MARTIN COUNTY — With waves crashing against the coast, more than a dozen people flocked to Martin County beaches catching a glimpse of the ocean as outer wind bands from Hurricane Ian kicked up the surf.
A strong breeze ripped through the beaches and on-and-off showers drenched people marveling at the waves.
Kenny Haliburton, of Port St. Lucie, said he enjoys seeing the beach during a hurricane.
"I always like to see how Mother Nature's reacting with the hurricane," Haliburton said. "The beach is always a nice scene with all the big waves."
Hurricane Ian tracker: Where is powerful storm headed next?
The beach was more calm than other times Haliburton's gone out.
"This is actually pretty tame," Haliburton said. "I've been in worse."
Dominic Marini, of Indiana, who was out on his honeymoon, said he wanted to see the hurricane while here with his wife, Jackie Marini.
The two were collecting shells on the beach.
"I wanted to check out the bigger waves, check out the hurricane. I haven't seen one in years," Dominic Marini said. "My wife has never seen one ... so we thought we'd check it out before we get rained on."
Living near Chicago, Jackie Marini said the winds and storms were "so far not a big deal."
Wind tore through beaches in Fort Pierce, hurling sand against skin and eyes.
The beaches were almost empty of people.
But more than a dozen people ventured out on the walkway at the Fort Pierce jetty and felt the breeze of ocean dew against them while taking in the view.
“We just want to see the storm surge,” said Dustin Otto, of Fort Pierce, who was there with his wife Cindy Maynetto, daughters Aaliyah and baby Olivia
Other people on the beach made unexpected discoveries of hidden treasure washed out by the ocean.
Robert Harrod IV, of Port St. Lucie, found a box the tide washed up after his father, Robert Harrod III, spotted an orange string.
"It caught my eye because my dad said what is that orange thing in the water, and we looked, and I was like, this 'ain't no normal lunchbox, this is a metal box,' " Harrod said.
Harrod jumped down an embankment the tide was toppling and snatched the box before the water could get to him.
"That was pretty crazy," Harrod said. "I was trying to get up as fast as possible, so the tide didn't get me."
The box was a mini treasure chest hidden on the beach by two people on vacation. A note inside said "It was a great vacation and we left some treasures behind for you to enjoy."
The fortune was a couple dollars and a $10 bill.
Mauricio La Plante is a breaking news reporter for TCPalm focusing on Martin County. Follow him on Twitter @mslaplantenews or email him at Mauricio.LaPlante@tcpalm.com.
This article originally appeared on Treasure Coast Newspapers: Hurricane Ian: Martin County, Treasure Coast beaches see crowds