Quiet Day On The Boat

A hot and beautiful day on the boat took us to a remote river island, a stop in the ocean, and then to Ponce Inlet.

We chose a hot, sunny day to take a much needed boat ride. It had been a while. But, this day was very hot with a heat index over 100. The water temperature was around 87 and felt very nice, but not very refreshing.

The first stop was a little place along the Indian River. We’ve been here before. In fact it is the place I saw my first and only spider crab.

Anchored boat at shallow beach on Indian River

I did some beach exploring and took photos of what I found. See the shells, a live crown conch, and one feather, in the slideshow below. Every shell, except the crown, had a hermit crab inside.

  • shiny sharks eye seashell
  • muddy tulip shell
  • hermit crab gathering
  • faded banded whelk shell
  • shell under a bigger shell
  • beach view with shell in sand
  • faded lightning whelk on sand
  • living crown conch sea snail
  • sharks eye shell with hermit crab
  • gray mud caked whelk shell
  • muddy whelks
  • hermit crab walking
  • feather on beach

Took a trip to Ponce Inlet

We don’t often boat up to Ponce Inlet, but my son likes to take our 18 foot flats boat out into the ocean! It is not an ocean-going vessel and is made for shallow backwaters, so I’m never happy about this. We only go just off the end of the inlet and only when it is calm.

The ocean water is a pretty deep blue, and we just sat and enjoyed floating. The photos make it look very calm, and it was, but there were swells. It was hot, as I have mentioned, but swimming in the ocean from the boat, is out of the question. There is no way to get back onboard.

boat in the ocean
In the ocean

After our quick ocean trip, we went back inshore and followed the channel around by the lighthouse and ended up at a sandbar.

Ponce Inlet Florida lighthouse from water

Anchored at a Sandbar by Ponce Inlet

These sandbars by the inlet are party places and fill up on the weekends. A deeper channel runs along behind the shallow area and it’s how we get to the island. The sandbar has some calm, clear, pools (and I took a dip) but the water behind the boat is running with the tide. A swim in the channel is nice too because it’s deep and at certain times, the water here can be very beautiful. This is a great place to take the kids, and everyone brings their dogs! We met up with some friends here a while ago.

  • Hewes boat anchored in shallow water
  • sandbar shallow water anchored
  • boat anchored near Ponce Inlet
  • people and boats on sandbar
  • view across the shallows

We had a nice day and managed to keep cool between dips in the water and the wind from traveling. Luckily we get to go boating during the week so there are no crowds.

me sitting at inlet beach

More stories from the blog…

Pictures of the Beach at New Smyrna and Ponce Inlet

We went to the beach for a few hours and I got to visit Ponce Inlet and look for shells. Since my son likes to fish from the beach, he drops me off by the jetty (picture down the page) and drives back down the beach. He’ll park about a mile away so I can travel the inlet beach and then walk to where he is fishing.

This gives me some time alone to beach-comb and then get exercise walking back to the truck. I like to fish, but not at the ocean.

The Dog Beach

The Ponce Inlet beach is also a dog beach. It was not crowded at all, but a few people had their dogs on leashes and were having a nice stroll. You can see the dog and people prints in the sand here. The tide was coming in, but there was still a lot of open beach to explore. I didn’t find many great shells, but did collect a few new scallops, which I love to find.

The Inlet is a wonderful place for photos. Any photographer would get some nice shots here. A few years ago I took a bunch of photos at low tide when the beach was full of ripples and tide pools. They are still some of my favorite pictures.

Rocky Jetty and Surfer’s Beach – Shark Bite Capital

As I left the inlet side of the beach I passed the rocky jetty. To the right of this jetty is the surfing area which is also known as the “shark bite capital of the world”. Surfers can be bitten by the black tip sharks that patrol these waters, but usually it’s a quick bite and they are gone. People rarely, if ever, die but they probably have memorable scars!

I was going to link to a video here, but the NatGeo video is so awful, I didn’t. Many of the images are NOT even from New Smyrna – just something they threw in! Boo on them.

