We are still waiting for the boat we ordered to come in and I’m dying to get out on the water. For now I must be content with visiting the beach and river.
This morning I headed over to Flagler Ave. to see how the ocean looked. There have been beach advisories lately because of the high winds, which cause high tides and rip currents. And sure enough, the waves were crashing and the beach was a mess.
The tide was going out, so I decided to drive down Penninsula Ave. and get onto the beach from one of those drive-on spots. The one I chose had a big puddle of sea water at the bottom of the ramp. The toll-collector and I watched the car ahead of me navigate it along the edge, and he made it. I have a 4-wheel drive Subaru, which always handled very well in the snow, so I was not afraid of a sea puddle (it was a BIG puddle). I slid around a bit but made it out to the beach traffic lanes fine. But the driving was very bumpy because of all the ruts in the sand. For that reason I didn’t go very far before parking.
The first thing I noticed, besides all the seaweed, was the blue jellyfish. Yes, man-of-war jellyfish were scattered along the beach. I got a couple of pictures and didn’t know what type they were until I got home and showed the picture to my son. He knew right away it was a man-of-war. Believe it or not, people (tourists?) were still going in the water! (A reader commented that the Man-o-war is not really a jellyfish. Read more here.)
I walked the high tide line of sand hoping to find some cool shells, but all I found was the regular variety. My goal was to get close to the jetty and boardwalk of the Smyrna Dunes Park down by Ponce Inlet, but it was too far to drive on that bumpy sand. I may end up getting a pass so I can drive to the park and walk along the boardwalks.
I did see something odd though. A sea bird was plopped down in the sand. At first I thought it was dead, but it wasn’t. I’ve never been to the beach when a bird was nestled in the dune area. I snapped a photo without getting too close.
The shells I found were the regular arks. I was hoping to find some unusual seashells because of the high tide and rough surf. I didn’t find any super unique shells, but I did collect a little slipper shell, a black rock, and a Sea Purse Bean (photo below).
There are a lot of sea beans mentioned in my “Florida’s Living Beaches” book. Some have a much thicker ring, but they are all hard and roundish in shape. This is the first time I have collected a sea bean.
4 thoughts on “New Smyrna Beach Jellyfish, Seaweed, and a Bumpy Beach Drive”
Cool article. Man O War’s are not actually jellyfish, they’re siphonophores which are mistaken for jellies. It might not apply in every case, but jellies typically can be identified by their conspicuously bell-shaped medusa. Siphonophores, on the other hand, do not exhibit this familiar shape. In fact, siphonophores are not individual organisms but colonial cnidarians.
Thanks for the info Liam. I am no scientist and fall into the typical name-calling because I don’t know any better. This is interesting information.
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