Exploration to the south

First off, we wanted to recognize that Vancouver and Victoria (and likely all of southern BC and northern Washington) has been experiencing a hot spell. Reaching 30+ degrees Celsius in the last few days. Just wanted to let you know that we know how you feel … the water temperature in the ocean here pushed 30-31 degrees Celsius today. We feel your pain – but love our tan 🙂
Now, for recounting our journey. Leaving around 11 AM (little later than planned), we took the scenic route down Tamiami Trail in search of Venice beach and the shark teeth mother-load. The drive was quite pleasant as we passed out of Sarasota with green grass, trees, and bushes lining the road side. As we crested the draw bridge coming into Venice we got an out-standing view of the city as well as the surrounding country side. A smaller city, it had a very historic old west kinda feeling to it. We drove on looking for the “Beach this way” sign – but none was to be found. So … we just kept driving. Finally we saw a sign for Manasota Beach and Gulf Beaches so we took the right turn and headed towards the coast. Once we arrived at the beach we took a left and drove down the coast a bit, we were exploring after all. The small road stretched under a canopy of oaks and palms making the drive quite relaxing. Stopping only once to let a turtle cross the road we soon arrived at what turned out to be our destination, yet another of Florida’s many beaches.
At Blind corner beach (or something along that line), we unpacked the towels, banket, fins, snokels, and masks and headed to the water. Through not the nicest of the beaches we have seen, it was uncrowded and seemed much more of a family beach. One thing we did notice was that the shore was lined with dead fish (later discovered was a result of red tide), they were not fresh and it did not stink so we took our chances and headed into the water. There were tons of shells on the bottom, probably due to a lack of tourist in the area, so we picked up several more for our expanding collection.
After some sun bathing, shell hunting, and general relaxation we decided to go find a Subway for lunch/dinner (was pushing 4PM and I was getting hungry). After picking up lunch and stopping at a sewing shop to check on repair prices and slipcover patterns we headed home. Through before we got out of town we finally saw the “Venice Bch to the left” sign … and having come all this way we made the turn.
Leaving the main road, Venice turned more into a tourist town with cleaner streets and store fronts. The beach was a nice one. Does not have the white sands of Siesta instead offers crushed shells and tiny pebbles for sand, but it was nice and did not stick to you like syrup. Turns out there is a reef not far off shore, so we ended up running into some scuba divers while snorkeling out in the depths (6-10 ft of water is deep around here). A hundred yards off shore and 10 ft down we discovered where the sand dollars are hiding from beach goes. There were hundreds of them buried in the sand enjoying the peace and quite of the ocean. Pushing farther from shore we finally started diving in more the one atmosphere of water – though not having tanks with us the bottom time started to be cut short.
After having our fill of the not-so-deep green ocean we headed back to land. Seeing a breakwater in the distance we headed that way … there is always life around a breakwater. We did not get very far before we noticed yellow stakes in the sand marking the sea turtle nests. Hmm .. guess it is past May 1st (start of the turtle nesting season). We are going to have to find out when they hatch and come help them be directed back to the ocean. Apparently they use the moonlight sparkling off the waves to find the ocean after hatching. Human development has put a kink in these plans with street, car, and house lights causing some of the turtles to head inland thinking it is the ocean. So every year volunteers get together and ‘chase’ them towards the water – sounds like it would be good fun.
We also came across several people sifting through the sand. Questioning them reviled what we were looking for … shark teeth. Now with our eyes peeled on the ground we were in the hunt. And before long we had 3 teeth, two being perfect specimens. In our after-trip research it turns out we found 2 sand shark teeth and 1 bull shark tooth, all between 15-20 millions years old (distinguished by their dark colour). Happy with our day we headed home in hopes up meeting up with Kim, Angie, and Krishen for a night out on the town.
One more thing to note, it does seem as if the daily dump of rain has begun … on our way out to buy groceries we could watch the dark clouds roll in. What an interesting site, the clouds drew a line down the sky … bright blue clear sky on one side … storm clouds on the other. All during the sunset — which made for a beautiful display of colours and light. It will go from hot and sunny – to a massive lightening storm – back to clear skies all in 2 hours. Provides a nice break in the later part of the day.

5 thoughts on “Exploration to the south

  1. Well, at least you didn’t reviled them with questions. 🙂
    Sounds like it was a fun time! The rainful becomes even more regular in July and August. You can almost set your watch by it, 4pm on the dot.

  2. i am one to talk. my blog was only down for a week or so. 😀
    btw, if you think you’ll be posting infrequently, you can configure MT so that stuff doesn’t roll off so quickly.