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Archive for the ‘Beach Safety Tips’ Category

WoooHooo! Chocolate for Sun Protection!

Posted by Jody on March 6, 2014

Just in case you missed it, there’s even more good news for beachcombers!

First wine, and now chocolate for sun protection… It keeps getting better and better.

As if we needed another reason to eat chocolate: German researchers have shown that ingesting types rich in cocoa solids and flavonoids—dark chocolate—can fight skin cancer! Their findings are only preliminary because they come from a trial of just 24 women who were recruited to add cocoa to their breakfasts every day for about 3 months. (Why, oh why, wasn’t I one of them?)

…Moreover, after 12 weeks of consuming the flavanol-rich cocoa, the women’s skin was 16 percent denser, 11 percent thicker, 13 percent moister, 30 percent less rough, and 42 percent less scaly than it was at the beginning of the experiment. Although the mechanism for most of these benefits remains unclear, the Düsseldorf researchers suspect that improved blood flow was a contributor. (Source: ScienceNews.org)

I only have one question: Where do I sign up for the next study?

My Stash (©Jody Diehl)

Hmmmmm. Wine, chocolate…Would you like to have a guess as to what the next study might involve? ;-)

I’ll skip the botox! Please pass the chocolate!

Check it out: Chocolate as Sunscreen

Wine (& Grapes) for Sun Protection

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Posted in Beach Safety Tips | Tagged: , , , , , , | 19 Comments »

Staying Safe During Hawaii’s “Two Seasons”

Posted by Jody on October 22, 2013

Jody:

Aloha! This is some really wonderful information from one of my favorite sites.
Stay safe & have a great day at the beach! ~Jody

Originally posted on Pacific Island National Parks:

(Photo Courtesy Bureau of Ocean Energy Management)

(The following article courtesy National Weather Service Honolulu Office Website )

Hawaii’s Ocean Awareness Week: October 21st – 25th, 2013

Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie’s Proclamation for Ocean Awareness Week

Weather and surf are distinguished by two distinct seasons in Hawaii. The surf seasons generally follow the seasonal changes in the weather pattern across the North-Central Pacific Ocean. The dry season in Hawaii runs from May through September, while the wet season runs from October through April.

During the dry season, long period south swells are most common. These swells are generated by storm systems churning away in the southern hemisphere to the east of Australia and New Zealand. Two distinct zones of storm generation are favorable for south swell development. The most favorable location is in the area just east of New Zealand, while a second less consistent area is located between Australia and…

View original 470 more words

Posted in Beach Safety Tips, Beaches of The Hawaiian Islands | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Safe, Fun, and Successful Beach Metal Detecting!

Posted by Jody on October 8, 2013

Today’s Featured Guest Writer is Daniel Bernzweig.

Packing List for a Safe, Fun, and Successful Beach Metal Detecting Trip

So you have decided to take a trip to the beach? Whether your next metal detecting trip takes you near or far from home, there are some supplies you simply won’t want to be caught without when beach treasure hunting. I’ve been metal detecting since I was a boy and, as a result, I know a lot about what you’ll need to have on hand to be prepared for anything, as well as what happens when you head out unprepared! Here is a comprehensive packing list that will make any metal detecting beach adventure, fun, safe, and successful.

Metal Detecting on the Beach in Santa Cruz, California

Metal Detecting on the Beach in Santa Cruz, California

First off, of course, is your metal detector. You can’t go metal detecting at the beach without one! But be sure your machine is made to handle the conditions you’ll encounter (e.g. waterproof, right size search coil, ground balance controls, etc.). Otherwise, revise your plans, or you may end up making a costly mistake. The beach is actually one of the first spots that most people envision when they think of metal detecting. And in reality, it is a great place to begin as it is restocked with targets on a daily basis.

You’ll also want to have some quality metal detecting tools along while searching for treasure at the beach. A pinpointer and a digging tool are standard, and many detectorists also take along a metal detecting sifter or shovel. Other metal detecting accessories you may want to have with you include headphones, extra batteries, and/or additional search coils.

