THE SEASONS OF SANIBEL

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We have made some interesting observations being in Sanibel during the spring, after visiting here during last fall. Most noticeably, we have seen very few calico scallop shells on Lighthouse Beach, whereas they were quite plentiful, last November. Are shells seasonal? I had never given it much thought.

Birds, on the other hand, were something we learned about back in grade school. Some species migrate south for the winter and others stay year around. Last November, the white pelicans had just arrived from Canada. And, we saw birds everywhere. During our paddle through the Mangrove Tunnels, last November, we saw birds all around us. (Check out my Sanibel blog posts for photos.)

Kayaking through Mangrove Tunnels this time was much different. We saw only three birds in the tunnels; none of the species we saw last November. This bird isn’t even on the Sanibel bird species page of the Sanibel Chamber of Commerce guide, so did it migrate from the south where the seasons are opposite of ours? Does anybody know what the name of this bird and where it is from? Perhaps it is a local bird, after all, but we sure didn’t see any last fall.

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There haven’t been as many dolphins feeding out off of Lighthouse Beach this time, but we did enjoy watching this one cruising for fish, just 30 or 40 yards off shore. When it spotted a fish, it would chase it up to the shallower water and trap it just feet from the shore. It was quite a show!

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As for the water temperature during this visit, it has been perfect at 78 degrees; very inviting for my morning open water swims. Last November, in addition to the horrible red tide, the water temperature was cold; fine for kayaking, but too cold otherwise.

One thing that hasn’t been much different is the fishing. Bruce had no luck last November, but neither did anybody else, due to the red tide and sudden drop in water temperature.

We thought Bruce would have much better luck this time around. Considering his success fishing from his kayak in San Diego Bay (I witnessed him catching a bass on several casts in a row and 5-10 fish in a typical hour on the water.) and at Lighthouse Lakes, in Texas, it seemed like a no-brainer to catch fish here. He did his research and had the right tackle. But, once again, it has been tough. And, once again, we haven’t seen anybody else catching much of anything either. BUT, he did catch this pompano, yesterday.

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That was one full day! It began with a fast-paced 40 minute open water swim, followed by a pool training session; a total of 5,000 yards between the two. I capped that off with a PT session in the gym.

After brunch back at the cottage, we packed up for our afternoon kayak fishing trip on Tarpon Bay. The winds had kicked up to 11mph, so we had a rough paddle against the current to a protected area where Bruce caught his pompano. But, it was a fun couple of hours out on the water, before riding the current back to our launch site. And, at that point, we declared the day DONE. It was time to head back, clean up, and relax over dinner- and, dessert.

After dinner, we were strolling by shop windows and noticed a group of guys sitting around in a circle playing guitars and one playing a drum. They were in the Sanibel Café, a breakfast and lunch café that had closed hours ago. When we did a double-take, the owner invited us in and offered us a beer on the house. I mentioned that Bruce played harmonica, but had not brought any with him. The next thing we knew, one of the guys went out to his car to get his harmonica and Bruce joined in on a loosely organized jam session that meets on Monday nights at the café. Bruce blew them away (no pun intended) and it was a fun way to finish off an action-packed day!

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