Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I am still getting settled in my new place, but soon I will be out on the beach and boat finding new things to share on my blog.
For now, enjoy these photos from the public domain. Find them all at the Pixabay site. Each one has a link to the photographer who shared them.
Learn about sea glass so you’ll know which colors are most rare and how some people sell it as real, but it’s been hand tumbled.
What kind of seashell is this next to the baby? My guess is a Queen Helmet (Cassis madagascariensis), as they can be as big as 12 inches.
I was in New Smyrna for a closing on my new house, and my son and I took a look at the beach. It was four days after Hurricane Matthew and we wanted to see how badly the beaches were hit. Happily I found that Breakers Restaurant, right on the beach, was still standing, and open for business!
If you’ve ever visited the area, you will know it’s the pink building at the end of Flagler Ave., with that awesome view of the ocean. If you are lucky enough to get a seat at the front, you can eat at the bar and watch the waves roll in.
The parking lot across the street from Breakers is no longer free to park (that stinks), so we drove in just long enough to get a few pictures. It was raining, so my photos aren’t that great, but I wanted to share the better ones I took. I would have liked to get out and walk around, but the weather did not allow for it.
The ocean was churning up sand and the tide was high – at least the water was high – I don’t’ know what the tide schedule was. The beach entrance was blocked off to drivers (you can drive on the beach here), mainly because there was no beach. Below is a bad photo of the sign at the beach entrance.
One thing we noticed as we drove around the area was that the coast had been hit with more wind than we were inland. Everywhere we saw debris piled up along the roads ready for removal. Power trucks were everywhere, which meant that a lot of people were still without electricity. Buildings had shingles missing, and trees were down in some areas. Some places had tarps on the roof.
Luckily, the damage was a lot less than what was predicted. Many people along the coast evacuated, and had to sit for days wondering what shape their homes were in.
We headed south at Peninsula Ave. and took the south causeway home. The north causeway has a drawbridge for tall boats, mainly sailboats I would assume, but the south causeway bridge does not open. We headed home feeling very lucky that, at our rental house inland, we did not even lose power during the hurricane.
As I sit here, 20 miles inland from the east coast Florida beaches, I wonder what kind of devastation is taking place over there as Hurricane Matthew passes by.
Here, the wind was howling with gusts of 50-70mph, but we got off easier than originally thought. My rental house did not blow away as I had feared. We have minor damage in the yard with limbs broken and the fence leaning. Now the storm is moving on to the north, and all this wind and rain will eventually die down.
After the three hurricanes in 2004 – Charlie, Frances and Jeanne – I had visited the seashore in New Smyrna Beach to see the damage. My husband (at the time) and I ate at Breakers on Flagler Ave. and we could see that the sand was all washed away down along the shore. The ocean was coming up around the place, and the beach ramp was under water.
A few days after our visit, the restaurant was condemned for safety issues. I remember how the sight of the ocean having taken over the beach was so sad. So I am thinking that this time I will find a similar situation. The beaches will have to be re-built. And what about the sea creatures? How have they fared?
The beaches eventually recovered from the 2004 storms, and they will this time too. Once the news crews can get beachside, we’ll be able to see the devastation.
While we were over on the east coast of Florida one day, we decided to head south from the Edgewater area and try to find the next closest boat ramp. Down that way the ramps go into the western part of the Mosquito Lagoon. From there, make your way (in your boat) across to the Haulover Canal which passes through to the east side of the Lagoon.
We drove east for a few miles from Rt. 1 on a dirt road and finally came across the small boat ramp. It has room to put in one boat at a time and the boat loads into a narrow channel that feeds out into the open water.
Looking south, the Kennedy Space Center vehicle assembly building is barely visible.
I found some crown conch shells and thick clam shells, but the most interesting item I found floating among the weeds in the shallows was this horseshoe crab. It was not alive.
Once we have a flats boat we plan to spend some time fishing in this area. For now, we have to stay close to the Edgewater ramp where we put the little boat in, as it doesn’t travel very fast, or handle waves well!
Went out on the little boat yesterday and three of us tried our best to catch a keeper. If we wanted to eat a meal of catfish, we could easily have done so. I caught a couple of large cats when we stopped one of the backwater canals for a swim and then fished from the water. We had more room than when we all tried to cast a line from the Gheenoe.
Other than the catfish, I did get a small snook. He was a silver shimmering beauty! It’s snook season right now, and my older son was hoping to reel one in. All he got was a few catfish himself. My younger son got a small redfish, and we certainly saw more than a few “tailing redfish” along the shore. Yes, I am beginning to learn fisherman talk. When redfish are eating they circle and show their tail. The ones we watched each seemed to be alone, but they can swim in big groups with their tails above the water, and that’s what the fishermen look for. The ones we watched would swim in a circle and make a large ripple in the calm water. These fish are really beautiful and they are delicious to eat. But size is important when you catch one you want to keep.
Because the little “Yea Mon” (what my son named his boat) has a shallow draft, we can get into the backwater channels where most other boats can’t go. We always find shallow water to swim around in and sand islands when the tide is low.
And we have the place all to ourselves! The water was flowing, and we could drift along in the very warm water. Yes, it’s brown, but it usually is in this area.
Other than fishing and enjoying the sunny Florida weather, I also did some shell hunting. Because the tide was just coming in, there were a number of sandy beach areas exposed. I found a large shark’s eye shell with a piece missing. Also picked up a crown conch and pear whelk. Picked them up and then had to put them back down. Every shell was inhabited by a hermit crab.
I really would have liked to keep those shells as they are all favorites of mine. In fact I don’t think I have ever found a pear whelk. I really wanted that one for my seashell collection! The place to go and get great shells is the Gulf Coast. A vacation may be in order – one day.
I took photos with my iPhone, but because of the extremely sunny conditions, it was difficult. Also, I worry about dropping the darn thing. I really need a waterproof case. Shuffling along the uneven sandy bottom of the canal is tricky. I could step into a hole at any time and drop my phone! My nice camera is still packed away, waiting for me to move into a permanent home.
Once we have our newer, bigger boat, it will be so much easier to grab the phone and get video and photos while the boys fish. Not to mention that fishing will be much more fun! So it’s all a waiting game, which is par for the course in my life. But we still had a very nice day out on the water.