A protective treasure case is another essential you’ll always want to have on your metal detecting trips. Any non trash target you unearth should be put into your case and cleaned when you get home, not on the field. In many instances, like with coins for example, rubbing off the dirt will scratch the item. It’s better to take everything home for proper cleaning and inspection; even though the wait can be a bit difficult, to say the least!

It looks like he found something!

Score!

Sunscreen and protective clothing should always be worn when out metal detecting. With an engrossing hobby like this we often forget just how long we’ve been working under the hot sun, and the end result of that is a nasty sunburn; unless you’re properly dressed and sun screened, of course.

Always take enough water with you, plus some extra in case you’re out longer than expected. The same goes for food.

Having a few first aid supplies on hand while out metal detecting has come in handy more times than I can count. A few bandaids, some antibacterial ointment, some first aid tape and gauze pads (additional items if you have more space) are easy to put into a plastic bag and take up very little weight and room in your pack.

Bringing a GPS along with you when you’re out metal detecting is probably one of the only precaution I might describe as optional. That said, having one can be a priceless safety net in certain situations.

If your metal detecting trip will take you in and around water, here are a few more things to add to your packing list. If you plan on doing any shallow water metal detecting a wetsuit or waders may be warranted. Additional equipment is obviously required if you plan on metal detecting while snorkeling scuba diving. When metal detecting in and around water you’ll also need a few special metal detecting accessories, including a sand scoop, a waterproof search coil and a waterproof backpack or other container for your treasures. As long as you have these important items along, your metal detecting trip is sure to be safe, a lot of fun, and most likely more successful, too.

Daniel Bernzweig

Daniel Bernzweig

About the author: Daniel Bernzweig manages MetalDetector.com in Southborough, MA. He has written on the subject of treasure hunting and metal detecting since the mid 1980’s. He enjoys traveling with his metal detector and helping to educate others in the correct use of metal detectors in their explorations.  You can check out his article “What are the best Metal Detectors for Metal Detecting at the Beach” for some great tips on equipment selection.

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A note from our treasure hunters:

We simply love to share when it comes to beaches, treasure hunting, beachcombing crafts, and beachy tips. How about you? Do you have a favorite beach you’d like to share with us? Maybe you have some great tips for beach picnics, seaside safety, or seashore activities. Please check out our Submission Guidelines for info on jumping into the fun at Beach Treasures and Treasure Beaches.  You may be our next Featured Guest Writer!

Posted in Beach Safety Tips, Beach Treasures - Beachcombing, Featured Guest Writer, Sand and Shoreline, Tallies & Tips | Tagged: , , , , , | 11 Comments »

Australia Makes Sun Protection Fun, and Also Kid-Friendly!

Posted by E.G.D. on July 23, 2013

Yesterday, Mom (A.K.A Jody) sent me some really remarkably fun info for today’s “Tuesday Tally.”  Apparently, Australia has a slogan and a media campaign to encourage people to protect themselves from sun damage, and I would venture to say that they’ve made the whole information distributing process a heck of a lot of fun!

Slip, Slop, Slap, Seek, and Slide!

Slip, Slop, Slap, Seek, and Slide!

Let’s start with the slogan:  Slip, Slop, Slap, Seek, and Slide.

That, my friends, is some incredibly fun alliteration, and it trips nicely off the tongue.  Seriously, try saying that ten times fast!  And how about getting your kids to say it ten times fast?  This slogan can easily be turned into a game, and it will help everyone remember the following 5 tidbits of vital sun protection advice (from the Sunsmart website):

  1. Slip on some sun-protective clothing that covers as much skin as possible.
  2. Slop on SPF30+ sunscreen – make sure it is broad spectrum and water resistant. Apply 20 minutes before you go outdoors and reapply every two hours.
  3. Slap on a hat that protects your face, head, neck and ears.
  4. Seek shade.
  5. Slide on some sunglasses – make sure they meet Australian Standards.

Advice can’t get any sounder than that!  Also, there is an adorable animated ad you can check on the website.  It features a catchy jingle and a sun-smart duck.  What’s not to love?

