Friday, September 6, 2013

I'm behind again... Beaches, Burning Boats and Spanish Pirates


I'm totally behind again. Let's see... what happened this week?

Well, last weekend (that would be Labor Day weekend) Billy and I went to visit PeePop. Nana was away and Uncle Alex is back in school, so it was just the three of us (and Daddy wanted to go to the Grand Prix).

On Saturday we went to the beach. Billy quickly remembered how much he loved the beach the last time. Unlike before, when we sat on 5th Street, we opted to sit on 11th where the beach is much nicer and the waves crash with a greater distance so there is a lot more shallow water (5th Street suffers from the big waves crashing up close to the beach from beach replenishment).

Billy liked the water so much better this time because there were the smaller waves that he could stand in and have them break over him, while the bigger waves were further out. I, of course, kept a firm hand on him. The rip currents were fairly strong. He wanted to play in the water all day long.

He also got to build his first sand castle. Well, I built it and he played with it. Then he tore it down, which is probably the best part of a sand castle for a little boy. We discovered that he hates having sandy hands, an inevitable thing at the beach.

We also were able to dig up some big sand crabs for him to see. The beach replenishment has destroyed the ecosystem at the beach. When I was little you could dig a small hole and find lots of sand crabs. And with each wave you could see lots of brightly colored, tiny clams wash up and then quickly bury themselves into the sand. We had to work to find just a couple of crabs and clams.

When it was getting time to head home we saw a deep sea fishing boat out on the ocean billowing smoke. It was right in front of us and drifting toward shore. It was soon apparent that the boat was on fire. Soon, the smoke enveloped the whole boat. Other boats came to help, but couldn't get too close. Not only was there fear of an explosion, but the wind had quicked up and the seas were rough and wild. The boat on fire was pitching and rolling dangerously in the waves. After a long wait the fire boat made it out of the bay to the ocean where we wear and began spraying jets of water on the burning boat. It took awhile, but they finally got the fire subdued and were taking the boat back to the bay.

We left then, if being way past nap time and the excitement was over. But what we missed was that the boat only made it to 5th Street (remember, we were on 11). The Coast Guard was trying to hook up a tow line when a rogue wave swamped the boat and sank it immediately. The news reported that the couple on board had made it safely over to another boat prior to the Coast Guard's arrival, so at least everyone was safe.

The next day we headed back to the beach, but this time we weren't playing in the sand. We wanted to check out this:

This is El Galeon Andalucia from Spain. She's a replica (obviously) of the old Spanish ships that would have discovered Florida. And if ever anything looked like a pirate ship to Billy, this would be it. He loved it and didn't want to leave.