Sunday, July 16, 2006

Florida, you know, just a little souvenir from Africa.(and you thought Alaska was a bad deal for Russia!)
So far, I have, in a very round about Minorcan way, established in 6 blogs what could be said in about 6 sentences. Basically, the same geologic forces that created the Appalachian mountains and the Mediterranean Sea, the eventual mineral source of our beach and our ancestoral island home, also created the new land that we now call home...Florida. As the cratons that would become Europe, Africa and the Americas began to split apart, they not only created the Atlantic's northern basin, but also stripped the nascent Africa of a large chunk of submerged basement rock that glued itself to the new North American continent. That exotic terrain would be the complete mess we call Florida today. As a part of the trailing edge of the continent moving slowly, but relentlessly west, the tectonics for Florida were gentle, unlike the new upheavals that created the Rocky range to the west complete with some of the most violent volcanism that has ever occurred in North America. Yellowstone is a gigantic caldera, the remnants of an explosion that we better hope we don't see again. One on the scale of continental collisions that covered the entire North American continent with dust, ash and debris. Anyway, while the West was busy blowing up, Florida was basking under a blanket of warm, shallow seas. It must have been a very beautiful, if not frightful place. As South America drifted slowly south, a channel opened between the Atlantic's growing basin and the shrinking Pacific basins. This allowed a flow of ocean waters between the Pacific and the growing Atlantic. This was where the Central American countries from Panama to Northern Mexico exist today. It must have been truly beautiful. A string of tropical islands, collared in corals and simply filthy with fascinating marine life. Florida, slowly uplifting to the surface, was much the same, lush, tropical and full of fish and waves, a full-on Minorcan dream.
Problem was, Minorcans didn't even exist then. We had to wait for the better part of another 25 million years for humans to evolve, and then we had to perfect them and become us. Hey I didn't say being a Minorcan was easy.

The view from the Crack Shack.
Ah! Hurricane season. We love it as much as we dread it (sorta like having a girlfriend, there is either a very fine line between love and hate, or maybe there ain't one after all!). There are many bad things about hurricane season, and I won't go into them, that how CNN, FOX and the other psycho news channels make their bucks. As you know, real men stand in 90 kt winds with phallic look-alikes in their hands which they talk to. REAL Minorcan men don't, we learned about that a long time ago. There's a word for it in Minorcan...bad. Or is it dumb? Anyway. I have to admit, I love the tropical sky. There is no blue like the blue of the August sky. If a gem could be made of that color and clarity, only the Gods could own one. I wish I could give one to my Mom and put one in the mind's eye of my son. The heat of hurricane season shames even the prissiest pooch. It oppresses. It drenches you. It frees you of a lot of clothes...and it breeds storms. As a member of the surfer tribe, we love 'em. No one likes destruction (we elect presidents to do that), but these huge heat engines have a very useful purpose in distributing heat within the atmosphere. Without them, the oceans would boil, biologically, and marine life would suffer. They also create waves. To me, ocean waves are the most beautiful form in nature, challenged only by the female human body, perhaps. Last week, a weak tropical wave graced the coast with a small, juicy, fun tropical swell and I had a blast.I surfed my butt off, and there ain't much there. As I sat in the lineup, waiting for a clean little wedge(a good wave for the uninitiated), I realized that this was the 40th summer that I have surfed my home break of Vilano. I caught my first waves on this very beach with Beehive and Gary when Vietnam was just exploding.I looked around, musing at the variety of surfers, male and female. I laughed to myself as I watched.I greeted an 'old timer' of 30, one of my ex-students. Sam was always nice. He still held his place in the heirarchy of dominance. You know what I mean, the one who pisses higher on the hydrant and the ones who lets'em thing. I wondered to myself how much longer he would last. I've seen so many come and go. Groms to top dogs. Then they falter and fade away. Some never return. Some try to return, but babies, mortgages and careers wash them away. But, there a few, very few, who really have the spirit that they all claim they have when there're young, fighting to the top of the peak. But we are very few. I've watched them come and go. Come and go. They blow in on the wind, howl and rage and disappear. Just like hurricane season.

4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you're gonna blog, BLOG! If not, start a fecking diary. Sheesh.

6:31 PM  
Blogger Minorcan Madman said...

Fecking? Now that's neology on the cutting edge. Sorry you don't like my style, believe me, you're not alone. As far as a diary goes, I wish I was given a lifetime that spanded over 300 million years. I love observing.If you don't log in again, I promise not to cry.

6:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Obviously anonymous is missing depth which is needed to appreciate the words of madman.

12:14 AM  
Blogger Minorcan Madman said...

Good point,it takes a lot of work to work down to my level. The good thing is everthing is always looking up!

6:33 PM  

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