Sunday, September 5, 2010

Offline! At the Beach! With pending weather events! (Part I)

Monday, August 30:  (transcribed from handwritten notes:)

We arrived at Caswell Beach last night, unpacked the car, provisioned ourselves at the grocery store, and then took a short sunset walk on the beach. Bou the Beagle sniffed diligently, fulfilling her self-appointed duty to pee in every crab hole she could find.  Meanwhile, Asta the Wonder Mutt forgot her manners and pulled, incessantly, on the leash while we were near the surf. Too near, it seems, for Asta. It takes the pups a few days to acclimate to that loud, moving body of water.  For a brief while Asta barked at wind-driven foam, but the novelty quickly wore off.
Sunset on Monday
Out at sea, over the curve of the earth, Hurricane Danielle is moving out to the mid-Atlantic, leaving us alone whiel supposedly leaving a legacy of swells and rough surf, but there’s no evidence of that here on Oak Island.  More of a concern is Hurricane Earl, which is brewing up to be a big storm that just might mess with our plans later this week.

Asta insouciantly awaits the pending hurricane.

All last week I monitored Danielle’s progress via an RSS feed from the National Hurricane Center, delivered to my iGoogle desktop several times daily. I'm somewhat of a web weather junkie, with mild tendencies as these things go. We have a regional NOAA station in Blacksburg, and I check their website daily. If there’s the possibility of a weather “event,” as the professional weather pundits might term such natural occurrences as snow, heavy rainfalll, or a hurricane, then I go into researcher mode and dig deep into various weather resources. I rationalize this because I’m a librarian, and we like to search and then research. The online quest, in and of itself, is fun. And somewhat addictive, at times. More on that later.

Sea oat seed heads in a sandy hollow near the dunes

So Earl’s out there, and I'm at the beach without ongoing online RSS updates. That's because we’re offline for the entire week. Sure, I brought a laptop (mostly because there’s thousands of songs on my iTunes), as well as  my iPad, just  in case I wander off to the local public library or one of the handful of internet cafes here in the Oak Island/Southport neighborhood.  We’re offline because Birds of A Feather, the mawkishly monikered cottage we’ve rented, is a bit run down (check out the sound construction of the spiffy walkway in the above photo of Asta, and you'll see what I mean about rundown).  Wi-fi is pretty much out of the question here.  It’s full of rustic beachfront charm, but if you want your weather, then it’s the Weather Channel on the 24” Samsung TV. 

Overlooking the Intercoastal Waterway in Southport
So, for this week, we will be connected to weather prognostication via a method we don’t have at home, plain ol’ twentieth-century cable television.  Specifically, the Weather Channel. We’ll see how it goes....

In the meantime, we’ll have fun.

(We now leave me at the beach, reporting from last week, with a potential weather event looming over the horizon.  What will happen? Stay tuned....)

Imperiled by giant tropical drinks