Thursday, September 15, 2005

Ophelia: To Be Or Not To Be

"Just as the wave cannot exist for itself, but is ever a part of the heaving surface of the ocean, so must I never live my life for itself, but always in the experience which is going on around me." ~ Albert Schweitzer (German medical Missionary, Theologian, Musician and Philosopher. 1952 Nobel Peace Prize, 1875-1965)
I have never been at the beach when a hurricane is slowly moving off shore. Ophelia is south of Virginia Beach but the winds have been from the east and blowing on shore for several days now. Tomorrow, the rain is supposed to start and the winds may increase so I decided to get a few photos tonight just at sunset. The wind was much stronger at the beach than inland.

V-shaped mounds of sand have been piled up along the seawall at the steps from the boardwalk down to the beach and these fourwheelers were driving up and down the beach with red flags waving. These announced "Water Is Dangerous". Rip currents are significant and one swimmer drowned this past weekend when the beach was closed. Only a few stupid surfers were in the water this evening.

The waves appear to be three or four feet higher than normal right now with a small bit of foam. I could see clouds to the east and south but no lightning yet. Unless there is a drastic change of direction, we should be fine. Our house is about 10 miles inland.

I do understand now why all those weather reporters wear heavy slicker jackets and hoods when broadcasting during a hurricane. I didn't feel any spray down at the water's edge, but walking back to the boardwalk I noticed that my glasses were dirty. When I cleaned them, I realized that the lenses were coated with fine salt. I can only imagine how the salt saturates the reporters closer to the eye of the storm.

Yes, Ophelia is making her mark, not in strength, but in persistence.

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