Happy Birthday!

Although we don’t fuss about one another’s birthday, we’re having a celebratory lunch at Sea Shack today.  As the name suggests it is a decidedly casual restaurant but the homemade food is in our opinion flavourful – things like seafood chowder, gumbo soup, conch fritters, blackened grouper and Key Lime pie. We will bicycle there, not far from the top end of Sea Pines (while we’re presently located at the bottom end). It will likely be no more than a 30-minute cycle through the towering sea pines and palmetto ferns from here to there.  We intend to visit another location nearby to get future directions settled.

My NEXUS card is now ready for renewal but we’ve decided to put it off until our return to Canada because the renewal requires attendance at a border crossing office (probably the Ottawa International airport). Aside from that there isn’t much else that distinguishes the day. I am not even planning to have Key Lime pie, the predictable repercussions of which are just too dreary to repeat.


After withdrawing with some difficulty from the wooden picnic table where we had greedily and merrily consumed our very digestible Sea Shack luncheon, we mounted our beach cruisers and directed our passage to nearby Coligny Beach Park. The venue was swirling with young parents and tiny children, satisfied indolent old people on swinging seats and the occasional whiff of fresh cigar smoke. The congestion gave way as people – walkers and cyclists – fulfilled the Bernoulli principle to stream onto the expansive freedom of the beach.

His name is commemorated in the Bernoulli’s principle, a particular example of the conservation of energy, which describes the mathematics of the mechanism underlying the operation of two important technologies of the 20th century: the carburetor and the airplane wing.

As I cycled the wind was in my face. More strategically the tide was rapidly rising. The Tide Chart on my iPhone indicated that High Tide was at 02:46 PM.  It was shortly after one o’clock when I set upon my grainy course to Sea Pines Beach Club.  The ribbon of beach which persisted for bicycle travel was wide enough to accommodate the journey but the limit was fast closing. It was a welcome conclusion to our celebratory luncheon that I soon approached the cushioned synthetic walkway from the beach to the Clubhouse where I precipitously sat upon a bench and expired. I suspect I dozed as well, another of the tragedies of mounting age.

While it would amount to a gross exaggeration to say there is any meaningful elevation change at this sea level resort I have nonetheless familiarized myself with what I consider a slight downhill jaunt from Sea Pines Beach Club to Harbour Town where we’re staying.  The distinction is minimal but in my general state of decomposition every particle helps! The first junction was a golf course ’round which I wound through another forested area precedent to Harbour Town.

The sunshine I had absorbed in my westerly pursuit was becoming noticeable on my increasingly rugged face. There had been some others of my age or slightly less on the beach who to my astonishment conducted the near equivalent of nudity. I have resolved to limit my exposure to my lower limbs, my bare arms and face.  Anything else is not only absurd but also an affront to others.  I cannot imagine who would willingly tolerate my appearance clothed to any lesser degree.

The day was not yet complete. By curious coincidence the hour competed with the same I observe at home for a daily car wash. When I arrived at the car wash there was a line-up. I entered the flow ahead of a Cadillac monstrosity. I could tell from a glance in my rearview mirror that the Cadillac driver (a local resident judging by his licence plate) was annoyed I had got ahead of him, no doubt assuming that with my Ontario plate I would obstruct the entry by lingering over the myriad of choices on the payment screen.  Instead the chap ahead of me – clearly also someone from out of town – initiated the payment process by inserting his credit card the wrong way, then after judiciously awaiting the result that never materialized withdrew the card and put it in the correct way.  This succeeded to take his payment and lift the entry gate before him.  However when he withdrew the credit card from the slot it fell to the ground.  His effort to recover it was hindered first by his inability to open his driver’s door (which banged into the payment screen) upon which he advanced the car and again attempted to get out of the car but without having remembered to put the car in park, so the huge machine jerked forward.  He applied the brakes and got out.  He was a large man.  His search for the card was further obstructed by having disappeared somewhere beneath the car.  Finally he got down on his hands and knees and recovered it.  All the while the Cadillac driver was cursing the tourists who invade his territory and who I suspect he forgot contribute materially to the local business welfare. When it came my turn to advance towards the gate it immediately uplifted – something the Cadillac driver hadn’t anticipated.  I punctuated the familiarity by pushing a button to collapse my side mirrors – another blow.

At home I made a strong cup of coffee and retired to the balcony towards the setting sun overlooking the greens of the golf club.  I treated myself to a serious read of the “History of England” of which I never tire not only because of its improvement of my historical knowledge but mostly because of the inexpressible use of language by Thomas Babington Macaulay.