In light of where we are, I also want to post notes of what I’ve learned about the beach/ocean since childhood (I mean just because we’re not completely in control doesn’t mean we shouldn’t practice beach safety, right?):
1. Never turn your back on the ocean. It’ll take you off your feet in a hot second and you’ll be eating sand and seashells for the next week. Always stand to the side. It’s the stance you’re most stable and you can see what’s coming your way.
2. Curved fins = dolphins. Straight fins = sharks.
3. Never shake your towel out with the wind coming towards you. Otherwise you’ll be having sand for lunch.
4. Wear sunscreen even when it’s cloudy.
5. If you’re in the ocean, know where the beach exit is and keep an eye on it. Otherwise you might be walking a mile (or two) to get back to it after the tide has taken you up or down shore.
6. Big wave coming at you? Duck under it but take a deep breath. See number 7.
7. If a wave holds you under, don’t panic. Keep holding your breath. It WILL release you and you’ll be pushed to the surface.
8. Know which way the tide is going before you go into the ocean. Whether it’s out or in or going out or coming in could make a difference in your safety level.
9. If you’re caught in a rip tide, float. When it’s over, you can swim back to shore.
10. Have a boogie board? Use the velcro attachment. The boogie board can be used as a flotation device.
11. If you’re a body surfer (like me), remember: if the pull is strong and the wave is medium to large, don’t take it unless you want a really rough ride. If the pull is strong and the wave is small with no umf you won’t get a ride. If the pull is strong and the wave is small but strong, go for it!
12. Lastly, have respect for the sea. It’s bigger and stronger than you and contains lots of scary animals.