The spectacular picture taken by Robbie Ostrander gracing the front cover of The Rockaway Times last week only confirms what every Rockaway resident can testify to: that the water in and around Rockaway is out of this world. The drone photo seems to show a huge sand bar just outside of the main tide, creating this patch of crystal blue aquamarine tropically- warmed ocean for us all to enjoy. And if you have had the pleasure of staring at this in real time, it’s just magical. Not to mention that dipping one’s toes into the ocean is akin to stepping into the pool of the movie Cocoon which provided regenerative health benefits to the swimmers.
I am hoping that this is a by-product of a quarantine-induced halt on ocean, plane and car travel, healing our earth and cleaning our air and waters. It seems to make sense that is the reason, although my mermaid editor believes I should actually do some research to confirm my unresearched hunches. But who has time for that? I’d rather just tweet whatever came into my head!
And speaking of whatever came into my head, I am trying to figure out where all these blowfish or pufferfish are coming from? Wikipedia says that Northern puffer is indigenous to our parts, but I have never seen them before, and now every walk I take on the beach, I pass them by on shore. I am told by a longtime Rockawayite and fisherman that they have always been here, so why am I surprised. Wiki calls them the “chicken of the sea” as they are supposed to be a delicacy, but I don’t see any seagulls trying them!
And how about all the washed-up sand sharks? Are fisherman hooking them and then simply letting them die on shore? I’m not a fan of sharks, but hey, I think those guys aren’t going to hurt anyone, so give them a break and throw them back, will ya? Although I didn’t feel the same about the 7-foot Thresher shark with the two-foot tail, holy mackerel! Where did he come from, I asked myself? And then I was told that there were much bigger guys out there, and they won’t bother you. Yeah right! I think about that photo with the sand bar and then I think it’s nothing but a buffet setting for our seagoing friends!!
And while I’m at it, it seems to me that this time last year everyday brought another pod of passing dolphins with a whale or two following them. This year I have been hard pressed to see one dolphin. Now many people have told me that they have seen our mammalian swimming friends, but I haven’t! Is that sand bar keeping them out? Are the sharks there instead, or maybe it’s those damn puffer fishes hogging up the territory?
Well, one thing for sure is that the water definitely appears cleaner. At least it appears that way. I mean, you can see your feet when you are chest high in water just like the Caribbean. Only problem with that is, you can see everything else too! And I would rather not see anything else, trust me. Of course, you can’t trust your eyes these days, I’m just waiting for some genius scientist to tell us that the virus can be carried through water, wouldn’t that be just dandy.
Well whatever they say, it’s summer finally, and we have passed the half-way point, which means the best part of summer is coming up. The water is clear, clean, full of life and warm so enjoy.
Now all you need to do is find a bit of sand six feet from anyone else. Good luck with that!
By Lou Pastina