Sunday, August 26, 2007

Florida Panhandle Beaches Photos Coming Soon!

Soon I'll be adding several new pages to I'll be putting up photos and info from my trip to the Florida panhandle beaches back on August 15, 16, & 17. Above is a teaser photo from the pier at St. Andrews State Park beach. I'll have info on the following beaches:

  • St. George Island

  • Mexico Beach

  • St. Andrews State Park beaches

  • St. Andrews Pier

  • Grayton Beach State Park

Should be up in a few days...

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Saturday, August 25, 2007

A Saturday Morning on Pass-A-Grille Beach

This morning we went out for a relaxing morning on Pass-A-Grille beach. The Gulf was very calm. The swell from hurricane Dean didn't hang around long. But apparently the swell from the very distant hurricane was enough to dislodge millions of tunicates from the sea floor and wash them up onto the beach. You can see them in the photo below. They look like shells, but they are soft-bodied tunicates, which are filter-feeders, about the consistency of dried apricots. They are encrusted with shell fragments. They are starting to stink. Photo below.

Some seaweed or algae had also washed up. Mostly "Green Fleece" (Codium spp.). It wasn't enough to interfere with enjoying the beach or to prevent me from going for a swim in the 85 degree water. The water has cooled down several degrees in the last few weeks in the St. Petersburg area. The Gulf was still nearly 90 degrees up in the panhandle last week when I was there.

The water was fairly clear and there were a lot of baitfish. The patterns in the sand and the way the light was reflecting off the water was really nice. I've always loved poking around in shallow water. A few days ago I saw some small stingrays in this area, but I didn't see any this morning.

It's always nice to find both halves of a scallop still attached. Not many shells on the beach this morning, but I was happy to find this one. I enjoyed looking at it and put it back for someone else to discover.

Pass-A-Grille is a quiet place at 9am on Saturday morning in mid-August. Another fine beach day.

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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Dolphin Goes Surfing

This morning I was filming the surfers at Blind Pass between St. Pete Beach and Treasure Island and caught a dolphin jumping out of the water behind a surfer. Watch the YouTube video to see it. The video is only about 2 minutes long and the dolphin jumps early in the video. It was so cool.

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Thursday, August 16, 2007

BeachHunter Visits the Florida Panhandle Beaches

For a long time I've been wanting to add the Florida panhandle beaches to my BeachHunter website. Well, the time has arrived.

In the next few weeks I'll be adding photos, video, and information on St. George Island beaches, Mexico Beach, St. Andrews State Park Beaches, Grayton Beach State Park, and some photos of Panama City Beach.

I was really surprised at the huge scale of the development on Panama City Beach. I was also BLOWN AWAY by how beautiful the water is at St. Andrews and along Panama City Beach. WOW!

It was really, really hot the past few days, so I didn't cover as many beaches as I would have liked. I was really hoping to get to the Navarre Beach area and to Fort Pickens and Fort McRee. That's right, Fort McRee. Although it is now underwater, I really think I ought to at least visit the beach named after my ancestors!

So stay tuned! I took several hundred photos.

I also got a sample of the whitest beach sand I could find up here. I'm going to compare it to the whitest sand I can find on the lower Gulf coast. I'll see if I can post photos and we can decide once and for all, who has the whitest sand!

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Logo For

Hi BeachHunter visitors! I am happy to present my new (and first) logo for It was designed by my son Nathan McRee, who is a graphic designer. Nathan graduated from the Ringling School of Art and Design a few years ago and is a working designer now.

As you can probably tell, the logo is partly an image of me, since I am BeachHunter. Eventually it will appear on every page of, but for now, it is in the upper left corner of the home page.

No doubt, it will soon be appearing in other places too, like on t-shirts, hats, etc.

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Saturday, August 11, 2007

Don't Forget Your Vacation Photos!

What's going to happen to all those fabulous digital photos you took on your vacation? Are they going to sit on your computer's hard drive where nobody can see them?

How many times have you had friends or family over and said, "sometime we'll have to show you our vacation photos. They are on the computer now and we'd have to boot it up." Or, "just log onto Flickr or Photobucket and then click on..." Sure, grandma is going to do that just as soon as she gets home.

Well did you know that you can easily have your photos arranged in a beautiful book like the one pictured above? What? You say you don't have time to put that together? Well then you should consider having my friend Maria help you out. She puts together beautiful photo books. I was amazed the first time she showed us the book she put together from the photos taken on her vacation to the Bahamas. Any time someone is visiting and they talk about their Bahamas trip, there is the book right on the coffee table for everyone to see.

Photo books are great for graduations, weddings, family history photos, baby albums, vacations, and any other event or memory that you can think of. Think of what a great gift a photo book would make. Can't think of anything to give a certain relative? How about a photo book?

And don't forget about home video. Have video of a graduation or wedding or vacation? Maria can take that hour or two of video and turn it into a viewable masterpiece with music and put it right onto a DVD. No more fast forwarding over the boring or embarrassing parts. We really enjoyed the video that Maria and Neil put together of their Bahamas vacation. They just brought the DVD over to our house and we all enjoyed it together. No more boring home movies! It looked totally professional.

Maria, and Neil (her partner) have been close friends of ours for several years. They are both very talented. Maria is going to put together a photo book of my family history photos. You see, my Dad has been collecting family history information for years and has a lot of great photos from the 1800's and early 1900's. They are disorganized and stuffed into folders and piled on his desk where no one can see them and appreciate them. I've been scanning them (Maria would do this too, but Dad is pretty protective of his photos, so I take my scanner to his home). When they are all scanned I'll send them to Maria and let her take it from there! Then my Dad will have a beautiful book with all the best photos from his collections.

Maria has a website at , so visit her website for more information how she can bring your photo memories to life, and send her an email if you'd like to discuss your project. It doesn't matter where you are located. Maria does lots of work for people in other states and cities. All made possible by email and the internet (and sometimes regular mail too).

She calls her business "A Nelmar Creation." Nelmar is a combination of "Neil" and "Maria".

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