The Waning Days of Summer and Hurricanes

Labor Day is traditionally the “end of summer,” but clearly it is not the end of the hot weather, particularly in Florida.  We visited St. Augustine and New Smyrna Beach over Labor Day weekend.  The weather was cloudy but hot.  It was a nice day to be on the beach.  Many people took advantage of the long weekend.  Interestingly, Hurricane Irma was on the mind of local residents, even though it was 2,000 miles away and the forecasters were not sure where it is going to land.

Just two days after Labor Day, people are preparing for the worst.  Irma, now a category 5 hurricane is headed toward Florida, somewhere.  While I was in Sam’s Club, the bottled water supply ran out.  People at Home Depot were stocking up on lumber and other essentials.  Having moved from the mid-west, hurricane preparation is new to me.

So will the beaches on the east coast of Florida be hit or will the west coast be clobbered.  The beautiful picture from Labor Day may soon be a memory.  It will depend on Irma.

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Pacifica Trip Diary – Day 13

Day 13: January 20, 2014

Today I took a helicopter to the Frans Joseph Glacier.  Once there, we hiked on, in and around the glacier for two hours.  We were kept warm by wearing heavy rubberized boots with spikes attached for walking, gloves, hat, heavy coats and rain paints to keep dry.  It was an interesting and rewarding experience.  During our visit to the glacier, chunks of ice were dropping from a cliff.  It sounded like an explosion each time it happened.  Thankfully we were not near the dropping ice.

Picture of helicopter
Helicopter to Frans Joseph Glacier
Picture of Frans Joseph Glacier
Frans Joseph Glacier
Picture of falling glacier
Falling Glacier

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I returned early and rested on a park bench while waiting for my colleagues who took a hike up the mountains overlooking the glacier.  By the sounds of their day, I had the easier trip.

We headed out from the Frans Joseph Glacier to Bruce Bay.  Another beautiful deserted beach along the west coast.  There was a Maori tradition that those who died were put onto floating devices and sent out to sea.  Now, people write notes on rocks along the shore.  Some are of the type that “Kilroy was here.”  Others expressed sentiments of love for one another, memories of lost ones, etc.  After our brief visit here we were on the road again to another short hike and beach.

Picture of rocks on Bruce Bay
Bruce Bay
Picture of Bruce Bay Shore
Bruce Bay Shore

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We walked through a swampy forrest.  The scenery was amazing.  There was a type of tree that was as straight as an arrow and grew to about 800 years.  Even here in the swamp, the water was crystal clear reflecting back to the sky.  The swamp was a brief walk to another beach on the west coast.  It was exceptionally beautify and amazing to me to see so much deserted beach.  The water was cold and there are only 4 million inhabitants in the entire South Island.

Picture of swamp ferns
Swamp Ferns
Picture of path in swamp
Swamp Walk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We walked through a swampy forrest.  The scenery was amazing.  There was a type of tree that was as straight as an arrow and grew to about 800 years.  Even here in the swamp, the water was crystal clear reflecting back to the sky.  The swamp was a brief walk to another beach on the west coast.  It was exceptionally beautify and amazing to me to see so much deserted beach.  The water was cold and there are only 4 million inhabitants in the entire South Island.

Picture of west coast beach
West Coast Beach

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We pushed on to our accommodations.  There were mountains surrounding us and cows grazing in the pastures around us.