Dina Rudick/Globe Staff
CHATHAM -- The red no-swimming flags flapped in the wind today at Lighthouse Beach because of the threat of rip currents. But dozens of people were spread out on the sand, lazing on blankets, or walking along the water's edge, enjoying the sunny, post-Earl weather.
John Cain of Stoneham, walking with his wife and 12-year-old son, said the family had just arrived this morning.
"We were supposed to come yesterday and we got scared off by the weather report, obviously. But it looks beautiful now," he said.
Joe Fasciano of Needham, who summers in Chatham, was fishing for scup and fluke off the Mitchell River Bridge, a wooden drawbridge over a saltwater channel that feeds Stage Harbor.
He said he was a little disappointed by the storm."I wanted it to stay a Category 2 at least -- we haven't had a good hurricane around here in quite a few years."
"I'm not exactly a storm chaser, but it would've been fun to see one," he said.
"All in all a little disappointed, but the house remained unscathed, and that's always a good thing," he said.
Jim Leary, a corporate executive from New York City who also summers in the town was reading on a beach chair at Oyster Pond Beach, a sheltered saltwater cove where the wind was creating unusually rapid waves, but the sun beat down overhead from a cloudless sky.
"Well, today's a nice day. A little windy. I'm glad it didn't hit. Everybody was excited to see something big, but the family's safe, the house's safe, and the boat's safe, so I'm not disappointed," he said.
Meanwhile, on Main Street, Stephen and Louise Ryan, tourists from Beaconsfield, north of London, said, "We just holed up in our hotel last night, and now it's a beautiful morning."
They were unimpressed by the tropical storm.
"This amount of wind and rain we have almost every week in England," Louise said.
Linda Wood, owner of Chatham Presence, a gift shop specializing in décor and home furnishings, was angry because, she said, the threat from the storm had been exaggerated by the media and that resulted in her losing business.
"I think that the media so overhyped it," she said. "The National Weather Service didn't even have an advisory out, and there were like, I don't know how many news crews hanging around here, trying to hype that, 'Oh, a hurricane's coming in!' They scared some of my clients to the point they came in shaking, because they were so upset about how it was being treated."
Sara Liska, manager of the Chatham T. Co. children's T-shirt shop, didn't blame the storm for any loss of business.
If the week seemed slower, it was because many families were already home for the start of school, she said.
"I don't think [the storm] really scared too many people away. You know what it is? Labor Day is so late this year, and a lot of kids have already started back at school. I think that had more to do it than the weather," she said.
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