Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Goodbye Earl Goodbye

Someone asked me  about Hurricane Earl today.  I didn't even know there was a storm out there. I work 50 hours a week. I watch very little tv. Unless they do a weather warning on HGTV I am clueless until my mother heads out to load up on batteries & bottled water.

 It's not that I don't care - I guess as a native-born Floridian you become used to the storms. Hurricanes are just what happens in the summer.  You just hope they don't happen to you.  That's why back in July when Tropical Depression # 5 was on top of Sanibel Island I had no idea. I had checked the tide charts not the weather.

  I got up at 4am loaded my visiting sister from Tennessee & niece Pookie into the truck and headed south for a day of shelling. Our first stop was  Little Hickory Beach which is southeast of Sanibel Island.  The sky was a tiny bit over cast.  There was a gorgeous rainbow over the beach and we got lots of pictures.  The shelling was ok but not the best so a vote was taken and it was unanimous to head to the mother ship - Sanibel.  
Pookie getting her shell on **Tip** The parking across the street is free with no time restrictions.

Sister from Tennessee at the end of the rainbow

As we are making the 20 minute drive up the coast to Sanibel causeway I get a call from the hubby. Did I know there was a Tropical Depression over us? "No" I replied. "The sky is beautiful except for - hey, what's all that black sky over Sanibel-way? Oh Honey, don't worry. It will blow over" (my glass is always half full) As we rounded the causeway it became apparent by the howling wind and pelting rain a storm was a definite possibility.  But a real sheller don't give her shell bucket up for no stinkin storm...onward ladies.
Gulfside City Park on Sanibel - I came to shell not surf

Pen shells - a dead give away of a storm

Our first stop was Gulfside City Park, usually a calm little beach but today the Gulf of Mexico was churning. The rain was squally and  the waves were so rough the high surf line was up to the walkway.  There were pen shells everywhere, a sure sign of stormy seas.  So we headed to Turner Beach at Blind Pass. Blind Pass is where Sanibel and Captiva come together and are separated by a pass that flows in and out twice a day. The tides leave a huge shell pile on the Captiva side of the jetty.  It's almost always a good spot for shelling.  We weren't disappointed.

 My  nutty little band of shellers went out in the storm and had a ball.  The waves were wacking down the shell wall and washing all the shells off so you could just pick out the goodies. As we shelled in the rain we  laughed at how crazy we probably looked to all the people taking shelter in their cars.  Yes, we were soaked and it actually got a little cold.  Our hands were all pruney from being wet for so long. 

Sister went home with some beautiful shells.
               Making memories.
Lots of fighting conchs, olives, & nice coral

All cleaned up