almost-a-tornado, the sun was shining brightly, but the wind was still whipping around, reluctantly to give up. When I walked to the beach, I wasn't surprised to see the warning flags, it was windy enough that I expected the "dangerous water" sign of rip tides, but for the first time, I noticed two different red flags. Now to be fair, I can be fairly oblivious. It is entirely possible that everytime they have the rip-tide so-stay-out-of-the-water red flag out they actually fly two of them. It's possible. Like a danger exclamation point only in "flag speak". But I was curious so I walked closer to the lifeguard station to red the flag translation board posted on it's side.
The plain red flag apparently means High Hazard. I looked out over the water through the mess the wind was making of my hair, obscuring my vision and saw the choppy waves, lots of foam and was in complete agreement. Yup that could be considered hazardous for sure. The other flag, the one with the swimmer with the line through them, means "water closed to the public". So in other words, the two red flags mean, "Very Dangerous Ocean, We are Serious! Stay Out". Okeydokey then.
I looked up and down the beach and the very few people I observed were indeed staying out of the water. Then I looked back out over the water and saw this:
Maybe in the fine print there is something that says, "Very Dangerous Water. Everyone stay out of the ocean, except parasailers and possible surfers"
Oh stop it. I get it. Surfers and parasailers live for these waves. The slightest possibility of action and those adventurers have loaded their equipment into their vehicles and head to the water. And I'm not one of those liability worrywarts. I've not heard of any surfing or parasailing accidents since we've moved here. It's probably one of those sports that far more safe than it seems. In all honesty, it made me smile. For several reasons.
First, it looks exhilarating. Just watching it is a rush. I cannot imagine how fabulous it would be to actually be out there (and I never will. Remember me? Big Chicken) Secondly, it amazingly graceful and beautiful, almost like a dance so it's a pleasure to see. And Thirdly, the town, which posts those flags, also knows darned well that the surfers and parasailers are out there but chooses to not chase them out. I love that I live in a place where, although they are looking out for everyone's welfare, they also aren't trying to hyper-parent/police anyone.
The attitude is more, "Whatever". Hey, fish gotta swim, birds gotta fly and surfers gotta surf. And you can't surf without waves. We all understand that. I hope nothing ever changes it. It's part of the charm of living here, knowing on a windy day when the seabirds are hunkered down behind a sand dune
And palm fronds are all pointed in the same direction
Odds are good that Isahmael would have yelled to Captain Ahab, "Ahoy Captain, there be surfers..."
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.