Surfin’ USA

Pity we had to go back. Not that we don’t like going to Miami, but driving back ultimately means that our vacation is coming to an end. Kinda sad, but on the other hand we do miss the cats…and I am looking forward to not packing up and leaving AGAIN for a while, that change thing can be a tad obnoxious after a while. I like hotels alright, but every two to three nights a new one? Gah. It’s like a box of chocola… err. No. Change of topic.
We took the scenic route back. Going East to Cocoa Beach and Melbourne, then South along A1A towards Sebastian Inlet and Fort Pierce, ultimately ending up on Florida Turnpike.

The scenic route was really nice, as A1A is basically going South from island to island, so on your left you have the Atlantic Ocean, while on your right you have, if I am not mistaken, the Atlantic Causeway. Some beautiful beaches along the way, all of them equipped with parking lots and very clean public restrooms, you just fall off the street, park your car and actually are on the beach. It still amazes me, as I am not used to this. Another bonus if we should relocate to Florida…all of those beaches are turtle nesting grounds. This’d mean that I could spend my weekend during hatching season volunteering at one of those two million beaches and actually see turtles hatch, mark nests and what not….

One of the parks REALLY ticked me off though. Not the park itself, but some of the people in there. I understand that fishing here is pretty big. Which is fine and dandy, I have a fishing license as well in Germany, I took the test when I was 12. But over here, you apparently don’t need a license, which is fine and dandy as well by me if you know the fsck what you’re doing. Now, let’s think for a second here. We have a lot of Pelicans here. Neat birds. Their diet consists of fish. People fishing usually get fish out of the ocean. Still with me so far? Groovy. It happens every so often that a cocky Pelican is of the firm opinion, that the fish on the line actually belongs to them and tries to snatch it away. They often succeed, actually snapping the fish off without hook and sinker. At times though, they can accidentally manage to get the hook and line and actually get caught. The right thing to do is reel him in (yes, it has to be done), throw a towel over his head and take out the hook. If the bird manages to break the line, you contact a ranger, they take care of it.

Now, when we arrived on the boardwalk with some rather intense fishing done there, I saw two pelicans. One with a wriggler bait and hook in his beak, the other one at the other end of the fishing line still connected to bait and hook with something or other down his throat. Some … moron actually is not a strong enough and still too polite word for what that person was managed to catch two Pelicans with one line, cut the rest of the line off…and did nothing other than that. I have no idea how long ago that happened, but all the first guy did was point out the birds to me, going ‘Too bad, eh?’. Mel and I went looking for someone to notify, which was a tad difficult on a Saturday afternoon. The blokes in the tackle and bait shop couldn’t care less, the snack shop was closed…but out of the blue, I spotted a volunteer. After relaying the situation to him, we went to the boardwalk, where we found out that they flew off, independently after all, as they finally managed to break the line at least. What really made my fingers itch though were again the people. ‘Oh yeah, they managed to break free, I thought one of them was dead, the way its head lolled.’ Again, instead of doing anything at all, they just chose to watch while reeling in their lines in order to cast them again. I understand that Pelicans are a tad more common here than they are in Germany, and to people living here might not be as special, nevertheless this IS a State Park so act accordingly.

Two rangers finally arrived and set out to find the two Pelicans, armed with enough bait fish to tempt any bird they’d want to take a look at to them. We decided to rather head to the beach instead and watch the activity over there. My first ever surfers I’ve seen outside of television. Ok, so they sucked, still, they made for some decent pictures. Aaand off we went again, after all, we wanted to arrive before sundown in Miami. We did manage to wet our feet though at a less crowded beach on the way down…and let me tell you, the water was…DARN cold. On the other hand, it was great fun. I never dipped my feet into the Atlantic Ocean before. North Sea (which is the same water kinda), yeah, but, either way, it’s a mind thing I guess. It was fun, it felt good, I got sand through the backwash into my shoes….but that was quickly taken care of with one of the showers available.

When we arrived at the hotel though, we are staying at the Holiday Inn in Coral Gables, just across the University of Miami campus. The traffic on I95 was a nightmare. What really sucks though is that what we took for rush hour traffic at a rather odd time of day, i.e. saturday evening 6pm-ish…actually was apparently light traffic. Sheeeeesh. So. Not. Attractive. But it seems there are literally ways around this.

That’s it for today, on Sunday we’re gonna meet a friend and do some shopping…and start packing. Man, this is so wrong…

More news tomorrow.

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