That Stormy Morning was a challenge. The ever-ominous thunderstorms continued to beat our unfortunately brief excursion to the Gulf of Mexico relentlessly. The responsible storm system of low-pressure sat about 20 miles off the coast and just refused to move. So, as it sat over the warm waters of the Gulf spinning contentedly, it continued to send wave after wave of tropical moisture and monsoon rains our way.
Over 3 days it rained over 9 inches. Every path and wildlife trail near our location flooded under the relentless deluge of water. Even the street to the hotel flooded and the prospect of getting to go into town became dashed along with the hope of staying dry.
My major concern was what the rain would do to my equipment. I was not thrilled with the idea of losing my camera to take a picture of a wet seagull. I soon realized that I really did not have a plan to protect the camera or lens from a massive deluge of rainwater. Nothing quite like hindsight is there? I have already chalked that lesson up to experience. Oh sure, a small sprinkle would not be a concern but a lasting bone soaking gutter drencher would be the end of my camera and a nice trip.
Ann, my lovely assistant, was more concerned with what the lighting was going to do than the rain. One of the main difficulties walking on the beach during a thunderstorm is where to go when lightning strikes. Lightning tends to strike the tallest thing in the local area of its strike and if you are walking in the surf, odds are very good that there are no trees around you. This makes you the tallest thing. That particular situation has all the essential ingredients for a very bad day.
By the time there was a break in the action, the determination to go walking on the beach was as strong as ever. We could see the beach, hear the surf, and even smell the salty air, but due to the relentless thunderstorms if was not safe.
So, when a rain break occurred out we girded up bathing suits, grabbed a hat and ventured to see what the beach and storm provided us with.
It was at this time that my lovely assistant pointed out that the skies were still ominous looking and that we shouldn’t go far. Nodding agreement, we trekked through the wet sand by a small dune and saw the sight that led to Stormy Morning.
Of course, a mere 10 minutes later we became drenched to the skin. I had placed my camera in my ball cap and was hunching over it like Quasimodo trying to protect it from the rain. As I mentioned earlier, a valuable lesson learned.
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