Tag Archives: New Smyrna Beach

road closed at bridge by Marina

Hurricane Irma Aftermath of Hot Hot Hot

After watching the slow progression of Hurricane Irma for many, many days we sat inside a boarded up house and waited to see what would happen.  Wind happened, and I know there were tornado warnings. We felt fairly safe with the hurricane shutters up, but the wind went on and on all night and into the next day.

I can’t comment on anything that happened to the US or anywhere else after Irma slammed through because after Sunday night (Sept. 10th) at around midnight, until yesterday, Saturday, the 16th, I was cut off from the world.

Limbs were down and the yard was the typical mess of  branches to haul to the side of the road.  Damage in my area was not all that bad.  We thought the power would be back on quickly.

I work from home, so I rarely left my house. Without power, I could charge my phone from my laptop, but had to reserve the charge to let my far away family members how we were. I still don’t know what path Irma took. That’s how it is when you are IN the hurricane. Once it hits you know nothing but your own small area of life – for days and days… on and on.  It’s like you sink into a new world while the normal world goes on without you.

We did not have a generator. My son works at Home Depot and he said that before the storm, the generators were flying out of the store as soon as they arrived. We assumed we could survive a few days without power and then invest in a generator to be ready for next time.

no power, refrigerator open
Airing out the fridge, eating out of coolers and leaving doors open hoping for a hot breeze – Day 4 without power

Wrong. After about day 3 or 4 – they run together – disgust with the hot weather turns to anger … about everything.   The mind becomes a bit nutty when you sit in your own sweat day and night.

The worst thing for me was the fact that the entire opposite side of the road had power by day 2. And we, just across the street, still sat outside hoping for the slightest of breezes. We watched all our food spoil and spent lots of time searching for ice.  I was mad at my neighbors for living a normal life and being oblivious to the fact that I was not.   I wanted an explanation from the power company.  I saw no reason for my suffering, and their trucks never came near my house.  (I know they were working on it, but at that point it just made me mad.)

I searched through coolers trying to find food, but the heat made me lose my appetite, and all we wanted was to feel cool air and drink a cold drink.   Drinking ice was even more scarce than bags of ice.  Cooking anything on the grill was not appealing in the heat.  Riding around in the car worked for a short time, but we always had to return to the sweltering house. The FPL site told us the power would be on by Sunday – but that was still days away. I seriously thought I might lose my mind by then.

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Finally on day 5 my son had reported that the store where he worked had ONE generator. We rushed over and bought it. We also bought the only window AC unit. By Friday afternoon we were feeling cool air, and we could run fans and hook up the internet. I work online, and hadn’t worked at all in five days.

The store was still out of ice, but my son found a place to get some.  (It’s our secret.)

That night I slept with a big fan blowing on me. We plugged in the fridge, and on Saturday we unpacked our coolers with the little bit of food left. Around noon Saturday we suddenly had power!  I kept expecting it to go back off… but it didn’t.  The AC came on and I had to get used to having electricity to use.  You really do forget that you can turn on a light!

We took a ride over to the coast a few days ago and saw lots of docks along the River which were damaged. The boat ramps and parks were closed.

Photo taken while riding in the car.  We saw lots of sunken, broken and tipped over docks and boat houses.

damaged boat docks
Damaged docks on the Indian River after Hurricane Irma – 9.10.17

Some of the roads were closed at the bridges where I imagine the ocean did some damage during high tide.

road closed at bridge by Marina
Bridge partially closed

Breakers Restaurant looked great, but the beaches were closed.  People parked and walked on, but there was no driving on the beach allowed.

end of Flagler Ave at the beach
The beach was closed
Park and walk onto closed beach at end of Flagler Ave.

So the power is on at my house. It is still not on in many places, and I know what that feels like. Not everyone has a generator either, and believe me, the heat and humidity here in Florida is dangerous when you have to be in it 24 hours a day. September feels nothing like Fall here in Florida.

The beach here looks good. Breakers is still standing. We have a generator and will be ready for the next storm.  But, this storm has been very costly.  We lost all our food from the fridge and chest freezer.  I couldn’t work for 5 days, and we spent about $1,000 on a generator, gas cans, gas, and a window AC unit.

yachts river view

Four Places to Eat on the Water in New Smyrna Beach

yachts river view
View from the deck at Outriggers

I’ve only recently returned to Florida and have only lived in the New Smyrna Beach area since October 2016, BUT I first moved to central Florida in 1979 and spent 27 years here.  I lived inland, but visited the East coast often.

I decided to share my opinion of the four places to eat on the water here in New Smyrna Beach.  Three restaurants mentioned here are located on the Indian River, which is part of the Intracoastal Waterway, which runs right up the east coast of the US.   The Breakers Restaurant, is located on the ocean.  All have excellent water views. Continue reading Four Places to Eat on the Water in New Smyrna Beach

crowded beach drive on

There’s Something in the Sand, Crabs, Crowds, and Yikes!

