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Haulover Beach, Florida

2000.

Even in Florida, some of us get "cabin fever" during the cooler days. After weeks of chilly temps, my wife suggested that we take a trip to Miami's Haulover Beach. With the prediction of another cold front due on Saturday, I agreed to take off Friday for the outing.

The parking lot was more crowded than we expected for a weekday, but this is tourist and retirement country, and people are more free during the week. We took one of the last available spots on the paved lot (Later we saw that another forty or so cars were on the overflow grassy section).

As we walked over the dune bridge, I was greeted with the sight of about 600 people, enjoying the sun and putting up with a stiff breeze for the privilege. It was blowing about 12-15 knots. We set up our chairs and turned the umbrella to be a wind-block.

It was startling to see the extremely pale visitors among the regulars to the beach. Apparently the "Winter Whites," resulting from being cooped up for the cool weather, exaggerates the condition <G>. Usually, Haulover has a small group of cotton tails and "tan-liners" showing up, many are first-timers trying the nude experience -- people who have been tanning somewhere other than a nude beach and are now baring it all. The totally white bodies were a bit startling. Fortunately, sunscreen and the less-hot, winter sun kept them from bad burns.

Air temps were in the low 80's. Water pretty chilly for me, but many were enjoying a splash and a swim. Lots of Canadians on the beach. About 10% of the parking lot showed Canadian plates, principally Quebec and Ontario. The food service was enjoying brisk business as well as the chair and umbrella rental stand. Lifeguards were in place in their towers watching the swimmers. Parks department employees were busy maintaining the shore line and collecting the trash from the barrels on the beach with their mechanized equipment. I bet they fight for assignment to the beach area. <G>

The foursome nearest us were French Canadians, animatedly carrying on their discussions while sunbathing. Two would go to the ocean water for dips - the others went to the shower stand to cool down! I heard other accents and languages, indicating an international aspect the crowd. We're all brothers under the sun!

A rough count at 1:00 o'clock found 640 "static" folks on the beach. There was a constant flow through the entry and people going to and fro, so it's hard to be accurate. Around 40% were women, many couples, several large groups, and the usual single male nudists spending time in the sun. Lots of under 40s among the retirement aged, and one section looked like a casting call from the Ford Agency. Maybe the beautiful people from South Beach are coming north?

I didn't take note of any "gawkers," it was a day for participants in the joy of freedom under the sun in the fresh air. I think the "novelty" of the beach has worn off, and fewer people come by to "check out the nudies."

Our enjoyment of the day was compensation for our three hour travel time and the cost of gasoline and parking fee. Next time the temps break 80, we'll be back! Meanwhile, we're looking forward to the Midwinter Gathering at Sunsport, February 16-19, 2001, and more time out in the nude-day sun!

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