Sunday, June 14, 2009

2009 - June; Sunny West Palm Beach

June 7, 2009---waking up to a brilliant sunrise!

After a long day of travel the day before and arriving in West Palm Beach during an all night storm, it was a relief to see some blue sky in the morning.

Since I was awake at sunrise, I decided to watch the display. It was spectacular!

Lots of boats were even out and about already.

Barb also joined me on our lanai. For quite awhile we watched the changing colors of the sky and water.

When the sun was all the way out, we were treated to views of the bluest blue waters of the ocean.

Down on the beach we were surprised to see tons of half shells in lots of different shades of oranges and grays.

We spent the day mostly hanging out by the ocean and pool---and the daily trip to Walmart. By evening we were back at the ocean watching the clouds roll by.

On monday we decided to head over to MacArthur Beach State Park about 5 or 6 miles from our resort. There was a $4 admission fee/car, but it was well worth it.
While sitting in the park eating our pic nic lunch, we were entertained by this fellow---

And this fellow---

The walk to the beach was over the intercoastal waterway and then down this switchback trail to the beach. It is a beautiful pristine beach with lots of shells and open empty spaces.
I did have an underwater camera with me, but it decided to quit again. I guess it's time to replace it. But I found this picture on the internet of a fishy that we saw. Yes! It was a shark! My first ever shark sighting while playing in the ocean and hopefully my last! The one we saw was only about a foot long and was hunkered down in the reef. I believe it was a nurse shark. We didn't stick around it too long, even though it was so small.

This is looking back at the snorkel area from the walkway. The rocky area is actually pretty good for snorkeling. I saw plenty of fish there, some quite large---such as the largest angel fish i've ever seen as well as some large ornamental wrasses like we see in Hawaii. Even saw a squid swimming around---not to mention the baby shark. It doesn't look too deep from the picture, but there were plenty of spots before the rocky reef that were over 5 foot deep. I was too chicken to venture on the other side of the reef all by myself. Barb had problems with the snorkel gear (or was it problems with seeing a shark?!) and didn't stay in the water long.

We spend a good 5 hours in the park. It was a hot sunny day, but an afternoon storm rolled through and gave us a short spell from the sun. It wasn't long enough or bad enough to get us to leave the park, though. It was just long enough to rejuvenate us for another couple hours.
Another place we were told to snorkel was here by the marina in the intercoastal waterway under the bridge going to Singer Island. We did check it out, but Barb had enough gulps of seawater---I mean snorkeling---at Mac Arthur park and the ocean by our resort, so we never made it back to snorkel here. We did see a large puffer fish swimming along close to shore while we were standing here looking around, though. I thought it would be an interesting place to hang out and swim for awhile---lots of shade under the highway---but we never made it back there. I had also hoped to make it to Peanut Island near the Marina, but the lifeguard told us that it was probably murky with all the rain they had in the previous couple of weeks so we didn't bother going there since it would have meant a $7 rt water taxi fee and about a mile walk to the snorkel area once we were on the island.

We did enjoy a walk around the marina area and taking a few pictures, though.

Back at the resort beach near sunset, we watched schools of fish swimming along the shore line and jumping out of the water. I was able to catch one surfacing, but there really was a bunch more of them jumping around there, too.

Although the sun doesn't set over the Atlantic ocean in Florida, it still can throw colors across the sky over the Atlantic. So we watched the sun set from the beach by our condo.

Thurs. we decided to head out of West Palm Beach and down to north Miami to catch the afternoon Marlins/Cardinals baseball game. This is the first time I've been able to see the Cardinals play other then at their home field. It was pretty neat and quite different. Parking was a breeze, tickets were cheap ($10), and there was lots of space to move around. After spending the first 4 or 5 innings in the direct sun, we moved over and up to a section that was beginning to get shade. Probably at least a quarter of the fans were Cardinal fans.

Here's Duncan shanking a ball to the right.

Here's Barb enjoying the game.

Here's Ankiel catching a fly out.

What is a Land Shark? (I've learned that's a type of beer)
Note, we're actually winning---and ultimately did!

Here's Pujols catching the final out.

They definately have a strange looking stadium. Actually it's the football stadium and I understand they're planning on building a new stadium for the Marlins.
The last 3 days of our trip were without any rain. We spent most of our time hanging out in the really nice pool at the resort or playing in the ocean. Here's another view from our room.

We even encountered lots of jellyfish the last day. Sort of freaked us out at first until we realized noone was getting stung and kids were playing with them. We were told they were tentacleless critters in the jelly fish family but they couldn't sting. They were like blobs of gel. Glad they were only around on our last day there.
We only stayed 6 nights and they flew by way too quickly. I had a great time and hope that Barb did, too.