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John D. MacArthur Beach State Park

Now that my leg has healed enough to allow bike riding, Gary loaded the bikes into the dinghy and we went ashore to ride them to the John D. MacArthur Beach State Park, which is approximately two miles from the dinghy landing on the north end of Lake Worth. The weather was warm and the sky was overcast, which made a perfect day for our excursion. We took a picnic lunch to enjoy on the ocean’s warm sandy beach. After we got to the park, we found we had to ride another mile on a beautiful boardwalk to get to the ocean. The boardwalk took us across a large expanse of estuary. There were informative signs posted along the wooden trail, which we stopped to read on our return trip.

Gary at the beach at John D. MacArthur Beach State Park

The ocean presented itself with the most magnificent colors of aquamarine near shore and indigo-blue further out in the deeper waters of the horizon. The limpid waves coming to shore welcomed our yearning feet with warmth and the foot massage from the shifting sand was invigorating. The ocean was calm and many boats, both power and sail, were enjoying it’s respite.

Jean at the beach at John D. MacArthur Beach State Park

When looking past the southern end of the park, high-rises readily dot the shoreline.  However, a 180 degree turn offers a totally different site.  The soft sandy beach and sand dunes to the north are pristine, with shore birds, sand crabs and other tiny creatures of the sea, their only inhabitants, since the land is under the protection of the park. Each year, MacArthur Beach becomes a nesting site for sea turtles during the months of May through August.  There are 325 acres encompassing the biological treasure of this park. The estuary is home for many young families of the water, land and sky. Without the invaluable protected areas in our nation, such as the John D. MacArthur Beach State Park in Florida, nature as we know it, would soon be annihilated.

We enjoyed our picnic, walking, shelling, and lounging on the beach before riding our bikes to the Nature Center, where we learned more about this marvelous park by talking to Cindy, a worker at the center, and by watching a video about the park. Accompanying the informative video, the nature center offers education in the forms of aquariums and exhibits. Presently, the park is building a new wing to the Nature Center for the expressed purpose of educating children about the importance of estuaries and wetlands, as well as oceanography.

We were totally impressed with the John D. MacArthur Beach State Park and would like to revisit it, as we did not have time to enjoy the walking trails. Cindy, at the Nature Center, told us about them, and we think it would be worth another trip there to experience them.

Previously today, at the dinghy landing, we had invited our anchorage neighbors, Dave and Jill, to join us on White Swan for happy hour at 5:00. We had just enough time to shower and ready ourselves and the boat for their company. It was fun to get to know another couple living aboard their boat. Commonalities quickly unit fellow sailors, and there are always many stories to be shared, often better told than lived.  Happy hour quickly turned into two hours, before we bid each other goodnight.

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