Sunday, December 23, 2012

The ICW from Vero Beach to Pompano Beach (a personal observation)

White pelicans enjoy winters in Florida, too

     Scenery along the mid-Florida section of the ICW from Vero Beach southward changes dramatically. Mangrove lined bays with abundant wildlife in the north eventually morph into sea wall lined canals with over the top mega homes and hi-rise condos known as "the canyon" in the south.

Condos along the ICW in Lake Worth

      Numerous bascule bridges are incorporated into the mix and for the most part define the various town and city lines of demarcation. Modest ranch style homes built during the 1960's that previously lined the waterway have been demolished and replaced by Italianate and Spanish inspired mansions. It seems that a fountain in every pool is all the rage this year. The defining factor of status along the waterway appears to be the size and embellishment of one's property.

    We were recently anchored in a manmade circular lake directly off the ICW near Delray Beach. Each of the home owners were doing their best to bolster the economy by contributing to the support of Florida Power and Light. I was "illuminated" by the amount of low level outdoor lighting and integrated in door lighting it takes to light one home. Of course I'm used to living off the grid on the 12 volt power system with solar and a wind generator supplying our energy needs. We're pretty stingy when it comes to how many lights are used at one time.
     Apparently, indoor blinds are currently not in vogue. Home owners appeared to be on exhibit as they carried out their nightly rituals. They didn't seem to be concerned that they were on display.

     The homes lining the lake were impressive in their architectural enormity. I speculated about who lived in these homes and also questioned the size of their incomes. I felt like an anthropologist watching an emerging species of humans as they retired after a long day at the office. For some reason I assumed that the people who lived in these homes would be coming home from work so pleased with their prosperity that they'd be dancing a jig. I know I would, but I discovered that this species of humans behaved the same way as their counterparts who lived in less impressive housing or in our case a sailboat. They let the dog out as soon as they were home from work just like we do! They walked around the yard to check on the gardener's wizardry. They checked the lines on their million dollar sport-fisherman just like...well you've got the picture. After checking the alfresco bar and pouring a well deserved martini they retired into air-conditioned homes for dinner and afterward watched TV! Their behavior was so similar to ours, only we were savoring our alfresco dinner in our modest cockpit enjoying the balmy breezes of South Florida.

     Before turning in for the night I checked on our new neighbors, it was 11:00 PM. Most of the lighting with the exception of the low level outdoor ambient lights were off. Hmm, there was no exciting party going on. They must have gone to bed. I somehow expected these humans to exhibit different behaviors than their less affluent neighbors like us. However, I never caught sight of anyone doing any cartwheels or jigs.
     Is it possible that having more worldly possessions doesn't necessarily coincide with transcendent giddiness? I'm not certain, but perhaps none of us are all that different. Maybe we're all still searching for the simple life, but for some of us the requirements are are a bit less ostentatious.

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