Best time to go to the ocean - after a hurricane
A visit to the Gulf of Mexico after a hurricane made for some amazing discoveries!
- Our post-hurricane vacation trip
- Sea shells, anyone?
- Or, how about a sea urchin? There are a few here to pick from...
- Not just a single, isolated area
Our post-hurricane vacation trip
The Gulf of Mexico is an ordinarily calm body of water. Not so after the first few days following a hurricane! We happened to have scheduled a vacation for the 3d week of September one year, having done so months in advance. We were staying on Longboat Key, a small island near Sarasota, Florida on the west coast. Of course, we had no clue that we would be coming on the heels of a recent hurricane. The waves were quite large for the Gulf, where the water is usually as calm as one's swimming pool. The wind was still fairly stiff, making for less than pleasant sun bathing on the first sunny day.
Within a few days, the water was at its usual calm. Indeed, the water on the eastern side, facing coastal Florida, was rougher than the Gulf of Mexico.
Sea shells, anyone?
There weren't just a few shells to be found, or what one might consider the usual amount. No, the beach was carpeted with them, none very large, but numbering literally in the millions. My wife even found a clam shell with a small, dead baby octupus on it. Having made trips to the east coast of the United States, to the Atlantic Ocean, we had never seen anything like what we were witnessing when we first walked onto the beach!
Or, how about a sea urchin? There are a few here to pick from...
But, not only were there multitudes of sea shells; there were also thousands of sea urchins. They resembled pin cushions, some no longer having the spines sticking out of their shells, others still having a few to make miserable the careless person who was all to quick too pick up their prize. The colors were extraordinary - pinks, purples, greens, reds, yellows - all crying out to be picked up and added to one's vacation treasures.
Not just a single, isolated area
For as far as one cared to walk, the beach facing the Gulf of Mexico was littered with shells and sea urchins. I used to joke with people about going to the beach, and picking up the "25 pound limit of shells each person is allowed to carry off the beach". There would have been no difficulty picking up 250 pounds of shells in one day.
If you have the opportunity to go to the beach two days after a hurricane which has not destroyed the beach itself, take the time to do some exploring. You may be surprised at what you might find!!