Le Someil au Soleil

When we spend the winter on Hilton Head Island it is “off season”.  The real tourist traffic starts in March and continues until Labour Day in September.  There are clusters of people who return for American Thanksgiving on the third Thursday of November and again briefly after the New Year. Otherwise the Island is comparatively quiet.  I was reminded of that today as I lounged by the pool in the late afternoon sunshine.

The reason of course that Hilton Head Island is “off season” from November – April is that the weather is not uniformly hot during that period.  In the past week (American Thanksgiving) the temperatures have been hovering between 70 – 78℉ but in the so-called depths of winter in January and February it is generally around 50 – 65℉ and sometimes approaching freezing in the early morning.  Only once (seven years ago) did I see any snow here and even then it was only snow showers which melted as soon as it hit the beach. Though there are the hearty swimmers in the Ocean on New Year’s Day, it is otherwise not common to see anyone fully submerged in the sea during the off season.  By late March the enthusiasts revitalize the tradition.

Because we bicycle almost every day (a habit akin to anything else we do every day, just something we do), I can be counted upon to feel tired afterwards. We have always been blessed to have access to a poolside patio on which to lounge in the late afternoon sunshine. Though the sunshine is frequently brilliant and often very warm, it appears that its strength is happily diminished from what I am accustomed to in the summer months. It is for example quite reasonable in the winter here to fall asleep in the sun for an hour without fear of broiling oneself.

I have long ago abandoned the necessity to strip down to skimpy shorts when lying in the sun. Knowing that I will not be making any demonstration of anything approaching nudity anywhere, it is sufficient that I expose only my face, forearms and legs to the sun’s beneficent rays. I count on my beach cycling to take care of the backs of my legs when I cycle northwards along the beach. I derive all the advantage I care to have by sunning in this comparatively reserved fashion.  There is still that characteristic tingle after an hour or so.

Anyone who knows me knows that I don’t sleep well at night.  But when I snooze by the pool in the afternoon it is a blissful repose.  Granted it isn’t for long but it is extremely reviving.  I don’t dream.  I just drift off.  Perhaps it’s the effect of the Vitamin D. I always awake refreshed.