Today is a nondescript Sunday though it is at least singular for that small compliment. Even the Ocean is grey. The slate white sand on the beach has preserved a muted resonance but it certainly doesn’t glow as it normally would on a brilliant sunny day. No matter. It’s Sunday and no one appears anxious to be out-of-doors other than to perform the routine pet walk, a duty apparently relegated to old folks. At least until Thanksgiving Weekend we’ve been spared the screams of children. Meanwhile the Island has an insipid hollow feel to it. Though there were a number of people on the tennis court when we began our bicycle venture around 12:30 pm there is otherwise a general lack of exuberance. Passers-by don’t exactly scowl but there is a distinct lack of bonhomie, an uncharacteristic reservation.
Although there was a wind from the NNW at 19 km/hr we decided to enter the beach at Tower Beach and push northward to Coligny Park. Once there, and after having relaxed on the boardwalk for a moment, we agreed to press northward to the Sonesta Beach area. As we subsequently approached the Omni Hotel beyond Sonesta Beach we encountered a demarcation on the beach for restoration of sand from the Ocean (a necessity arising from the effects of Hurricane Matthew). By that time we were feeling the pang of sustained peddling against the wind so we turned back. Although we had the wind at our backs, it didn’t carry us as effortlessly as I had hoped. When we approached the Grand Ocean Marriott Hotel south of Coligny Park we diverted to the bike path on South Forest Beach Road and then regained the path in Sea Pines to take us home. Though the canopy of foliage is less impenetrable than before Hurricane Matthew it was still a relentlessly somber ride to South Beach.
As I remarked at the outset, it doesn’t matter where on earth one is: if the weather is foul or just grey, it all looks the same. There is no sparkle, there are no gem colours, there is no vibrancy; it’s all just flat and boring. The only exception to such a shroud is if there were an exceptional wind or perhaps some unusual weather pattern like freezing snow showers, something at least to provide an element of variation. Of course it helps in such circumstances to be dressed for the occasion as otherwise it is difficult to endure the inclement weather with any dignity. When we started out on our bicycles today I thought to myself that I could well have worn my heavy wool cardigan or perhaps a shell. Turns out I didn’t need either but there were initially moments I thought it might begin to rain.
The tide was at its lowest at 12:30 pm today which is why we chose to cycle on the beach at that time. The Tide Chart is something we regularly consult. I feel so delightfully Maritime saying that! We agreed that the beach seemed wider than usual today. Given the overnight earthquakes in New Zealand it is possible that the gravitational effect of the Super Moon is being reflected in the tides here as well.
There will be an amazing spectacle tonight as the first supermoon in almost 70 years appears in the night sky. In fact, if you’re younger than 68 you have never witnessed this record-breaking supermoon in your lifetime.
Tomorrow morning, November 14th, the moon will be the closest it has been to Earth since 1948. It will appear 14 percent bigger and 30 percent brighter than the average monthly full moon. Of course that’s dependent on hopefully viewing the supermoon without the obstruction of a cloudy night. Thankfully it appears most of the United States will remain mostly clear for tonight’s supermoon.
Dawdling along on my bicycle I reflected as is my wont upon my lot in life. As inglorious as the weather may have been today it is nonetheless undeniable that bicycling on the beach in November is not entirely wanting. We have friends who hibernate in the Caribbean, further south in the United States or in Bali and the South Pacific. The options are various and intriguing. We’ve agreed to remain in situ and to energize ourselves if need be by visiting other nearby locations like Jekyll Island or Key West. As dull as it may sound we’ve reconciled ourselves to the fact that “there ain’t no ship to take you away from yourself” and that many of the more exotic places on earth come with a compromise (which is to say, something we’d prefer to ignore). At our age we’re not well outfitted for adventure. Permit me however to observe that we cycled 15.51 miles today, the longest ride so far this season. And it’s killing me!