I wrote this story back in 2011 but thought it needed to be brought back to life. Castaway Crystal and I this past Sunday on Lovers Key here in Southwest Florida and experience a total lack of beach ethics. I’d like to tell you about the situation and then refresh the list of the unwritten rules of the beach.
There we were, sitting on the white sand on the Big Carlos Pass side of Lovers Key. It wasn’t the nicest of days; the wind was blowing hard and gray clouds filled the skies. We were two of only 4 people on the entire beach. After awhile we noticed a large group made up of only a couple adults and 15 kids. They walked down the beach passing behind us. We cheersed our rum punches and thanked the Lord they didn’t sit next to us.
About 15 minutes later the group walks back and builds a camp not 10 feet from us. Hello! The entire beach is empty and you choose to sit on top of us and start playing volleyball! Crystal and I both look at eachother with a dumbfounded look and couldn’t believe the lack of class and beach ethics this strange group possessed. We shook our heads, picked up our things and moved 50 yards down the beach.
I told Crystal we should have just moved and sat right in the middle of them. How do you like that people! It was the strangest group too, two older guys, two older women and 15 pre-teen girls. The guys didn’t even talk to the older women and were just playing games with the young girls. Can you say creepy!!!
Anyways, I just wanted to get that off my chest and bring back to life the topic of beach ethics. There are unwritten rules of the beach and they should be kept in mind when enjoying the sand.
Rules of the Beach
I see the big signs in most beach parking lots. They usually state things like no pets, no fire arms, no alcohol, no feeding of the sea life…things like that. Those are pretty universal and well understood, but there is another set of rules for the beach that isn’t written down. These rules should sit in the common sense part of the brain, but you’d be surprised by the lack of social class that some people tend to have when on the beach.
It never fails though, I’m sitting there on an uncrowded section of sand and guess what happens, a family of 5 with 3 kids sets up a small city right in front of me. Gulf view gone, peace destroyed. They unfold their chairs and place them in a neat row, creating an impenetrable wall of canvas and overweight bodies. The kids scream in pitches I didn’t think possible and kick sand on all nearby.
There’s only one thing you can really do…move.
This frustration brings me to the unwritten rules of the beach. I’m going to list a few of the most common rules, then you guys can list rules you have below in the comment section. Hopefully the oblivious offenders read this and learn the social laws of the sand.
The Unwritten Rules of the Beach
Like I mentioned above, if there is plenty of open space on the beach, do not set up your campsite next to another party. It’s called personal space, people like to have it. Fill the empty parts of the beach and try not to sit directly in front of another person’s view.
Kids are great, I love kids, but they are wild crazy animals. They yell, scream, kick sand and cry. They are destroyers of peace. When heading to the beach with kids, seek out a place on the sand close to another family with kids. This will hopefully keep the chaos contained to local areas and give the kids some other terrorists to play with and entertain themselves.
3. Banana Hammocks
I’m writing this from the perspective of a Floridian. This is the United States, not the south of France. Men in speedos is not acceptable. This is a huge violation of the unwritten rules. No one wants to look at your man parts being held back by a small tight piece of material. If you’re visiting America you should follow the local customs. Board shorts and swimming trunks are the normal custom for the states.
The sand on the beach is not your personal ashtray. I can’t stand smoking period, but to have it blow across your face at a place as tranquil as the beach is just offensive. If you just have to have a cancer stick on the beach, make sure you’re not close to other beach goers. You could even take a walk to the parking lot and do your business there. Also please put your cigarette butts in the trash when you’re done, not in the sand.
I love music at the beach…my music. There’s nothing better than staring out at the waves with some Buffett, Chesney, Mishka or Marley playing to set the mood. If you bring a radio to the beach make sure it’s loud enough for only you to hear. If you want it louder, ask the people close by if it is okay.
Those are 5 unwritten rules of the beach. If you have others you’d like to add, please do so in the comment section below.
(Lead photo from www.chron.com)