And a little bit of brown sludge in the water. I went to sleep last night to the ejoyable sound of a delicate sprinkle on the surrounding forest. It’s the rainy season down here and so far I have been enjoying some excellent ( in terms of 95 degrees, scorching sunlight, and the air so humid you would swim your way into the ocean just to dry off) weather, so I am hoping this torrent doesn’t last the prescribed six months as the guidebooks warn. Either way I have my trusty golf umbrella. Weighing in at two pounds, it proved the value of its occupancy in my pack today as I took a meandering walk along the shore to explore why oh why was the ocean turning brown.
Growing up in San Diego and surfing the coastline through my teen years I was constantly warned about the hazards of getting in the ocean after a big rain. San Diego is a large city you see, and generally it remains dry throughout most of the year. So when a storm does decide to let loose…all of the street sewers draining all of the road sludge, chemicals, pesticides, etc…plus all of the poop and pee from an untreated river in Tiajuana …tends to flow freely into the sea. Many a surfer has gotten a nasty ear or eye infection, diarrhea, general vomiting, hepatitis, cholera….well maybe not the last two, but you get the point.
So, you may be able to imagine how appalled I was when I came across this nice little stream flowing into the middle of the best break on the beach…and turning the waves an eloquent shade of amber-brown, complete with a bit of sludgy foam left stuck to the shore.
I got right to the edge to gain a better sense of what exactly this brown stuff may be. My nose gave no sign of alarm as I tried to get a whiff of its essence, nor did I projectile vomit – which is generally a sign that what you are smelling is of a more harmless degree.
Luckily for me I started a dose of decent antibiotics two days ago (due to a very intense throat pain, a sinus infection, and some type of pinkeye sickness…all bundled together)…. so I guess that means I’m good to go! As long as I avoid the submerged tree trunks in the breakers – a gift the rain gods left me overnight.