I took long walks on the beach, a half mile or so north and the same to the south. Almost all of the homes along the shoreline lost their beach access and maybe a third of those have rebuilt. Maybe half the places are seasonally inhabited so the owners have not yet appeared. I found one owner starting to clean up and rebuild his decking. Apparently the community at large is at odds about what to do regarding rebuilding the beach dunes and who should pay what. One plan being tossed around is for some gov’t agency to have a seawall built and assess the owners $75,000. Uncertain financing but this guy is not at all happy with the cost. His position and apparently many other’s is that the berm is gov’t property and they should have it restored. He also thinks the price is double what it should be. There is no doubt that those homes with well constructed seawalls did just fine but adjacent properties were hammered much more than would have been the case without adjacent seawalls. The seawall causes the water to move sideways along the berm and basically scours it away. The guy I was talking to had his house red-tagged as unlivable without a structural review. The sand underneath his house had been scoured out and you could see the support pilings which he thinks would support the house even if all the sand were removed. I can only imagine how heated these community meetings must be and how many lawsuits are pending.
We’ve spent a couple of weeks a year here at Flagler for the past 10+ years and gotten to know the immediate neighbors. Had good conversations with them this week and it sounds like they have decided to build a “temporary” seawall. I volunteered to help them with the installation and they accepted immediately and said we can stay at our usual place instead of driving back and forth. They’re thinking December. Should be lots of work but I’m looking forward to it.
Fishing is still off the table. The wind continues to blow directly on shore leaving the surf really nasty and full of seaweed. So we’re focusing more on the social side of the week and have decided to try several new places. Last night we hit a place called Break-awayz – craft beer and a finger food sort of menu. We settled on a couple of brewskis from a brewery in Tampa called Cigar City and a prisciotto/goat cheese flat bread. It’s right on the beach so the atmosphere is just that. There’s another new one on our radar called Bull Creek Fish Camp. Today we took a drive up north of Mainland – past Matanzas Inlet to see how that area fared. There’s very little elevation there between the ocean and the interstate and in one spot there was actually a new inlet cut by the storm. There’s a good restaurant at the inlet so we thought we might give that a shot. Nope, mostly washed or blown away so we decided to try another old favorite, South Beach which is literally on the beach but at a location where the berm is always low. Surprise, it was open and doing a good business. The building is really flimsy looking and there’s a covered back porch that you just know would blow away in a good afternoon storm but it survived and we had a great lunch.
Tonight we’re focused on the Funky Pelican happy hour. We usually go on Wednesday, AKA wacky wing Wednesday, but Joey is coming up and we promised we’d go to the Captain’s barbecue place at Bing’s Landing. So many good options!!! At the last minute Nancy got a hankering for the Flagler Fish Company so that’s where we landed.