Slip, Slop, Slap, Seek and Slide!

Slip, Slop, Slap, Seek, and Slide!

Apparently, the American Cancer Society has also jumped on the bandwagon, but they opted to break the alliteration series with a non-alliterative rhyme: “Slip!  Slop!  Slap!  And Wrap,” they write on their website.  I must say, that is A) not nearly as cool as the original and B) way too heavy on the exclamation points.  Why on earth would they put full-stop punctuation after everything but the last two words?  Give me the Australian tongue twister and commas any day!

So, next time you plan a day of fun in the sun, why not play it safe and start with Slip, Slop, Slap, Seek, and Slide?  Sun safety seems seriously smart to me! -E.G.D.

~Originally published on July 12, 2012

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Posted in Beach Safety Tips, Tallies & Tips | Tagged: , , , , , | 7 Comments »

Weekly Photo Challenge: Escape “The Grip of the Rip”

Posted by Jody on May 21, 2013

Rip Currents – Break the Grip of the Rip!

Rip Current Safety

Rip Current Safety Sign Posted on Lifeguard Tower

     If Caught in a Rip Current

  • Don’t fight the current

  • Swim out of the current, then to shore

  • If you can’t escape, float or tread water

  • If you need help, call or wave for assistance

~~~

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), rip currents are the #1 safety threat at beaches.

Rip currents can be really hard to spot, so exercise caution if you see the following:

  1. a channel of churning, choppy water;
  2. an area with a noticeable difference in color;
  3. a line of foam, seaweed, or debris moving steadily out to sea;
  4. and/or a break in the incoming wave pattern.

If you get caught in one:

  1. Stay calm, don’t fight the current.
  2. Swim sideways out of the current and parellel to the shore, then at an angle back to the shore.

If you can’t escape it:

  1. Float or calmly tread water. The rip current will eventually fade.
  2. Try to face the shore, wave your arms, and yell for help.

If you see someone caught in one, DO NOT try to rescue them yourself, instead:

  1. Get a lifeguard or call 911.
  2. Yell instructions.
  3. And if possible, throw a life preserver or floatation device.

These things may help you save a life.

The ocean can be a source of fun and excitement, but you should always be careful of hazards that exist. Only swim at lifeguard protected beaches. Before your next trip to the beach, know how to spot a rip current and how to break the grip of the rip.

Source: Ocean Today (NOAA)

Lifeguard Tower Posted with Safety Signs

Lifeguard Tower with Posted Rip Current Safety Signs

Please take a look at these very helpful links:

“Don’t get sucked in by the rip…” Rip Current Science and Safety Video: Australia

The Grip of the Rip – NOAA Video

United States Lifesaving Association Rip Current Survival Guide

How Rip Currents Form

Have a safe day at the beach!

This week’s WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge topic is Escape.

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Posted in Beach Safety Tips, Tallies & Tips | Tagged: , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Wine (& Grapes) for Sun Protection

Posted by Jody on May 6, 2013

Some of us take sun protection more seriously than others.  I’m one of those people.  Not that I used to be.  Growing up in the Midwest, we reveled in our first sunburn.  A little Noxzema or Solarcaine on our tortured backs and we were on our way back to summer fun at the beach!  (At that point we might have covered up, in the water, with one of Dad’s white t-shirts. But only until that first burn healed.)  The words “sun protection” weren’t even in our vocabulary.  I remember the days when teenagers stretched out in the blazing sun, basting themselves with a concoction of Mercurochrome mixed with baby oil, for that *oh so attractive* orange summer glow. Yikes!! What we didn’t know then! (Seriously, we thought we knew it all!)

Well, now in an article from The Telegraph, a UK publication, we’re told: “Drinking wine could help to stop sunburn”.

According to Spanish scientists and published in the  Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, The Telegraph reports that:

Ultraviolet (UV) rays emitted by the sun are the leading environmental cause of skin complaints, premature aging, sun burn and skin cancer. Spanish scientists found evidence suggesting that substances in grapes protect cells from the damage.

