Good morning! The sun has not yet risen, but I feel confident that situation will change at 5:53 AM. I launch into my day down here in Lewes, Delaware, armed with the knowledge that my daytime high temp will be 88 degrees, but it will feel like 94, unless I stay in air conditioning, in which case it will feel like 68 ( if Steve is home it will be briefly adjusted to feel like 88, until he leaves the room and I adjust it back down). The winds will be westerly at 6 MPH, a mere “2 fly” rating on the Damn Fly Meter (an Honest to God thing, kindly provided by the Delaware surf fishing website. Note: west wind or “land breeze”= pesky flies on the beach. But I won’t let those nasty creatures spoil MY outing—I am marinated in OFF! Repellent, as well as slathered in SPF 50 sunscreen (to guard against a cancer-causing sunburn). I do wonder if this combo may, one day down the road, prove to have been toxic, but that’s a worry for another day! Why borrow trouble, I say!
Aiden and Peter are here, so I have to add a close look at the tide charts as well. I don’t bother when it’s just me. High tide is perfectly safe, after all, when viewed from under a beach umbrella many yards from the shoreline. The chances of my being carted off by a riptide, or walloped by a monster wave, are relatively small, because I never (ever) get more than my toes wet. But my little guys are fearless water venturers, so for them I vastly prefer the lowest of low tides. My favorite is the occasional sandbar, which on Lewes Beach can extend so far that you could probably walk on it to Cape May, NJ.
How did I ever manage without this boatload of info when I was a young beachgoer? In the 1960’s, when it was hot, it was just plain hot, and I had no idea what a “heat index” was. When it was sunny, it was time to break out the Hawaiian Tropic dark tanning oil, of course, and indulge my fantasy of having the kind of skin that would NOT turn crimson and peel like crazy. We would SAY “those damn flies” when a buzzing horde arrived, but that verbal acknowledgement was as far as it went. Wind speed and direction? That stuff was for sailors, right? I only noticed if my beach umbrella actually uprooted and blew away. And while even back in ancient times there were still both high and low tides, I never recall checking the status prior to arrival, so the size of the waves was always a surprise.
Today, I have to allow at least 45 minutes for a thorough check of conditions, and equally thorough preparation to deal with those conditions, before going outside. Which means that, by the time I’m beach ready, conditions may have CHANGED.