Sunday, July 30
I slept poorly Saturday night. I had a weird moment where I though Cicero was in the bed running his tail into my face.
Today was a beach day. I looked around the local Five and Dime and found a package of thick shish-kabob stakes and a package of rubber-bands with which to make a simple compass. I set them aside for construction later.
The beach at Ocean City requires a permit to use. Folks laden with beach equipment arrive around 10 AM or so and set up an umbrella or other sun shade, beach chairs, and possibly small beach games. By noon, the place resembles an outdoor art fair. There's a lot of sitting around in beach chairs in swim-ware. Occasionally, high school or college-aged officials will stroll by and ask to see a permit.
The Atlantic Ocean is warm, about 70 degrees, I think. Life guards sit in a raised and covered chair. Our guards had a rescue rowboat. The guards set up flags on either side of their station: green flags for permitted swimming zone boundaries and red flags for too-rough-to-swim. Occasionally a guard on a jet-ski rides by. Sometimes a guard will wade out into the surf with a buoy to test the current's strength and direction.
Oh, right; every so often a small prop plane will fly overhead, pulling a long banner add behind it. This also strikes me as very odd and un-Oregonian. I wonder if the pilots find it interesting or boring or simply a source of money.
Only a small percentage of the Jersey Short is state run, the vast majority are private, city-run beaches. It takes me a while to get used to, because Oregon beaches are all public access, and pretty much "you're on your own" as far as lifeguards and safety railings go. Oregonians tend to bundle-up and stroll along the beach more, and swim less (unless they have a scuba-suit). It's typical to have a strong, consistent wind, which can make beach umbrellas a challenge.
Small children playing in the sand along the tide are the same on both sides of the nation.
That evening, some of the family went to Atlantic City to gamble (apparently Grandma had a lucky run). The rest of us stayed at the house, had an ice cream bar, and played games like Boggle and Uno.