Drinking wine or eating grapes could protect you from sunburn, according to a  new study that found a chemical in the fruit can limit cell damage.

Rockaway Beach, New York (©Jody Diehl)

Maybe we modern beachcombers needed one more push to follow the healthy Mediterranean diet that we keep hearing about. Perhaps we just want our beach going skin to stay young and healthy looking.  Well, now besides being the beachcombers wearing our super sunblock, long sleeve cover-ups, floppy hats and sunglasses, we’ll also be the ones with the Ariel Cabernet Sauvignonin our picnic basket!

Enjoy the article, and please pass the grapes!

Link: The Telegraph, “Chemicals in wine could be used to protect skin from the sun”

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Posted in Beach Safety Tips | Tagged: , , , , | 11 Comments »

Simple Seaside Safety Suggestions for Spot

Posted by Jody on April 29, 2013

Quintana Beach County Park

Quintana Beach County Park

My family and I recently enjoyed another lovely day trip to Quintana Beach County Park, one of our absolute favorite Texas coastal recreation areas. This 51-acre natural beachfront playground  is the ultimate dog-friendly family choice in the Lone Star State. Located in Freeport, Texas, on the Gulf of Mexico, it’s a wonderfully scenic and a relatively quick (1 ½ hour) drive south of Houston. Quintana Beach County Park is a much more laid back alternative to the city and beaches of Galveston, which have all of the hustle and bustle you would expect from a typical seaside tourist mecca.

Quintana Beach County Park on the Upper Gulf Coast of Texas

Quintana Beach County Park on the Upper Gulf Coast of Texas

You can feel free to bring Spot along for your day at the beach. At Quintana Beach County Park our tail-wagging companions are welcome.

“Pet Safety on the Beach” as posted at Quintana Beach County Park:

  • If the sand is too hot for your bare feet, it’s too hot for your dog’s paws.
  • Keep fresh water available for your dog, drinking salt water will make him sick.
  • Use pet-friendly sunscreen on short hair, ears and nose.
  • Provide shade for your dog to rest.

~All very good safety tips~ Please remember that pets need to be restrained (at this beach) at all times and, of course, picking up after Spot is a must!

Quintana Beach County Park, Texas

Quintana Beach County Park, Texas

A while back we published a post on the many reasons to visit this lovely beach park: Quintana Beach County Park on the Texas Gulf Coast – So Many Reasons to Visit. The list includes camp sites (tents, RVs, and vacation cabins), picnic tables, modern restrooms and showers, kayaking, surfing, beachcombing, fishing… and the list goes on.  Being dog-friendly simply adds one more great reason for families to plan the perfect fun-filled trip to Quintana Beach County Park!

Do you have a favorite dog-friendly beach? Please share it with us. We’d love to know!

Here are a few more helpful links:

Quintana Beach County Park

Cesar’s Tips for Your Dog’s Day at the Beach

Doggie Heaven! Muir Beach, California

Have a great day at the beach!

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Posted in Beach Safety Tips, Gulf of Mexico Beaches, Monday Miscellaneous | Tagged: , , , , , | 6 Comments »

A Halloween Tale: Beware the Excirolana kincaidi!

Posted by Jody on October 31, 2012

 The Creepy Crawlies of Whaleshead Beach, Oregon

Whaleshead Beach. Oregon

You may have noticed that when our family travels, we frequently photograph beach signs. We actually read them, too!  Other beach goers will often pass us by as we stand there at the sandy entrance, perusing the notice packed signboards. Our guess is that a rather large percentage of people don’t pay much attention to these particular seaside information centers.

This way to Whaleshead Beach!

When Greg and I headed down the path to Whaleshead Beach, we couldn’t wait to see the view unfold. There it was: a magnificent rock jutting from the sun-drenched sea, looking just like a colossal breaching whale. It was a gorgeous sight!

Beautiful Whaleshead Beach, Oregon

Then we saw it: An 8 ½ x 11” piece of paper encased in plastic, attached to the official wooden signboard, that sent chills up our spines.  Excirolana kincaidi ?!

The Creepy Crawlies of Whaleshead Beach, Oregon: Sand beach isopod (Excirolana Kincaidi)