Our trip to New Smyrna Beach today told me that summer is here. Kids are out of school, and trips to the beach pick up. Tourists are free to bring the family and they certainly do. All those white bodies, with red sunburned shoulders, are a sure sign that tourism is booming here in Florida.  This is Friday morning for Pete’s sake.

crowded beach drive on
Summer Crowds at New Smyrna Beach

We wanted to go out on the boat, but the ramp we usually use was full. No place to park the boat trailer. We checked out a couple more, but they were very busy too. Friday is the new weekend it seems. With many companies going to a 4-day work week, it might be best to avoid going out on Fridays as well as weekend days. Since we were dressed for outdoors, sunscreen and all, we decided to go to the beach.  We took the boat home and headed over the causeway.
We drove on at Flagler Ave. right behind a lifeguard / beach patrol truck. And it was crowded. We drove way down toward the jetty, and found a more sparsely populated spot to park.

Ghost crab on the beach
Ghost Crab (I think) on the beach

The tide was way out and going out further, so we had a lot of beach. Right away we saw Ghost crabs scurrying around. At least I think they are called Ghost crabs. One, in particular was near us, and I got some photos and video of him.
Then we went in the water. As I was coming back in from cooling off, I saw my son pulling a fishing line up out of the sand. Many people fish along the shore, and this was a piece that had been left / lost by a fisherman.
But at the end, buried beneath the sand, was this huge hook!

big fishing hook found under the beach sand
Big Fish Hook – found under the sand!

Hey… this is why I wear beach shoes when I go in the water! Look at the size of that hook. I hate fishing on the beach, for precisely this reason. My son always does it – fishes at the beach – but I am opposed. There are many other places to fish. Leave the beaches to the swimmers.  Imagine that thing stuck in the bottom of your foot… I feel woozy just thinking about it.

portable bathroom, porta-potty
Porta-potty… just in case

Unrelated in every way, but just in case someone has to really go to the bathroom… port-a-potties are at the exit.  FYI everyone.

jellyfish on beach

New Smyrna Beach Jellyfish, Seaweed, and a Bumpy Beach Drive

We are still waiting for the boat we ordered to come in and I’m dying to get out on the water.  For now I must be content with visiting the beach and river.

This morning I headed over to Flagler Ave. to see how the ocean looked.  There have been beach advisories lately because of the high winds, which cause high tides and rip currents. And sure enough, the waves were crashing and the beach was a mess.

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Messy Beach and Rough Surf

The tide was going out, so I decided to drive down Penninsula Ave. and get onto the beach from one of those drive-on spots.  The one I chose had a big puddle of sea water at the bottom of the ramp.  The toll-collector and I watched the car ahead of me navigate it along the edge, and he made it.  I have a 4-wheel drive Subaru, which always handled very well in the snow, so I was not afraid of a sea puddle (it was a BIG puddle).  I slid around a bit but made it out to the beach traffic lanes fine.  But the driving was very bumpy because of all the ruts in the sand.  For that reason I didn’t go very far before parking.

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Portuguese man-o-war 

The first thing I noticed, besides all the seaweed, was the blue jellyfish.  Yes, man-of-war jellyfish were scattered along the beach.  I got a couple of pictures and didn’t know what type they were until I got home and showed the picture to my son.  He knew right away it was a man-of-war.  Believe it or not, people (tourists?) were still going in the water!

I walked the high tide line of sand hoping to find some cool shells, but all I found was the regular variety.  My goal was to get close to the jetty and boardwalk of the Smyrna Dunes Park down by Ponce Inlet, but it was too far to drive on that bumpy sand.  I may end up getting a pass so I can drive to the park and walk along the boardwalks.

sea bird on beach
Sea Bird in the Sand

I did see something odd though.  A sea bird was plopped down in the sand.  At first I thought it was dead, but it wasn’t.  I’ve never been to the beach when a bird was nestled in the dune area.  I snapped a photo without getting too close.

beach shells

The shells I found were the regular arks.  I was hoping to find some unusual seashells because of the high tide and rough surf.  I didn’t find any super unique shells, but I did collect a little slipper shell, a black rock, and a Sea Purse Bean (photo below).

There are a lot of sea beans mentioned in my “Florida’s Living Beaches” book.  Some have a much thicker ring, but they are all hard and roundish in shape.  This is the first time I have collected a sea bean.

sea bean


Early Morning Visit to Beachside

This morning I had the urge to drive over to the beach. I live close enough now that I can do it, so I should! But the weather was cool and cloudy so I didn’t go for a walk, just got a few photos on my phone.

Heading over the causeway to beachside
27th Ave. parking lot

The parking lots, like this one, now charge people to park there! But, as a resident of Volusia County I can get a Free pass, which I plan to do soon. If the tide is high, I would prefer to park in a lot and not on the beach when I go for my morning walk.

Sunrise over the Atlantic