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Arrived yesterday....my take on the water

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NC
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Arrived yesterday....my take on the water

We arrived yesterday, staying on middle gulf drive between Sundial and Gulfside City Park. Admittedly, the water color is a shock when you first see it. It is darker than we've seen in 7 years of visiting the same time every year. We have seen it when a tropical storm has passed nearby and the water was stirred up and cloudy but this is much different. The overall color is totally different. But still the water is actually pretty clear, you can see the bottom to look for shells fairly well, in fact it is clearer than I've seen during several other trips. I would be lying if I said it didn't bother me at all, it is disappointing even when you expect it. But it doesn't smell badly and I didn't feel squeamish about walking in the shallows. My mother and a friend saw two stingrays very close to the waters edge earlier today so we're being careful. Also, lots of people boating, and parking on the sandbars,more than we've ever seen.

So, right now I'm still happy to be here,we had a wonderful meal last night at Cip's, saw a lovely rainbow as we left Jerry's with our provisions, and sitting here at the moment looking out at a beautiful day, bright sun, nice breeze.....think I'd better go take a stroll on the beach while my little one is napping, and husband is watching football (and the baby monitor!)

We have yet to check out any other beaches, we always go to Bowmans, Blind Pass etc... The water color may be better that way from what we've heard. I'll try to report back if I get a chance. Thought I'd post our experience because I appreciated any first hand reports I could get before our trip.

Edited: 3:10 pm, September 08, 2013
The Bakery
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1. Re: Arrived yesterday....my take on the water

Well, unfortunately, all the rain washes the tannin in and yeah, tea colored water is the result, but at least it is clear. Having seen it before, I guess I would be less surprised. Unfortunately, most of use associate the brown tint to nasty stuff - and make no mistake, it can be there too.

Thanks so much for your observations and honest reaction. Keep us informed, especially for conditions around Blind Pass and Lighthouse beach.

ottawa
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2. Re: Arrived yesterday....my take on the water

I was always surprised and impressed by how different the water could look from one day to another .. almost like a totally different beach .. light one day .. dark the next .. blue .. green .. all in one trip.

NC
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3. Re: Arrived yesterday....my take on the water

Update: the water where we are staying looked even better today. We can't get over how clear the water has been, we were used to it being clear sometimes on captiva but not on sanibel like it has been this time. The color looked better today too. A storm stirred up the water this evening and lots of seagrass washed ashore.

We plan to visit Blind Pass tomorrow during the day, saw the sunset on the Captiva side last night and water looked nice. The dolphins have been feeding really close to the shore in the morning in front of where we're staying. Fun to watch! We've also been finding small sand dollars, shelling hasn't been the best but not bad. Hopefully we will do better at Bowmans beach and Blind Pass. Haven't checked out the lighthouse area yet.

Clinton ,MA
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4. Re: Arrived yesterday....my take on the water

bmissy:

Thanks so much for your "live" reports. I appreciate the input on these forums. I am anxious to hear of the local weather as I am arriving Sunday for my first trip. Potential hurricanes forming in the Atlantic concern me more than the water color. I am just looking forward to the WARM water vs. the frigid temps I am used to on New England coast. And of course the infamous shells! can't wait. fingers crossed bad weather stays out in Atlantic (or heads up eastern coast, since I won't be there). Haha

NC
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5. Re: Arrived yesterday....my take on the water

You're very welcome! Beautiful day today. Ended up at Bowman's beach instead of Blind Pass this morning. Water color looked really good, shells a little better. . But we like our uncrowded beach where we're staying even better. Hoping you have great weather for your trip too!

Hutchihson, KS
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6. Re: Arrived yesterday....my take on the water

If you find a shell washed up on shore are you able to take it?

jamesville ny
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7. Re: Arrived yesterday....my take on the water

I spent last week at FMB and the water was fine, clear in color and had a great time.

The Bakery
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8. Re: Arrived yesterday....my take on the water

You can only harvest empty shells. Live shells, ones with the animal still in them, should be returned to the Gulf. The odds of survival are small, but trust me, cleaning a live animal from a shell is nasty and the fine $500 if you take a live one - and that includes one that holds a hermit crab. There are tons of empty shells of all sizes, shapes, and colors to choose from and collect all you want.

Please do not touch seastars (star fish) and take only sanddollars that are turned white. The ones that looks brown-green and feel 'slimy' or fuzzy are live. They live on the sand bars in shallow water and might seem dead, but they aren't.

Missy - keep up the reports!

Hutchihson, KS
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9. Re: Arrived yesterday....my take on the water

Thanks for your response. I do only take the shells that get washed on shore. I sure hope to find a big one. Are there a lot of those there?

The Bakery
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10. Re: Arrived yesterday....my take on the water

Usually you need to hunt the sandbars as the big shells are so heavy they only get moved by tropical storms surf, so they get 'hung up' out on the sandbars. The most common large shell to find is the lightning whelk as it lives in shallower water. You will on rare occasion find a good sized horse conch, but those are deep water shells and usually only come in during dredging and storms. I've seen a few huge moon snail shells collected now and the too. The typical Florida Fighting conch only gets about 4" long. Not big. Some of the Olives can get longer and the murex can as well, but other than apple murex, they are often badly damaged by the time they reach shore.

Edited: 5:52 pm, September 10, 2013