“These isopods alternately bury themselves in the sand and actively forage for dead animal matter.  They seem to be especially active in the shallow swash of retreating waves on sandy beaches.  Large numbers may quickly congregate around an animal carcass that washes in on a sandy beach while it is still in the water, and quickly strip the carcass of flesh.  This is the most common Excirolana species along the Washington coast.  Predators include sanderlings.”

Greg found the original of this posting at a Wallawalla.edu. There you’ll see much more information and additional technical specifics about these little flesh eaters of the Pacific Northwest sands, including pictures far more frightening than this one. The section that is highlighted in yellow on the sign is prominent in the university’s write up:

“Note:  Very few crustaceans will actually bite you but this nasty little creature is definitely one of them.  Barefoot waders in an area with Excirolana will find that the animals quickly swim toward and swarm over bare feet, biting them so hard that blood will be flowing within moments.  Since the animals are so small the bites are tiny but painful like a pin prick, and the animals are often present in swarms of thousands.  Rapidly shuffling the feet reduces but does not eliminate the number of bites.”

Although they seem a useful creature in keeping the beaches clean and sanitary (nature provides for all things), there seems to also be an undesirable side effect to having them around.  This note certainly killed any idea we had of heading to the water’s edge, even on the most beautiful, toasty October day!

Wouldn’t these little beasts be perfect for an Alfred Hitchcock movie? Move over, birds!

*A tag-team post by Greg and Jody*

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Posted in Beach and Coastal Wildlife, Beach Safety Tips, Pacific Coast Beaches | Tagged: , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

Serenity, Sand and (yes) Sharks of Stinson Beach, Northern California

Posted by Jody on September 25, 2012

Stinson Beach, Northern California

I’ve seen Stinson Beach, California on many a “Best Shelling Beaches” list. Truth be told, though, I’ve never found a take-home seashell or sand dollar on this beautiful stretch of Northern California coastline.  No kidding!

Peaceful Stinson Beach on a gorgeous winter’s day.

Greg and I don’t go to Stinson Beach for its renowned (rumored?) beachcombing. We love heading to this beautiful beach for the quiet serenity of a long winter’s walk on a seemingly endless shoreline. I’m not sure if we’ve ever even been to Stinson Beach during the summer months, and that’s OK. Although there are lifeguard towers evident on the beach, with an average summer water temperature of 58°F, year-round rip current warnings and a shark attack history, we never plan to do much more than get some sand between our toes!

Left side of Stinson Beach safety sign

Right side of Stinson Beach safety sign

Even though this very thorough warning sign is posted prominently at the entrance to the beach, the Golden Gate National Recreation Site page states: “Swimming is only recommended from late May to mid-September when lifeguards are on duty.” All righty then…

The following Q & A comes from a wonderful White Shark Information webpage supported by the California Department of Fish and Game. In it you can find answers to many questions about white sharks (aka: great white sharks, or if you’re a surfer: the men in the grey suits).  The site covers everything from what white sharks typically eat to how to tell white sharks from other species of sharks and their role in the marine ecosystem. It’s definitely worth a look!

Q: How can people avoid white shark attacks?

There is only one foolproof method for avoiding a white shark attack: stay out of the ocean. If this is not an option, try to avoid places known for white sharks, such as the Farallon Islands, Ao Nuevo, and Bird Rock near Point Reyes. Another suggestion is to avoid swimming in areas where marine mammals are congregating. Don’t swim in or near areas frequented by sea lions, harbor seals, and elephant seals, etc. or near their rookeries.

Wearing a wetsuit and fins, or lying on a surfboard, creates the silhouette of a seal from below. Shark attacks are often believed to be cases of mistaken identity, with surfing or swimming humans mistaken for seals or sea lions. Times of reduced sunlight, such as foggy mornings or dusk, are ideal times to be mistaken for a seal.

View of Stinson Beach, California from the Pacific Coast Highway

