World Beaches Jacksonville Edition
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The inside scoop from the locals!
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A Hometown Story
selves. Not like ourselves in reference to the type or age of people. This is something that is shared by all willing to come. From children to those so elderly you can only hope to be doing what they are in 40 years.
“We can only appreciate the miracle of a sunrise if we have waited in the dark” *
* As if by command the first light of sunrise triggers
Each morning, for those who are up early enough, the sun rises over the Atlantic Ocean in Atlantic Beach Florida. The
movement all down the beach. Each group such as
ocean shimmers with the dancing waves as the light strikes down. The foam from waves shoot up with the crashing
ourselves has staked out their own part of the shore and
water causing a volcanic like spurt.
we take to the water. It becomes considerably louder *
with the yells and laughter involved with attempting to glide through the breakzone without being shoved back into shore. Then all of the sudden it becomes quiet again. With the exception of a few stragglers still fighting their way out the majority of us have reached the outside and lie in wait for their first wave.
I have been up since 5, some even earlier than that. We wait for what we have seen so many times and hope we will never stop. We sit on the dunes with our boards alongside and our coffee in hand. I study my almost new Al Merrick Channel Island board 6 feet long with its green fins, orange footpad, and pink and yellow logo. My “darn good cup of joe” as we say rests in my hand, almost used to warm me rather than quench my thirst or wake me up as coffee is not something I enjoy drinking, but is part of the regiment we follow.
* “Good things come to those who wait.” *
how the day will turn out. And then it comes. Some see it from afar and holler to their friends, others spot it as it grows closer but everyone wants a piece of it. Sometimes up to around 30 different riders attempt to position themselves to have the right of way on the wave but on the first wave the rules are thrown to the wind. No one complains about sharing this wave and as many as possible join in to take part in the fun. *
For the superstitious among us it is the most important
After the first wave, it becomes the calmest frenzy one
wait, but even for those who aren’t the first ride of the day
could think of. There are riders moving around
As we sit we talk little, just thinking of how lucky we are to be able to be where we are. With the dunes elevation
comes as an important moment. It is the ride that some
everywhere but no one in a hurried or angry manner, just
giving us a view out into the water as well was down the shoreline where we are able to see other groups like our-
believe will tell you everything you need to know about
everyone out to have fun in the ocean with their friends.
* After the morning surf rush people begin to file onto the
Next the sports begin. Usually this entails a game of
beach. They come out one by one through the entrance
touch football with two of the fathers volunteered by
walkways alone and with families.
others to be the quarterbacks. Sometime to shake it up
* My own family will come down soon, my parents, sis-
someone will bring a soccer ball, or frisbee which leads to some of the most unorganized games of soccer and ultimate to ever exist.
ter, and dog. They will set up the rainbow umbrella and
each do their own thing be it reading a book for my mom, going for a jog down the beach, or grabbing a board and
Time you thought was wasted with those who mean the
coming out to join me on the waves.
most to you will never be time that is truly wasted. *
* After coming in from the morning surf sesh, we come in
The rest of the day goes by at a blur. There is time spent
to find that many of our families are on the beach relaxing
surfing, especially during high tide, boogieboarding, for
and just enjoying the time they have.
the jokers and the younger members at the beach, and
general splashing in the water, generally for those not yet able to swim in the deep water. Some let the dogs loose
Next come out the lunches. All different types of sand-
for a game of fetch or just to run around creating all kinds
wiches made in every which way possible, leading to
of havoc, of course always on the lookout for the dog
a massive trading market like atmosphere as everyone
attempts to weasel their way into grabbing the sandwich they want. The always classic peanut butter and jelly is my personal favorite and one I will defend at all costs.
* As the day begins to wind down the activities begin to