Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Fourth of July Weekend at the Beach

It's hard to believe July is here already. So far along the west coast of Florida we've managed to make it this far into the summer without significant effects from any tropical storms or red tide. There have been some problems with algae and seaweed washing up on the beach in the Sanibel/Ft. Myers beach area and all the way south to Naples, but hey it's like I always tell people...THE GULF OF MEXICO IS NOT A SWIMMING POOL! It's wild nature. Nature happens. Even when you are on vacation.

After lingering for weeks in the 83 degree range, the Gulf water temperature is finally up to 87 degrees, warm enough for natives like me. Soon it will be well into the lower 90's. That's hurricane water.

Monday, July 3rd, I spent a few glorious hours on Pass-A-Grille beach. Actually I was in the water most of the time. The Gulf was as calm as a lake and the water was about as clear as Saint Pete Gulf water gets. Unlike last summer (because of red tide), I saw quite a few fish in the water, but oddly, no sting rays.

While I was kneeling in thigh-deep water, a school of very tiny transparent fish established themselves in front of me about 15 inches from my chest. They were each about an inch long and were so transparent that all I could see was their eyes.

Suddenly a lightning fast streak of hungry yellow-tailed jack sliced through the little school of fish. It was so fast, it barely disrupted the school. The jack fish was about 6 inches long with a bright yellow tail. It swam around me in circles planning its next attack, of which there were 5 or 6 more. I don't know how long it stalked those little minnows or if there were any left after the end of the day, but it was a reminder that for some to live, others must die.

As long as its not me.

Visit my site on Florida Beaches at www.beachhunter.net.



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