Great Barracuda - Sphyraena barracuda

Great Barracuda - Sphyraena barracuda

September 8, 2017


Flashback: Ocracoke Island, August 16. A low pressure system had been hanging off the coast for a few days. The ocean was BOILING. It sounded like a freight train. We headed for the beach anyway, anxious to get in and recoup a lost year away from it!

When we pulled up, I took one look and said, "Um. Nope! This is not good. I don't like the look of this. Not a good idea to get in that water."
Storm surge, Ocracoke 2017
My son, Dave, ignored my pleas, threw on some sun block, grabbed his surf board and headed into the water.

I implored: "Dave, this makes me very nervous! Please don't go in!"

He was undeterred: "Mom, it's fine."

The fear reduced me to tears.

He fought his way through the surf, was justly pummeled, and returned about 10 minutes later.

"You were right, Mom. It's too big."

"Number one, I'm always right. Number two, you made me cry!"

Soon after, the Park rangers stopped by each car to tell everyone to stay out of the water. Unbeknownst to us and just up the beach, a man had drowned the previous day in the rip current while attempting to save another man caught in it.

Jump ahead to today: Hurricane Irma has already flattened parts of the Caribbean and now threatens the Florida Keys and South Florida. NOAA is predicting up to 9-foot storm surge in parts of South Florida. This storm surge dwarfs the surge above. According to NOAA Hurricane Center (CLICK HERE for link) and the map below, 9-foot storm surge inundates a huge portion of oceanfront.
South Florida with potential 1- to 9-foot storm surge

While I sit high and dry in the Fish Cave––many miles from the ocean, reading posts on Facebook from friends who plan to ride out the hurricane––I'm reminded of ocean's power and destruction. It's real. It's unfeeling. It can knock down buildings, wash out bridges, rip up trees, toss boats and trucks, wash over islands, and drown people and animals in it's path.

Absolutely Love the ocean! But also fear and respect the ocean... and if possible, get the hell out of the way.

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