Have a great day at the beach!
We’re off to Sanibel Island!
Posted by Jody on May 24, 2016
Posted in Beach Treasures - Beachcombing, Gulf of Mexico Beaches, Sand and Shoreline, Sharks, Today's Special | Tagged: beach, beachcombing, Casperson Beach Florida, Florida Gulf Coast beach, shark teeth, Venice Florida | 6 Comments »
Posted by Jody on May 23, 2016
There is a camaraderie among beach treasure hunters in Venice, Florida, that charms folks into returning over and over again. Locals and repeat visitors are quick to lend a hand along with plenty of advice. Perfect strangers will plop a load or two of scooped up seashells onto the sand in front of you to get you started. I’ve seen more than one longtime treasure hunter simply pick up a shark tooth on the sand and gift it to someone they’ve never met before. Everyone has a system of finding the treasured shark teeth on the shores of Venice. Some of us have a whole beach bag full of how-tos.
Here are a few tips, tricks, and how-tos we’ve learned along the way. They’re all tried and true!
1.The Dig and Sift
The Dig and Sift is accomplished by simply reaching into the water to get the biggest portion of settled shells possible, then sifting through the seashells and fragments in hopes of spotting the perfect shark tooth specimen. You can buy a fancy pants scooper (sold at the local Walmarts for just under $18.00) which is simply a little wire basket on a pole. Folks ’round here have been known to attach a kitchen sieve to a $1.00 thrift store golf club to achieve the same results. Clever! Right? The cheapest bet: scoop with your own two hands, although you should plan on chipping the polish off of any prettily manicured nails. (Come to think of it, this may indeed be the most expensive option of the three!)
2. The Sweep and Trap
The Sweep and Trap system doesn’t require braving the surf. You just need to find a section of the beach where the surf is washing over a patch of smallish seashell fragments. Crouch on the sand and start to run your hand back and forth across the small bits and pieces while the surf comes and goes. Now, with this system, you’ll likely see a treasure or two get away before you can actually grab what really did look like a shark tooth. Hence the “trap” part. Quick reflexes are necessary to trap any dark, suspicious form before the waves wash your suspected precious beach treasure back into the sea.
3. The Scoop and Toss
Can’t find a place where the waves are washing across a section of seashell fragments? Have a friend simply scoop a colander, bucket, or basket of seashells and sand from the water and plop the load along the surf line for you. Follow the “trap” part of technique #2 from here.
4. The Dig Like Heck at the Shell Banks Left Behind After High Tide
5. The Walk and Scan
Enjoy a lovely walk on the beach and just look down. I can’t tell you how successful this system has been for many a beach treasure hunter on the beautiful beaches of Venice. Yes, this how-to is too obvious, but we just had to mention it!
Good luck & have a wonderful day at the beach!!
Posted in Beach Treasures - Beachcombing, Gulf of Mexico Beaches, Sand and Shoreline, Seashells, Sharks, Tallies & Tips | Tagged: beach, beachcombing, Florida Gulf Coast beach, shark teeth, Venice Florida | 4 Comments »
Posted by Jody on May 22, 2016
Here’s a look at our awesome Saturday morning on Caspersen Beach in Venice, Florida. What a fabulous day it was for beach treasure hunting!
Hunting for shark teeth is a lot like “Where’s Waldo?” Scroll through the photos and see if you can find a shark tooth or two with us. >>>
It’s great to have a waterproof camera. Isn’t it? We have a couple of Fuji FinePix XP70 neon colored wonders just for these occasions!
Have a wonderful day at the beach!
Posted in Beach Treasures - Beachcombing, Sand and Shoreline, Seashells, Sharks | Tagged: beach, beachcombing, Casperson Beach Florida, Florida Gulf Coast beach, shark teeth, Venice Florida | 6 Comments »
Posted by Jody on September 25, 2012
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!
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!
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.
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: beach, beach safety sign, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Marin County California beach, shark safety tips, Stinson Beach California | 12 Comments »
Posted by Jody on October 14, 2011
Here’s a different twist on the traditional “fish story,” and never mind how big he was. (Actually, the shark was “this big”. And, yes, he got away!)
“A surfer says he was knocked off his board by a shark off the Oregon Coast and he ended up standing on the 10-to-12-foot great white for several seconds before it swam off” according to an Associated Press article from OregonLive. YIPES! Now there’s a story he can tell his gradkids someday in the future, especially since he lived through the experience quite safe and whole. No other fish story they hear will ever compare ^_^.
