Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Lurking in the Water


Looking South from Loxahatchee River Bridge
Tequesta, FL
January 30, 2023

The South Florida idyllic January weather returned yesterday and Chris and I made the most of the opportunity to get outside and enjoy life. After a series of days with high winds, clouds, and occasional rain the blue skies and calm winds were welcome. 

We biked our base circuit, just over 15 miles, to enjoy the day and the weather. The water on the Loxahatchee River was very still and provided an amazing reflection of the shore and sky as we rode across the bridge in Tequesta about 9 AM. 

Portuguese Man O War
Loxahatchee River
January 30, 2023
It being Monday, later during the day we met friends at our favorite watering hole for a few adult beverages. The beauty of the day continued as we watched the sunset explode over the Jupiter Lighthouse. But my eye was attracted to something sinister floating in the Loxahatchee River. Something that I find all too often on the beach, but rarely in the river. It was a larger than normally seen Portuguese Man O War floating just in the river near where we were sitting.

The Portuguese Man O War is the bane of swimmers and snorkelers as well as beach goers. Their tentacles deliver a nasty sting than can ruin a beautiful beach day. Most of the ones washed up on the beach are small with a sail of up to 3 inches, but this one had a sail of about 10 inches, meaning its tentacles had to be at least that long under the water.

It is sad that the seemingly placid sight of a Portuguese Man O War floating on the river can have nasty consequences.

But such was the day. And the evening was perfect ending with friends at the Square Grouper.

-- Bob Doan, Tequesta, FL

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