Surfers are the ones that get bitten most often because they look like food to the sharks. Don’t swim where surfing takes place – you shouldn’t do that anyway. There is plenty of beach, so stay further south. Rip currents are a worst threat, so swim near lifeguards.

The high number of shark bites also correlates to the high number of people who visit this area and swim in the ocean.

surfing area of the beach
Young people on the beach watching their friends surf.

The waves were quite large and as I passed by the surfing area, I could see many surfers way out catching waves. My phone camera is not great, but there are a couple of surfers in some of these photos. I think they all fell just as I took the photo… LOL.

Some Things To Know About the Beach

  • If you plan to drive onto the beach, check the tides. At high tide you won’t be allowed on because the beach will be underwater. Plan to either park in one of the lots (that do cost money), or hit the beach at low tide.
  • It’s best to have a 4-wheel drive vehicle or you may – yes it’s likely – get stuck in the soft sand when you park. BUT… it’s easy to get help from fellow beachgoers and they will help push you out.
  • Swim near lifeguards, as there can be rip currents that are unseen.
  • If a thunderstorm is nearby you will probably be asked to get out of the water and leave the beach – by the beach patrol. Florida’s lightning can be deadly. Don’t travel to the beach on a stormy day, and that means go early in the day during the summer when storms will build all day long and become a problem in the afternoons.

The water temperature was in the high 80’s and this is in October. A few weeks later it had dropped by about ten degrees because the nights (and days) had thankfully cooled off.

A Visit to Flagler Ave and New Smyrna Beach Video

I managed to find a video by a young couple (and their adorable baby) who visited New Smyrna Beach via Flagler Ave., which is where they parked and walked onto the beach. A lot of the video includes their baby, Apollo – almost like a home movie – but the baby is so cute and the couple is very likable. They travel the world and have bunches of videos from their trips. If you are interested, view Chase for Adventure – Visiting the Shark Bite Capital of the World.

The Surf Shop Story

My trip to Florida was a good one. I had a chance to visit with my son and go out on his boat, but the weather was not the greatest.  Although my son had warned me that…

Keep reading


Something went wrong. Please refresh the page and/or try again.

Scallop Shells Collected on the East Coast

While photographing my newly collected shells the other day, I decided to re-photograph my pretty scallop shells. Florida waters can contain a variety of types of scallops, but the shells I find over here on the east coast are mainly the Atlantic Calico Scallop.

Ponce Inlet, Florida’s central east coast

While beachcombing in my area of Florida, the best shells are often found around Ponce Inlet and the jetty area. Because of the rough surf and strong currents many of the shells are broken, worn, or have turned black. When I say “best shells” I mean the most unusual or rarely seen while I search the sand. I sometimes find olive shells here, big angel wings, scallops, and bits of coral. On this day, I found a pretty little pink scallop and a couple that were blackened from being buried in the sediment for a long time.

Pink and Black Scallop Shells

Photographing Scallop Shells

Sometimes photos can show a clearer picture of the intricate details of a seashell. The calico scallop, when found before it’s colors fade or turn black or orange, is quite pretty. I have a few of those and you can see the color variety in my photo below. Colors tend to be off-white, cream and yellow with blotches of maroon and pink.

Notice that some of the “ears”, or protrusions at the front of the shell, have worn down or off completely on some shells.

calico scallops

I’ve taken some macro photos to show the ribs on the shells a bit better. Other types of scallops that can be found in Florida waters are the Zig Zag and Round Ribbed, Rough Scallop, Scaly Scallop and famous Lion Paw (very rare). The Bailey-Matthews Museum on Sanibel Island has come good photos Florida’s scallops. See the set under the Family Pectinidae on their site.

The Round Ribbed and Zig Zag scallop have flat tops so as a bivalve each side looks different. You may find the colorful flat piece or the bottom, less colorful part. The Scaly scallop is more elongated and one of it’s “ears” is much longer than the other.

Bay scallops are now rarely found, according to the Living Beaches book (affiliate link to Amazon, new book version). Their ribs are more squared, but when I look at photos I can’t really see much difference between the Bay and Calico as far as shape. Because the Bay Scallop is now rare, I assume my shells are all Calico varieties.


Something went wrong. Please refresh the page and/or try again.