Hurricane Charley's Remnants
We dinghied down to check out the anchorage on the southernmost end of Cayo Costa, right by Captiva Pass. The first thing that struck us was the totally stripped trees, palm trees, other trees, but all stripped. Captiva Pass and Little Captiva Island just to the south (see the edge far left in this photo) was where Hurricane Charley roared into landfall as a Cat 4 hurricane in 2004. Trees that weren't stripped were uprooted and dumped into the water on the inside of the islands. Amazing. Very weird feeling to walk these beaches even today. BTW, the anchorage offered nothing that excited us -- strong current, but no offsetting pluses - pretty, but not as good as other places on the island - especially the Love Canal.
Some days are just so perfect.... here we're having lunch at the south end of Little Gasparilla Island with friends. Little Gasparilla Pass is the reason the water is so blue and clear. The beach was gorgeous, altho' a bit confusing since this was taken literally a few minutes after the fog on the beach photo I posted a few days before. I love cruising, even when I'm not in "exotic" locations! Always something different...
Fossil Shark's Teeth
Fossil Shark's Teeth are all over the beaches north of Boca Grande Pass. Each shark loses thousands of teeth during its lifetime. It's fun finding them, most are tiny. I told David no fair collecting any that don't actually resemble TEETH! The dredging in Stump Pass and the beach replenishment project (i.e. more sand) is just FULL of them! Supposedly they're all 4 - 65 MILLION years old -- now THAT'S old!!! :) Hard to imagine.
FOG??? Really? In SW Florida???
I thought fog happened in places like Maine and the Chesapeake! Not the past two days, weird weather. Fog comes and goes ... one minute it's sunny enough for me to get sunburnt and the next minute we're fogged in so that you can't see the next boat. Eerie!!!
I learned something about snowy egrets today! Not only do they stab fish with their sharp bills, but according to my "Field Guide to Birds" by Stokes, they "have diverse foraging techniques: walking slowly or quickly, running or hopping, and using its feet to stir, rake, or probe food from the bottom. Can vibrate bill in the water to attract fish. Eats shrimp, fish, crabs, amphibians, snakes and insects." This guy was putting on the show as he worked hard to attract dinner!
A Black Skimmer cruises just above the water and dips his lower beat which is much longer than the upper beak into the water until he hits a fish. Then gulp and the fish is his next snack! Black skimmers are a new species for us ... we had never ID'd them before this afternoon at Stump Pass, FL.
Dolphin Feeding Frenzy
So we're riding along in the dinghy, my camera safely tucked away in my backpack when this dolphin decides to go into a feeding frenzy beside us. You should have seen him playing with this fish - it was being tossed in the air and then caught. By the time I got the camera out & the lens changed, this was the only shot I got to commemorate the event, but it lasted for a few minutes and rivaled the dolphin feeding frenzy we witnessed from our kayaks in the mangroves of Belize last winter!
Full Moon Over the Marina
Susan & Jerry visited and we stopped to see a pottery place one afternoon ... the monkeys were playing! :)
I've seen octopus while snorkeling ... they're generally much larger than this 2 inch baby that Susan found on the beach crawling out of the shell. I'm not in the habit of posting fuzzy pics, but this guy was moving too fast & I couldn't get to my "real" camera in time... photography rule #1 ... always have the camera out & ready to shoot. :(