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Old Sunday, May 30th, 2004, 10:09 PM
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Post Do's and Don't of the beach

Not preaching, just found this interesting. Some of this advice applies to Aruba:

OCEAN CITY, New Jersey (AP) -- Looking for your place in the sun?

Fine. Just don't lay your blanket too close to mine. And don't shake it out here, the sand's getting in my eyes.

And whatever you do, don't feed the gulls. Once you do, they'll stick around, squawking and flapping and -- when nature calls -- playing an icky version of beach blanket bingo.

When it comes to beach etiquette, there is a way to act and a way not to. Even the great outdoors has rules, it turns out. Problem is, they're mostly unwritten and often ignored.

"The beach is such an informal, relaxed kind of place," said etiquette expert Honore McDonough Ervin. "People who might normally have good manners, all good reason just flies out of their head and they do things that are offensive to others."

Some no-nos are explicitly listed on lifeguard stands or boardwalk signs: Alcoholic beverages, dogs, picnic lunches, ballplaying and Frisbee-throwing, for example, are banned on many beaches, although enforcement varies.

Others are obvious enough: not crowding other beachgoers, kicking up sand around people, playing music loudly or leaving trash or cigarette butts.

"The cigarette butt is particularly offensive, not just because it's ugly, but because the filters -- which are filled with contaminants -- get into the food chain," said Cindy Zipf, executive director of Clean Ocean Action, an environmental group. "They look like small crabs or fish to gulls, and they get eaten."

The general rule: Leave nothing on the beach, except footprints.

Some taboos are less obvious. Digging deep holes in the sand and leaving them unfilled is discouraged, because they are a hazard to walkers.

Beach umbrellas, too, can be hazards when not adequately fastened.

"Flying umbrellas, that's my pet peeve," said Sally Custer, 53, of Flemington, sunning herself on a beach chair here one day last week. "I'm afraid of getting impaled. We've had some close calls."

Not keeping tabs on boisterous young children is rude, too, especially if they are kicking sand on or otherwise bothering other sunbathers, according to Ervin, co-author of the etiquette guide "Things You Need to Be Told."

"You should keep kids on a fairly tight leash, not just because they're bothering others but because of their own safety," Ervin said.

On beaches where crabs and sea anemones outnumber swimmers, environmentalists have a gentle reminder: No poking, prodding or removing the creatures from their natural setting.

Feeding sea gulls is another faux pas, one almost universally reviled by beach regulars.

"I hate it when people feed birds right next to you," said Dee Murphy, of Philadelphia, sitting under an umbrella on the beach in Atlantic City. "They bring food with them, intent on feeding the birds. Then they stop, and the birds just go to the next family, like they're saying, 'What've YOU got?"'

Dog droppings are a public enemy, too. While pooches are banned from most New Jersey beaches between May and September, there are owners who walk their dogs there and fail to clean up afterward.

It can make for an unpleasant surprise.

"It doesn't feel good getting feces through your toes," said Bob Levy, chief of the Atlantic City Beach Patrol.

Rude neighbors become even more problematic on crowded beaches, where someone's sunburned nose is more likely to be out of joint.

"We've had police have to break up groups (arguing) over kids throwing a ball, throwing sand, stepping on a towel on the way to the water," said Tony Cavalier, chief of the beach patrol in North Wildwood. "There's all kinds of things that happen."

All kinds, indeed.

One veteran Atlantic City lifeguard caught a couple having *** under a blanket in broad daylight.

"I didn't know what to do," said the guard, Rod Aluise. "Blow the whistle? Tap the guy on the shoulder? So I tap him and his head pokes out like 'What's the problem?'

"We sent them off the beach," Aluise said.

That's bad manners. But if life's a beach, rude behavior is to be accepted.

"If they've been taught to be mindful of others growing up, they tend to be mindful when they're out on the beach or in the open generally," said Hilka Klinkenberg, founder of Etiquette International. "If they haven't, they don't suddenly become mindful people on the beach."

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Old Monday, May 31st, 2004, 09:04 AM
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Default Re: Do's and Don't of the beach

what a great post! thanks scubie!
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Old Monday, May 31st, 2004, 11:52 AM
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Wink Re: Do's and Don't of the beach

May I add my pet peeve? Parents whose young children are wandering too far away from them or too close to the water that sit there screaming at kids to come back, numerous times ("If I have to tell you one more time ......etc"). When my daughter was young, I got off my butt and got her. ( This applies to the pool, too.)
Thanks I feel better!
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Old Wednesday, June 2nd, 2004, 11:33 AM
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Default Re: Do's and Don't of the beach

Great posts!!! Yep, glad I had access to the adult side of the Ren island! Wheeeewww!!

A little niggler for me too - yelling and such - like yelling at the kids or friends, mates, whatever. Or simply just getting too loud or rowdy, the LAT syndrome (Loud American Tourists) although I ran across some Euro/Dutch folks too getting loud at the pool one night. I mean at Carlos and Charlies - sure, rock the house!! And we are all here to have FUN. But, many are relaxing and not here to listen to it during a day at the beach or pool! Some mutual respect of the sounds of Aruba, please!

I soooo agree about the smoke butts. I smoke some (more so when the pina coladas are flowing!!) and I made sure to tamp mine out in a can or something for the trash. The littering issue did get me! I didn't see much, some trash in the street or a cup floating in the water and that would get me going. And, twice I saw children throw down cups (on the beach and once from the Ren boat), and I saw a man leave some Balashi cans beside a chair at the island and (I know it all gets picked up, but still.....), and once I saw a man flick his smoke butt into the harbour at the marina while we were waiting for the shuttle boat. GRRRRRRRR!!! The littering sure BUGS me and the stares I sent to these folks spoke volumes. We're in heaven and ya'll are littering - PLLLLLLLLLEEEEAAAASSSEE!!!

"I soon realized that no journey carries one far unless, as it extends out into the world around us, it goes an equal distance into the world within." ~Lillian Smith
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