13 August 2011

Gulf Coast

Down in the redneck riviera. Very encouraging: loads of life in the water. Lots of big blue crabs (surprisingly scuttling around in the water on the gulf side, normally they are more likely to be found in the bay side), fish of all shapes and sizes -- catfish, ladyfish, spanish mackerel, and many others. Even some dolphins.

UPDATE: also swam with a southern stingray, shovelnose guitarfish, and some bigger fish that looked like sheepshead. Plus a bunch of smaller ones I couldn't identify.

UPDATE2: the bad news: conspicuously absent are the donax, little clams that always used to be everywhere here. They are supposedly quite sensitive to pollution.


JustJoeP said...

Did the sting ray cause you any fear? Since the Crocodile Hunter was killed by one, and my son's friends (in Charleston) have been stung by one, I have been very wary of them. Are my fears (based upon your personal experience) unwarranted?

Were you snorkeling? (I DO LOVE snorkeling) (the swimming exercise, not the gay urban slang) ... such an array of life can be seen, un-beknownst to the surface-only dweller.

I am assuming you are on the Florida gulf coast (Red Neck Riviera) and not the Myrtle beach SC coast (aka Red Neck Riviera), correct?

my goodness, you get around.... AL, London.. FL... racken up those FF mile.

pyker said...

Alabama gulf coast. No, no fear of the stingray. Just glad I didn't step on it. Was a small one. My biggest worry is jellyfish. Stings are no fun. But there have only been a couple spotted this year. Sometimes the water is filled with them here.

Not snorkeling, just swimming in shallow water inshore here.

JustJoeP said...

Perhaps the donax & the Lorax are cousins?

Jellies are a royal pain. Portuguese man-o-wars are not uncommon on the Carolina coast, and stings (while walking on the beach or while swimming alongside) can ruin your day indeed.

It is hard to imagine that SO MUCH oil drilling is going on within a few miles of the AL / MS / LA coasts (The "Mobile" in XOM is, afterall, right there) and there not be some fall-out on the donax.

Earlier this week, I saw an interesting graphic of the 5000 oil spills Since the Deep Water Horizon, here: http://blog.skytruth.org/2011/07/bp-spill-stopped-one-year-ago-today.html
the site compiles satellite imagery and government reports, and shows where all the spills are occurring... disturbing.

pyker said...

Now the jellyfish are here. Some stinging nettles (bad stings), and moon jellies (not so bad).

KnuckleSplitter said...

For some reason I get stung by jellyfish more often than anybody else I know. This summer was no exception. In a week and a half in NC I was stung on my left arm and also some tentacles got between my bathing suit and butt crack - y'ouch! When I was 10yo a big one stung me badly - wrapping around from my right arm, across my back, and around the left side across my stomach.

pyker said...


My 13-yr-old has bad luck like that as well. 8 of us for a week and a total of 3 stings, 2 of which were on him.