Beach Safety a Refresh

Beach Safety a Refresh Tips to take enjoy with your known

DSM_CoverSlide Beach Safety a RefreshThe Beach Safety a Refresh is one of the most powerful things that draw people to a certain location. Whether it is southern California, Miami, or Kenya, there is a lure to ocean front retreats. I believe it is something in the feel of hot stand under your toes, the smell of sun kissed skin and sunscreen, and the contrast of cool water and oppressive heat that lures people to the ocean. Beaches are a place to escape the everyday trials and tribulations of the workplace and family life. The beach is where you go to forget. It’s where you go to recover from that recent breakup or a rough work week. It’s no wonder that beaches are a hotspot for annual family vacations and honeymoons.

Just to be sure that you are completely relaxed while your toes are sinking into the sand, I have a few tips. Let’s face it, there’s nothing worse than showing up without a towel and leaving looking like a lobster. After much meditation upon my personal beach regrets, I have decided to share with you a few tips for achieving the utmost relaxation while staying safe.

Make a list and check it twice

Like I said, you don’t want to show up and have to resort to lying on the sand. And the last thing that anyone needs on vacation is a bad case of sunburn. Before you leave the house to hit the waves make sure that you have everything; towel, sunscreen, cover up, umbrella, sand castle equipment for the kiddies, etc. If you are traveling with children, this is particularly important. Keeping kids safe near water goes hand in hand with keeping them close. What better way to keep them close than to provide them with tools that they can use to entertain themselves in the sand while you catch up on your new favorite book series?

Limit your sun exposure

As a wise South American friend of mine once said, “Your people from the north of the world do not understand that in the south of the world, our sun is different.” And he’s right. I have travelled to 4 different continents and this is something that I have seen with consistency. There is always that one white woman who rises early with high hopes for her upcoming transformation. She dons her tanning oil, and hits the sand for a whole day. What she doesn’t see is the radioactive red glow that has started to emanate from her skin after a few hours. Remember that sunscreen doesn’t last for 12 hours. Reapply every few hours and every time that you go in the water. Not all sunscreen is waterproof-take it from me. Sun poisoning sucks, but sunburn isn’t much better. Give your skin a break. Umbrellas are a smart option if you can tolerate the transportation that they require. And don’t forget your sunglasses to protect your eyes! Bronzed and sun kissed is sexy. Crustacean is not.

Know the rules.

beach_signs Beach Safety a RefreshOn the west coast of South America, many beaches display flags to give guests a heads up about what is going on in the water. Red means=really big waves; stay away, unless you are a professional. Yellow=be careful. Green=go for it. I have to admit, this is something for which I quickly learned to be grateful. I spent most of my childhood on the east coast of the states and in the Gulf of Mexico. The waves of the Pacific were not something that I was prepared for. My first visit to the ocean in Peru resulted in tragedy. Not the death of a person, but the complete and utter slaughter of my dignity. My friend, a Peruvian who has spent every summer on the beach since he was in diapers, is an adamant body surfer. I, an adamant adventurer, was convinced that this was a good idea. The consequence of this athletic indulgence was having my bikini ripped from my body and getting tossed like a rag doll until I was (mercifully?) tossed to shore. Naked and with enough sand in every orifice of my body to make my own personal Zen garden, I sheepishly tried to pick the scraps of my dignity up off the ocean floor before crawling back under my umbrella. The lesson I learned? Not all beaches were created equally.

Don’t eat the beach food

I am not talking about that adorable little restaurant right on the corner. I am talking about that adorable little lady walking around with a basket selling underpriced sandwiches and juice. While such a culinary delight may sound tempting, chances are that the food has been sitting out, unrefrigerated and in the sun for hours. I had a friend come to visit me in Africa once. She was a complete and total delight, but she isn’t the kind of person who takes heed to warnings. While sitting on the beach, a charming African woman came up and offered us a delicious but ambiguous looking meat product. I encouraged my friend to refrain, but like I said she’s a stubborn gal. That night in between passing a bucket through a cracked bathroom door and walking down the street to buy more drinking water, I made a mental note to always listen to my advice. Please keep in mind that this isn’t just for the lesser developed world, folks. Sun is sun, is sun. The affects that it has on food do not very across political lines and cultural differences.

Pay attention to the tide

When the tide starts to come in: MOVE! You don’t want to slumber under your serendipitous umbrella only to wake up to a wet beach bag, complete with cell phone and camera. Also, if you are a swimmer don’t let yourself get too far out only to realize that an incoming tide as resulted in a farther return journey than you had previously anticipated. Not all beaches have lifeguards, so it makes sense to be conscious of your physical limitations, the natural world, and your own mortality. As my father once said, mid hurricane and storm surge, “Water is powerful stuff. Man versus water is a battle fought in vain.”

There you have it, folks. Complete with humbling stories and maybe even a little more information than you wanted at times… You are now fully prepared for a week, weekend, or month on the sandy shores of your ocean front of choice. Don’t forget your check list!
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