THPSP Evening July 3, 2015
I’m giving the water at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park a 1 on the Grossness Index. Just a few random blobs, nice otherwise, cooler than it has been.
Here’s another shot, very clear. However, I kept walking down the beach because it was more crowded than I like (read: there were actually other people present) and I saw this dark blob.
“Ugh, I hope this isn’t June Grass” was my first thought. It was restricted to a random blob maybe 20’x20′ out in the surf so I waded in to see what it was exactly (you guys better appreciate what I do for you). It turned out to be some weird red seaweed I have never seen in the Gulf before. It wasn’t gross but I would prefer it went away. I did not find any of the sea slugs people have been reporting on Okaloosa Island.
Just a reminder: day use entry into the park is free this summer, as is parking and tram service to the beach. If you can live without your alcohol (it’s prohibited on state beaches) and you’re tired of the sea slugs and June grass on the other beaches come over here. I suggest arriving early. The tram runs every 30 minutes from 8am to 5pm, then it runs once an hour until it gets dark (last time I checked).
The Calm After the Storm
I had a swim at THPSP. The water was nice, although a bit stirred up from the storm last night. There were a few random pieces of June grass that I’d rate a 1 or less. Sorry: no pics I was too busy swimming! There is presently a cool current running right along the beach but I waded out up to my neck and the water warmed up. I hope it stays nice for the weekend! The yellow flies and mosquitoes are biting but they’re not on the beach.
I had a quick look around the beach at sunset and soaked my feet for a bit. There are no dead fish here. The Gulf is very warm. The wind has shifted to the south and kicked up the waves a bit but there actually seems to be less June grass than yesterday midday. I’m rating it a 2-3 on the Grossness Index, down from up to a 4 yesterday. There are TONS of mole crabs in the surf, so don’t bother buying bait if you come to fish. I heard a man say he caught a couple of whiting Saturday.
June Grass is in at Henderson Beach & Blue Mountain Beach
I’ve got reports from the POST BEACH CONDITIONS HERE page that the June grass is in at Henderson (Destin) and Blue Mountain (Santa Rosa Beach 30-A). I haven’t had time to go look yet. Subscribe to the comments on POST BEACH CONDITIONS HERE if you want the most current updates from people on the local beaches. Thank you to the reporting parties and please send pics if you have them!
THPSP and Sandestin are still at a 0 on the June Grass Grossness Index.
The wind is coming from the southwest and the water is still a bit choppy for swimming. The water also seems a bit warmer to me today.
There are a ton of black-bellied plover around. They are beautiful birds but very skittish. There are also a lot of other shorebirds like terns, gulls, willet, and sanderlings if bird watching is your thing.
I also noted a large number of black unicorn horn – shaped snails in shallow water, which is new for me. I will try to figure out what species. The beach and the Gulf are full of surprises.
THPSP, Stalworth, and Sandestin were clear this evening: 0 on the June Grass Grossness Index!
The water is a beautiful malachite color, between emerald and turquoise, but the surf is 2-3′ and a rip current alert is in effect. Stay out of the water! Red and purple flags were flying at the time of this report. The wind is coming quite strongly from the south, so I am a bit puzzled about where the June grass went.
There was one solitary pompano angler at the beach along with some willets, sanderlings, sand pipers, and a few ghost crabs. It’s shorebird nesting season, so watch where you step and respect roped – off nesting areas.
Here are a few photos:
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The June grass is in at about a 3 on the Grossness Index.
I stuck my feet in and the water is still a bit cold for my liking (I also turned the heat on in my car Tuesday morning when it was 64F. Obviously I have been in FL for too long).
If the water were warmer I would still go swimming.
I doubt the June grass will be leaving any time soon unless the wind shifts.
Photos of the carnage:
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