Monday, May 6, 2013

The first hour of the morning is the rudder of the day. It is a blessed baptism which gives the first waking thoughts into the bosom of God. - HENRY WARD BEECHER, Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit

Walking out to the Boca Grande Pass for the morning sunrise show.


It seemed like such a good idea at the time.  I invited  a few of my girlfriends to meet on the beach to watch the sunrise.  Now, as I am laying on my bed checking the alarm I set for 4:30 am and the back-up alarm for 4:45 am on my phone for the third time I am wondering if I really thought this all the way through? I love making my way to the beach well before dawn to watch the sunrise - by myself.  Inviting and coordinating girl friends is now overwhelming me and starting to feel similar to herding cats.  I have already packed a beach bag with lemon-poppy seed muffins, bananas, & coffee essentials. I've checked the weather and the tides.  My clothes are laid out.  I'm ready to hit the road at 4:25 am and pick each friend up in 15 minute intervals as we make our way out the 11 miles to Boca Grande Island for the sunrise.

After finally falling asleep I woke to the first Big Ben bells chiming rudely as the  alarm went off.  I looked over in the dark at my hubby who never moved a muscle in all the racket.  I quietly slid out of bed, grabbed my clothes and proceeded to get this show on the road. As I mentally double-checked my gear I was hoping that all my friends were on time.  If just one was one person late or a no-show that sunrise was history.  Then, just like clockwork, they were each at their appointed pick-up spot just as we had planned.  Just like Hannibel of the A-Team says -"I love it when a plan comes together".


(Photo Credit:  Momma Gee)
The daybreak sky is a changing watercolor of pastel hues.


The weather was a surprise.  With a high surf advisory for Charlotte County, the wind was blowing  a strong cool blast from the NW.


(Photo Credit:  Momma Gee)
Photographs can't do it justice.  An island sunrise will take your breath away with it's beauty.


(Photo Credit:  Momma Gee)
Anglers get a jump on the day in "The Tarpon Capital of the World".


(Photo Credit:  Momma Gee)
The reflection of a hungry sandpiper washes across the wet sand.


(Photo Credit:  Momma Gee)
The Gulf of Mexico is usually a pretty calm place but with the convergence of rising tide, pass currents, & strong winds it does have it's turbulent moments.  


(Photo Credit:  Momma Gee)
The water is actually warm at 77 degrees. Even as stirred up as things are we saw dolphins, a manatee, and A SEA TURTLE!


(Photo Credit:  Momma Gee)
Tossed ashore by the blustering surf, a tulip egg casing attached to a pen shell came in for a landing.



(Photo Credit:  Momma Gee)

The chilly gusting wind only added a special ambiance to our coffee and conversation.  That's me in the purple shirt holding on to the empty chair so it doesn't blow away.

(Photo Credit:  Momma Gee)

Up the beach for a little exploring.  



(Photo Credit:  Momma Gee)

The water was slightly calmer on the south side of Boca Grande Pass. This starfish was rescued and photo-documented before we threw him/her back.



(Photo Credit:  Momma Gee)
The sugar sea star came ashore wrapped up in the seaweed.


(Photo Credit:  Momma Gee)

Thanks to the stormy sea lots of flotsam washing up on the south end of the island.  Closer inspection of the seaweed finds shells, star fish, and other sea goodies.


Somethings are so worth the extra effort - getting up at the crack of dawn, good friends, coffee on the beach, sunrise.  So worth it!