Our third day in Florida again greets us with dark, low hanging clouds. It is warm and muggy. The prediction is for showers and thunderstorms all day with temperatures in the 70s. Hubby went out and bought cheap rain ponchos while I was at my conference with the hopes that we can explore some outdoors in spite of the rain.
We eat a modest lunch of cold cut meat, lettuce, and cheese on flat bread while we try to decide what we can do in the rain. We decide to drive to Sombrero Beach in Marathon. I don’t think we will have too many people sunning themselves to worry about. The rain is intermittent and has mostly stopped by the time we stroll onto the beach. The beach is actually a very narrow strip of sand along the shore that, at this point in time, is mostly covered with green seaweed, garbage, and strange creatures who have been washed ashore. It looks deserted. It isn’t until later that we learn that the tide for the last couple of days has been record setting high resulting in the garbage strewn beach that we are seeing. No one really has an explanation for this except possibly the unusual presence this time of year of a hurricane in the mid-Atlantic.
The wind is howling off of the ocean and our rain ponchos flap like terrified creatures escaping the wind driven rain. Wind speeds of 30-40 miles per hour were predicted for today. I wonder if this must be a small taste of what it would be like in the early stages of a hurricane. As we walk along the beach, we watch the various sea creatures who have been washed ashore trying to survive. There are brown blobs of soft jellyfish just barely being covered by water and others who have succumbed for lack of water higher up on the beach. Small horseshoe crabs skitter away from us. Mixed among the clumps of seaweed are bright blue things that look like un-popped balloons. They are obviously dead but when stepped on, they also pop like a balloon. Later we spy a sign that identifies these creatures as Portuguese Men-Of-War and warns us that they are the most dangerous jelly fish in Florida. It is a good thing I had shoes on.
A deluge from the sky sends us back to our car and headed back to the resort. The rain is so heavy that we edge along through the spreading torrent of water on the road. Later, at the hotel, when I check my phone, I realize that we had been sent an emergency management text, “Tornado Warning – take shelter immediately.” The warning was for the town of Marathon right while we were driving through it. We didn’t see any tornado but then we really couldn’t see much of anything.
We retire to our hotel room to rest and relax until the evening when the sky crying stops. We spend our evening strolling around Hawks Cay. It is a beautiful place of palm trees, brightly colored flowers, and stately houses situated on the water. Along the dock are boats neatly lined up in their slips.