Stinson Beach is located about 20 twisty miles north of San Francisco. Open every day of the year, Stinson Beach has rest rooms and shower facilities, picnic areas, and BBQ grills. Whale-watching is big here January through March. A snack bar is open during summer months and kayak and boogie board rentals are also available then. Keep in mind that Fido is not allowed on the beach area maintained by the National Park Service, but is welcome (on leash) in the parking lot area, picnic grounds and on the county section of the beach known as Upton’s Beach.

“I am a nice shark, not a mindless eating machine. If I am to change this image, I must first change myself. Fish are friends, not food.” ~Bruce (Great White Shark),  Finding Nemo

Posted in Beach Safety Tips, Northern California Beaches, Sharks, Tallies & Tips | Tagged: , , , , , | 12 Comments »

Making waves in Hawaii. ~Safely~

Posted by Jody on August 28, 2012

For most of us, a vacation to paradise comes with a healthy dose of excited anticipation and a whole bunch of advance planning.  We might chat with friends who have been to the islands, visit websites and read travel guides, all with the intention of getting the most out of our upcoming Hawaiian experience. Especially the beaches – of course! Still, many (if not the vast majority of) mainlanders arrive on the Hawaiian Islands completely unaware of the incredible power of  Hawaii’s waves (I must admit that I was one of those). The Hawaiian coastline and its impressive surf have unique characteristics that make prior knowledge invaluable.

One of my all-time favorite beach and safety websites is simply titled Hawaii Beach Safety. I haven’t seen a more comprehensive, easy to understand, user friendly beach focused website.  It is designed specifically to inform beachgoers and help prevent injury to eager, and often naive, visitors to the Aloha State.

North Shore Waves, Oahu, Hawaii

Here’s just a small portion of what you’ll find on the pages of Hawaii Beach Safety:

1. Minimize your risk.

If you are not familiar with the shoreline, do not visit unguarded beaches. Dangerous waves and currents do not happen randomly and most human involvement is a matter of choice, not chance. Many ocean-related accidents are caused by:

  • A lack of understanding that the shoreline can be dangerous;
  • A lack of caution

2. Learn the conditions.

Always talk to a lifeguard to determine the safety level of the ocean and shoreline. Find out about surf and wind conditions for the whole day. Find out about:

  • Strong currents and waves that surge up beaches
  • High surf
  • Waves that break directly on the shore (shore break) ,
  • Hidden rocks
  • Dangerous shore areas

SOAK

Before entering the water, remember to SOAK:

  • Study the conditions before entering the water.
  • Observe the activities of others in the ocean.
  • Ask the lifeguards about current conditions.
  • Know your limits in the water.

3. Understand wave and current behavior.

Waves arrive in groups separated by lulls. Watch the ocean for several minutes before entering the water. A calm sea may change in an instant when a group of waves arrives. Don’t be fooled by the variability of the waves!

Waves make currents that can be dangerous. Rip currents in the surf zone can carry you out to sea. A wave rushing up a beach (wave surge) can knock you down and drag you into the ocean. Large waves on rocky shores can knock you into the ocean. Check to see if the rocks or sand you are walking on are dry; avoid wet areas. Remember that beach hazard ratings are only general guidelines. Distinctions between beach areas, ocean bottom, and the angle of incoming waves can cause large variations in safety. No matter what the beach hazard is, there are safe beach areas in Hawaii, learn about them.

read more…

The Hawaii Beach Safety site also provides education on rip currents, lists current beach conditions and alerts, offers weather information and supplies surf reports.

So go ahead and pack your new found knowledge along with sunscreen and that awesome new bathing suit you’ve been dying to show off, and enjoy a fun and worry-free vacation in paradise! ~Aloha~
Visit Hawaii Beach Safety for lifeguard sponsored hazard conditions for Hawaii beaches

Posted in Beach Safety Tips, Beaches of The Hawaiian Islands, Tallies & Tips | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »

 
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