The Sarasota County Convention and Visitors Bureau has just installed a new high-definition BeachCamÂ on Siesta KeyÂ beach.Â Watch beautiful panoramic views of the beach as the cameraÂ pans back and forth 180 degrees.Â Â You’ll be amazedÂ by the clarity of the video.Â See for yourself why our sugar white sand and pristine gulf waters bring more than 1 million visitors per year to Siesta Key!Â Â Â
I have lived in Sarasota county for over 25 years but until today had never been on Mote Marine’s Nature Safari. It was amazing! My best friend from high school was here from Missouri visiting for the week and she booked us this wonderful boat ride. There were six of us. Three adults and three children,Â we had the boat to ourselves along with the boat captain and his seven year old daughterÂ and our wonderful marine biologist Sondra.
Â We started off with a short boat ride over to Lido Key for a very informative nature walk where we learned about many different types of trees, animals, and conditions of the grasslands, wetlands,uplands and tidal mangrove forests. Then we got back on board the boat and headed off to a sandbar. We got in the water with nets in hand to discover live shells, fish, crabs, sponges andÂ a few other sea creatures. We got to spend about 45 minutes exploring and learning about the type of crabs, fish and sea life that were surrounding us.
On the cruise back Sondra explained in more detail the marine life we had collected on our safari. She was so patient with the kids and made sure to pass around the creatures for us to feel, smell and take pictures. The blue crab had to stay in the bucket because he looked pretty mad but other than that everyone had a great time!
The trip lasted about 2 1/2 hours. I would strongly suggest water shoes. I wore flip flops and found it very hard to walk around on the sandbar. The water only came up to my thighs but it was nice having a change of clothes after the boat trip so we could walk around Mote Marine after and not have wet clothes on.
Yesterday,I joined nearly 1000 people on Siesta Key beach for “Hands Across The Sand” a non-political protest against off shore drilling on our coasts. Saying NO to oil dependency and YES to clean energy.
It was a gorgeous day on the beach. The water was 90 degrees and I believe the air temperature was 95 but felt like 105. I know I was feeling like I could melt and that cool white sand was begging me to lay down on it.
The water was again crystal clear as it has been the last several times I’ve been to the beach this month.Â There were very small waves but for the most part it was a calm day on the water. That may change with some up coming storms in our forecast but not for long.
Today I ventured down to Casey Key Beach in Nokomis. We manage a few properties there and I find it very peaceful and private.Â Nokomis is a few miles south of Sarasota.
The water was crystal clear today. I saw a family of Manatees swim right in front of me! The fish were out in full force and swam very near to the shore which madeÂ someÂ very interesting snorkeling! I wish I had an under water camera to share those pictures with you.Â Â Â
Â Â Today and tomorrow, anglers in Florida can fish for saltwater species without fishing licenses.Â The state promotion, designed to change perceptions about Florida waters in the wake of the oil spill comes just in time for Father’s Day!Â I saw a lot of boats out on the water today with people fishing, so it must be working.
This live video of our Siesta Key area beaches was takenÂ from the air on Saturday, June 12.Â As you can see, our waters are crystal clear and we have No Oil on our beaches.Â Â Our appreciation goes out to the folks over at crystalclearflorida.com for providing us all with these amazing videos of our beautiful beaches.Â If you would like to see their other videos please head on over to their website.Â
A quote from their website “Hands Across the Sand is a movement made of people of all walks of life and crosses political affiliations. This movement is not about politics; it is about protection of our coastal economies, oceans, marine wildlife, fishing industry and coastal military missions. Let us share our knowledge, energies and passion for protecting all of the above from the devastating effects of oil drilling.” to read more from their website and to find a location near you please click http://www.handsacrossthesand.com/.
Vic and I will be going to the Siesta Key Beach for this show of support on June 26thÂ and hope to see many of you there that live in this area. NO to Offshore Oil Drilling, YES to Clean Energy is what the message is all about.
What to do at a
Go to the beach at 11 AM in your time zone for one hour, rain or shine.
Join hands for 15 minutes at 12:00 forming lines in the sand against oil drilling in our coastal waters.
Leave only your footprints.
This movement started in Florida but you can set up a meeting place anywhere you live. Go to the hands across the sand website and there will be instructions on how to set something up in your area. Please get involved.
If you’ve watched the news at all lately I am sure you’ve seen the oil covered birds and beaches and even talk of the oil reaching Florida beaches.Â Let me start by saying WE HAVE NO OIL on our white sandy beaches here in Sarasota County. Had to get that out there in case you don’t read the rest of the blog.
We just had friends visit us from Oregon and were surprised to hear that when they told their friends they were coming to see us 90% of them said “why would you want to go to a beach with tarballs.”Â The media is not our friend. It is very similar to hurricane season. If a hurricane is any where near Florida people think the entire state is being blown away.
As someone that lives here and depends on tourism to make a living we are constantly watching what is going on in the gulf. I spent all last weekend on the beaches with my company. I smelled the sand, looked at every black rock , watched the pretty white birds fly by and felt sad for all that has changed for the people in areas that the oil has struck.
If you are worried about your vacation plans I suggest looking into insurance plans. Unfortunately, man-made disasters are not a covered reason to cancel or interrupt your trip.Â Therefore, the only kind of trip cancellation plan you can get that will cover you at all is one with the “Cancel for any reason” coverage. Keep in mind that itâ€™s a â€œCancel For Any Reasonâ€ and not â€œInterrupt For Any Reasonâ€ plan.Â Be sure to research your options with an agent. One I found online was http://www.tripinsurancestore.com/
We will be posting daily updates about our beaches on our Beach Conditions page: Click HereÂ for updates.Â As for yesterday, the water was warm (88 degrees I believe) the sun was even warmer (90 degrees) and the sand was white and cool as ever!Â Welcome to June!
We would really love to hear from the guests who have stayed in our rental properties!Â Please take a moment and share some of your Siesta Key vacation experiences and memories with us.Â What did you do?Â Â Where did you stay? Â Where did you eat?Â Did you take home any special treasures?Â How did you like our gorgeous white-sand beaches?Â What is your favorite memory?Â What would you say were must-sees and must-dos for others planning to visit our beautiful island?