Special to the Observer
At Main Beach, a Jacksonville TV crew had joined about 50 to 100 beach goers at
mid afternoon. Some were walking the beach, some were wading in the surf, and some
were simply watching the sea as Beryl approached.
Local residents Jack Nunley and Evelyne Wu were on one of their daily beach visits along with their Bichon Frise, Peluche. “The sea is beautiful, it’s spectacular,” Jack Nunley said. But on a day like Sunday, “I don’t like to see people getting in the water.”
Swimming was discouraged because of the potential for rip tides, and no-swimming flags were flying at Main Beach and the Sadler Road beach access, which was closed to vehicles. Main Beach lifeguard stands were unmanned, but an Ocean Rescue vehicle with two people inside was stationed not far from about a dozen beach goers who were wading — or in some cases, knee-deep — in the surf.
Longtime Fernandina Beach residents Bruce and Dorothy Pickett Beville were among
those with a front-row seat for a look at Beryl. They knew exactly where they wanted to
watch the event — at the former site of the Golden Sands Pavilion, where they met 50
years ago. “We’d see all the ‘old people’ sitting outside watching the ocean. Now we’re doing it,” Bruce Beville said with a grin.
At Sandy Bottoms, where the Golden Sands once stood, workers were removing tarps
from the outside patio. A Jacksonville couple watching the surf said they had booked a
Memorial Day getaway — and were taking advantage of the beach while they could.