I got Party Quirks off the rack for the first time in probably 6 weeks today. I hadn’t spent any time on the water since Jenni was here in July, and here it is nearly the end of August. Just between weather and work and travel and stuff going on … I haven’t had much of a chance to go.
Not to mention gas was up over $4.00 / gallon, and I couldn’t see just cremating dead dinosaurs. But the boat does need to be run just to keep things all lubricated and moving. So out we went today.
I started out to the east, thinking I’d pop out into the ocean for a bit. I’d be less likely to run into storm debris that way, I thought. That was until I got up near the jetties and saw the waves breaking on the rocks.
Tides have been extraordinarily high the past few days. There have been times launching the boat that it seems like I’ve had to climb down 6-7 feet of ladder to get to the barely-floating dock at the marina. Today, you could practically walk off the dock onto the bulkhead. Maybe one rung of the ladder was out of the water. The marsh along the Intercoastal waterway has been flooded the past few day. But I thought with Fay pretty well dissipated into a tropical depression that the ocean would have flattened out just a bit.
Not so much.
The swells were breaking against the jetties and sending spray 12-15 feet in the air. There was still a ton of energy being dissipated by the ocean, and a lot of it was being spent on the rocks protecting the entrance of the St. Johns River. I decided that it probably wasn’t a good day to venture offshore by myself in a 20 foot boat, so I shot these pictures, turned around, and went up river a ways just to see what I could see … and run the boat a bit. But the power of the waves never fails to amaze me. When you think “it’s just water”, but the waves killed a girl this week. She thought it would be a good idea to go swimming in the ocean at the height of the tropical storm. My sister was working the ER when they brought her in … already gone from this mortal coil. There is very little that’s more powerful than moving water, particularly when it’s driven by winds over 60 miles per hour. Even this afternoon, with the storm little more than a memory and a few downed limbs in the yard, the water is carrying so much potential energy. Enough to send spray 15 feet in the air.
The Duval County Air Force was on patrol, as always. I do love the way pelicans can just skim a foot or less above the waves … using the ground effects to allow them to just cruise along with minimal effort.
As I went west, then south following the river, the sky got continually darker. The forecast was for a 60 percent chance of rain today, and there were numerous showers wandering around the region. I watched a couple pass in front of me before I swung around and headed back to the marina. I didn’t really need to be concerned, though. It didn’t start to rain here at the beach until nearly 7:00. I had plenty of time to give the boat a good cleaning, which it needed after all the stormy weather.
I won’t be back to the marina next weekend. It’s amateur weekend … one of those time when the people who run their boats 3 weekends a year decide they’re going to show off their boat handling skills to all their friends. Alcohol is often involved. I’ll wait another week before I try it again. Hopefully there won’t be another tropical storm or hurricane to prevent me from spending a little more time on the water.