A nude beach? In
Well, yes, there was. It wasn’t a very big beach, but rumor has it that up to 3,000 sun worshipers sometimes bathed au natural on the sand there any given weekend.
The nudity went on a bit longer, though, and I know we were calling the area Air Force Beach in the 1970s. Local historian Eliot Kleinberg posted on www.historicpalmbeach.com that the nude beach was active into the 1980s. I remember my dad coming home from a full day of fishing complaining that his fishing buddy, Cecil, insisted on sailing really, really, really slow past
, binoculars in hand. At ten years
of age, I didn’t see why that was such a problem and no one would explain it. Air Force Beach
|Picture from Florida State Parks|
If you’d like to partake of the nude sunbathing, don’t bother running down to Air Force Beach these days. The land was bought by John D. MacArthur who donated it in the 1970s for the creation of “
The State Park opened to the public in 1989 about seven years after the State of
|Boardwalk to Beach from Florida State Parks|
Visitors should be aware of the wild life, though. On a visit there in the late 1990s, I stood on the beach watching in awe as bull sharks and tarpon herded bait fish toward the shore for a meal. Of course, I didn’t have a camera. The tarpon were leaping in the air over the bait fish. It was incredible.
I ended up arguing with a tourist who thought it was quite all right to stand in the middle of the swarming bait fish with her daughter next to her and baby granddaughter in her arms. Her quote? “Oh, they don’t want to eat ME. They want to eat the little fish!” It took me yelling at her that sharks aren’t known for their eyesight and one could easily take a bite out of her by mistake before she finally stepped out of the water onto the safety of the sand.
Located at the northern tip of
Copyright 2012 Ruth Hartman Berge
Flip flop picture from Microsoft. org.