|the pavilions on Santa Rosa Island|
|April. We did not let our baby swim in the hurricane storm surge yesterday.|
We were going a little stir crazy yesterday so we drove out to Pensacola Beach to see if we could find any nice seashells. Hurricane Isaac brought us some wind and rain, but we didn’t appreciate what a storm surge the beach got. Right as we drove onto the island, we saw these pavilions to the left on Santa Rosa Sound. The calm, warm water here is great for letting Isaac
eat play in the sand on a swim day. In this sunny photo you can see these same pavilions back behind Baby Isaac in April. Yesterday, the water had risen up and over them, partially flooding the parking lot. Chris inched the Picky Pelican (our 4-Runner) into the edge of the puddle. “Driving in the Gulf! Driving in the Gulf!”
|Lifeguards (in the truck) kept people out of the surf|
The stinging sand in the wind was the first thing we noticed across the street at Pensacola Beach. Ok, so maybe we wouldn’t be enjoying sandwiches on our beach blanket and looking for seashells. It was still SO windy! Huge drifts of sand covered everything on the beach—picnic tables, the seawall, boardwalks. A bulldozer was already at work clearing sand. The Gulf looked a lot more churned up than usual, but it wasn’t until we walked out on the fishing pier that juts out over a quarter mile into the sea that we got a good sense of the power of the surge.
|Pensacola Beach Pier, November 2011|
The surf foamed and boiled white all the way to the end of the pier. Waves smashed into the pile-ons, spraying us with saltwater. I’m not sure how high the storm surge was here, but it swept over the island in several places, covering the road with sand and washing away parts of dunes. We didn’t see any of that. I don’t have any pictures of the pier from the same angle as this stormy picture, but just for comparison, in this picture to the right I would be standing a little outside the photo to the right to take the above picture yesterday.
The sheer power of the remnants of the edge of the storm surprised me. I pictured Jesus hanging out on the end of the pier, watching the usually placid waters churning and roiling, and saying, “Peace, be still!” and UN-BOOM! the wind goes silent, the waters settle, the clouds clear (a la Mark 4). Eh?! Who is this, that even the wind and the waves obey him?! Then Chris and I played “Save the Baby.” This does not involve the baby actually needing to be saved, but rather discussing ways to save the baby if, you know, an evil villain came by and tossed you and him off the pier. We had already played this game on the three-mile bridge over Pensacola Bay. How do you battle the rip currents? Would sharks factor into the danger? What’s the best baby-saving swim position? Let us know if you have any baby-saving tips.
|Baby Isaac thinks Hurricane Isaac is impressive.|
Our goal of finding seashells was not met, but we were more than impressed with what we did find. We concluded our beach visit with PB&J sandwiches in the damp pavilions on the Sound side. Then the Isaacs said their adieus, and home we went.
|We only got tropical storm-force winds|
|waves crashing over the parking lot on the other side of the train bridge|
|This soggy boat launch is just a few miles from our house.|