“… Niblack’s board hit something solid that felt like a rock, though he knew there were no rocks there. He kicked down with both feet, trying to stand up so he wouldn’t get thrashed by the next wave, and found himself standing knee-deep in water on the back of the shark.” (AP) Nothing fishy about this tale! There was a witness.
Needless to say, this story has no lack of coverage in the press at the moment (for the obvious reasons), so we’re not going to go into detail here, but the story is fascinating, and we thought it would be worthwhile to bring it to your attention!
“Don’t tell fish stories where the people know you; but particularly, don’t tell them where they know the fish.” -Mark Twain
Posted by Jody on August 27, 2011
Shark attacks, though rare, are most likely to occur near shore, typically inshore of a sandbar or between sandbars, where sharks can become trapped by low tide, and near steep drop offs where shark’s prey gather. The relative risk of a shark attack is very small, but the risks should always be minimized whenever possible. To reduce your risk:
These shark safety tips are pretty easy to follow! Be safe out in the waves! -J-
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Posted by Jody on August 26, 2011
You’ll want to check out the beach reports if you are planning on swimming or surfing at Mission Beach in San Diego, California over the weekend. A two mile stretch of the beach was closed this morning, for the second time in 48 hours, due to the sighting of what is believed to be a great white shark (aka: white shark). Other San Diego area beaches remain open. It is expected that Mission Beach will reopen Saturday morning. (August 27)
UPDATE 8/27/2011: Shark Safety Tips: “Stay safe this weekend by practicing common sense precautions like avoiding bright colors, scented lotions or products, eating foods in the water, or letting your guard down, according to safety officials who patrol the Mission Beach area.” Mission Valley News article
UPDATE 8/27/2011: LA Times story: “San Diego Beach reopened after two shark sightings in two days.”
UPDATE 9/1/2011: North County Times: “San Diego: Beach reopens following shark scare” (Casa Reef in La Jolla)
Have a safe day at the beach! -J-
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Posted in Beach Safety Tips, Sharks, Southern California Beaches | Tagged: Casa Reef in La Jolla shark sighting, great white shark sighting, Mission Beach San Diego, Mission Beach San Diego shark sighting, San Diego area shark sighting, shark safety tips, Southern California shark sighting | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Jody on August 24, 2011
This time of year, blacktip sharks are apparently a common sight in the Gulf of Mexico, off of Galveston Island, Texas.
According to the NOAA’s (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) website Fisheries Fact Sheet: “Blacktip sharks are one of the most common shark species found inshore off the coast of Florida. Although the majority of shark bites in Florida are likely attributable to this species, there has never been a fatal attack credited to this species in this region.”
Many Galveston Island beachgoers report spotting blacktip sharks offshore this time of year. But, are they sighting blacktip sharks or bottleneck dolphins in the clear, flatter Gulf waters of late August? “Go have fun in the water. Don’t freak out!” says Galveston Island, Texas lifeguard Mary Stewart in a video and article by KHOU.com (Houston, Texas). Apparently in the seven years she has been a lifeguard in Galveston – Mary has never spotted a shark in the coastal waters.
That is good news!
For more on Galveston Island, Texas (about 50 miles southeast of Houston) see “Galveston Island, A Texas Oasis”.
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Posted in Beach and Coastal Wildlife, Gulf of Mexico Beaches, Sharks | Tagged: beach, blacktip shark, Galveston Island sharks, Galveston Island Texas beaches, Texas Gulf Coast beach | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Jody on August 11, 2011
Be careful out there!
Great White Shark Sighting: With almost no one in the water, the sand at Chatham Lighthouse Beach is standing room only! Good luck finding a parking spot near the beach! Chatham Lighthouse Beach, Cape Cod, Massachusetts
“Rip Current Season”, Traverse City, Michigan: Rip current awareness for the “Third Coast” (The Great Lakes shoreline). Rip currents are not just an ocean danger. Education is the key! Check out the NOAA, National Weather Service -Rip Current Safety- page which is loaded with information and a rip current safety video to help keep your time at the beach both safe and fun!
NOAA: U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Have a wonderful and safe day at the shore! -J-
Posted in Atlantic Coast Beaches, Beach Safety Tips, Great Lakes Beaches, Sand and Shoreline, Sharks | Tagged: Cape Cod Massachusetts, Chatham Lighthouse Beach, great white shark sighting, rip current safety | Leave a Comment »