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Apollo Beach Equals Awesome

According to the brochure we were given at the Ranger's station, Canaveral National Seashore was set aside in the 1950s to buffer activities of nearby NASA.  You may recall that on our last trip to the beach, we went to Playalinda, which is on the South end of the barrier island. Reading somewhere that people rode horses on the North end, I decided that was the place to go! Except, I did not read far enough because it is only in the winter months that that activity is allowed. My handy brochure pointed this out.

Nonetheless, this time we drove North to New Smyrna Beach, home to the now infamous video!, following A1A South to the park entrance. Oh my, was it beautiful! Unlike Playalinda where there are I think 13 parking areas with boardwalks, Apollo has just five. We drove the entire distance, but not before I got out at Number One to see what I could see.
New Smyrna is in the distance...

One of the things that I most like seeing is the different colors of the sand. I've no idea why this stretch has such an orange tint, similar to Flagler Beach which is about 50 miles North. Surprising, because the sand at NSB is grayish white, as is the sand on Playalinda, both of which flank this stretch of coastline.

Might I just say it was paradise? Why, yes I might, and I think I will!
The water temperature was perfect, with just enough waves to make it fun, unlike the previous week when they were pretty much downright dangerous. Within eyesight there were about six people making it very peaceful indeed. Not to mention the low humidity and lovely sea breeze.

Some folks head to the beach to relax, however, that has never been my strong suit. Bruce, on the other hand, swam some, read some, and slept some. I roam all over the place when I'm not in the water, amusing myself with the likes of this:
During the few hours we were there I took more photographs than was necessary, including a few I wanted to share of the cloud formations throughout our visit. Over the Atlantic the clouds were few, however, back towards the mainland, it was interesting to watch a storm come in. Early on it looked like this:
As the day progressed there were more....
The water was exceptionally clear and clean, with not a trace of seaweed. which can be such a bother, don't you agree?

Ready--a big fat Florida rainstorm!
That was facing North, but turning South it looked like this:
Ha ha--they ended up doing just the same on our drive home--a monsoon began, forcing me off the road for a bit, before I could see where I was going...but that's later, because there is even MORE to report!

I mentioned there were just a few folks, including a man and woman with a canopy set up adjacent to the boardwalk. He was fishing, she was roaming, in the water, and generally leaving her tent unoccupied. Bruce said he ought to go ask the fishing man if he'd seen the video, however, he ended up thinking maybe not. Well, you know me, I've never met a stranger, so of course I asked the woman.
Their tent is poorly seen, but look hard. Well, wouldn't you know it, she HAD seen the video, having been sent the link by her son, WHO, it just so happens, went to Edgewater High School with Rich!! We got a laugh over the coincidence. Soon thereafter, she and her husband began packing their things. Playing in the waves, I did not see what happened next, but Bruce did. Returning to our little set up, he told me that when the folks were taking their first trip to the car, loaded with what they could carry, a family PARKED THEMSELVES under the tent!! Now, they did not try claiming it as theirs, leaving immediately once the error was pointed out, however, it gave us all a good laugh!

Stopping at the visitor center on our way out, we walked out onto the dock jutting out into the lagoon. Oh wait--I almost forgot--before leaving, we saw dolphins out in the water!! I'd only just mentioned how I'd love to see some, and by golly, they appeared!! A little school of them. Of course, we only saw their fins, along with a bit of their backs, but it was good. So, if that weren't enough, as we stood there, gazing into the water, seeing this weird fish, which a man told us were called pin fish,
what should Bruce spot but a manatee!!!
Here's what he/she was doing under the dock...
Yes, indeed, eating the barnacles!! I'm wondering about what type of manatee this is as I've only seen gray ones before. Outstanding, really, to see nature in action! Plus, I bet we saw at least seven big gopher turtles along the beach road. Speaking of which, I mentioned we went as far as the road goes, however, there is yet more beach connecting Playalinda and Apollo, called Klondike Beach, reachable only on foot, or bicycle. That stretch is about as long as the other two put together.

Because it was after 2, we stopped for lunch at JB's Fish Camp, where we enjoyed some yummy fried shrimp. As is typical with those kind of places, it was decorated with all manner of oddities. Outside, though, there was something I wouldn't call odd so much as sad.
Just above the Grab some Buds sign, you can just see that it is a Cuban Refugee raft, discovered twenty years ago. Small, and built with aluminum and boards, there is no telling how many folks risked their lives to come to Florida.

All in all, it was just a wonderful day, then of course, the gigantic rainstorm gave me pause on the drive home. If you've ever driven in a Florida rainstorm you will know just what I mean. At our end of town there had not been a drop, that is, until we were just getting out of the car, then all hell broke loose. Or I guess I should make that all heaven broke loose! Looking out the kitchen window I saw water gushing up alongside the house, never a good sign. Heading out with an umbrella, getting soaked just the same, Bruce discovered that a big drain he'd installed about 17 years ago was not working. Why, a drain you ask? Over time the yard has gotten higher than the house foundation, making large amounts of water a hazard, as in, it will run into the garage!

There was not a thing he could do about it then, however, up super early today, he discovered the cause.
Those are roots which grew through the pipe, taking it's shape as they grew, and grew. You might just note that Bruce's shirt is wet. and that is not from water. Hot and humid as the dickens for digging in the dirt. Not just any dirt mind you, but dirt filled with just that type of root. I told you those Lady Palms were a nuisance!! It is times like these when we think this big yard is far too much for the two of us!

It's all repaired now, and time for me to get out there myself to mow the lawn--that is if I make it before the rains come.
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