At 11th Street, Atlantic Beach…

…this sign was placed at intervels across the beach and met my eye the minute I set foot on the sand. It belied the gorgeousness of the surf on this glistening afternoon.

It was a perfect beach afternoon. The rip currents / run outs warnings always set me on edge and while I’d known that the ocean was going to be prone to run outs today, I’d never seen these signs out before. I’m not a surfer, so I don’t feel the rhythm of the moving ocean water in the same way they do. I love swimming but run outs / rip currents scare me. Before letting my kids charge into the ocean they and any friends who happen to be with us must suffer my “rip current overview lecture”, which is basically this:
And if the kids have their boogie boards as they often do I just say, “If you find yourself getting sucked away from the shore, just hang onto your board and enjoy the ride. I will get help.” Because eventually the current eases its grip and the swimmer can then swim parallel to shore and back in. But people often panic when they feel the current taking them, and panic + confusion = fear and fighting it, and that’s when disaster occurs. So some of the best advice I’ve heard is to remind people/kids to just hang onto the boogie board or surf board and “enjoy the ride”. I figure that if an agitated person can remember that, it might quell the panic and help them to remember what to do. Having never been caught in a rip current, I can only imagine how someone might feel as they find themselves getting further and further from shore. You’ve got to resist the urge to simply swim toward the beach; rather, swim parallel to the shore until you feel the current dissipate, and then you can swim to shore. But unless one is accustomed to the tempo of the constantly moving ocean water, it can be a terrifying experience, I think.
I guess I don’t need to tell you that my kid did not go into the water on this gorgeous afternoon.
I know the surfers have great anticipation for Bill’s waves, and experienced ones know how to use the rip current to their advantage. But I just stood on the beach and soaked up the sun. The sunshine shimmered with salt air. Tide was low and the beach was wide. The last of the kids who’re still off school in Atlantic Beach around here made the most of this final day of summer vacation before the weekend, which brings Monday’s return to school life.


  1. faye says:

    The waves created by the boats
    on the river today were enough for me…
    Still keeping an eye on the weather
    channel for BILL updates…

  2. Mickey Johnson says:

    …looks serious…take care and i'm glad you were able to get out and enjoy the perfect beach weather for a wee bit. xo, mickey

  3. Karen says:

    Oh how I would have LOVED to sit on that beach today with an iced tea and a good book. And I'de be chasing my 13 year old boy away from the water's edge, much to his dismay. Those rip currents freak me out, too. Your beaches are so beautiful. I'm envious!

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