Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Beach Talk

After the long weekend I just have to say a couple of things.... If you are visiting a beach there are a couple of things you should know. Most of them are common sense, but some may not occur to all.

You visit - we live here. It is home to people, birds, fish, mammals, etc. You are guests. My mother always told me to leave a place better than I found it. Treat it like it is your home. Please pick up your trash, your cigarette butts, your plastic bottles and bags. In a few months we will ban these/plastic bags from the beach and from stores using or selling them. We love having you come and make memories here. We just want them to be good memories.

Don't poke, prod, or step on dead creatures. Many of them can sting and emit poisons even though they appear to be dead. If you are stung by a jellyfish don't pee on the sting. Apply vinegar to the sting. It will neutralize the poison. Most life guards keep a gallon or two on the stand just for this purpose. If you are going to a beach with out a life guard. Please take a small bottle of vinegar with you.

Speaking of things to bring to the beach:
A gallon or two of water - leave in car. Great to wash sand off your feet and hands, flush eyes that get sand in them.
A small bottle of vinegar. Helps neutralize bee stings and jellyfish stings.
A bag for your trash.
Towels, leave at least one clean towel in your car.
Small first aid kit - again this can be left in car.

The number one thing is SHOES. Shoes that can get wet. Do not walk through the shoreline in your bare feet. All winter long we have been fishing and discarding our broken lines and hooks. They have washed ashore and are buried in the sand. Just waiting to get caught in your feet. I have a bowl full of nothing but various hooks and sinkers that I have found on my morning walks.

Watch the weather. Storms blow up quickly and go just as quick.

Rip Tides - these are extremely dangerous. If you find yourself being pulled in the current - go with it. Do not waste your energy fighting it. Lay on your back or pull your feet up so you are not being dragged. Then swim parallel to the shore line till you are able to swim in. Most drowning deaths are caused by these rip currents. If you come to the beach once a year you need to be very aware of them. Remember do not panic. You are not going to be swept out to sea - maybe 50 yards but that is swimmable. Some one will rescue you or use a surf board to help you.

Fresh oysters are to be eaten in the months that have an "R" in them. Otherwise you will get sick from them. If you want to know why - email me and I will thoroughly gross you out.

Enjoy the beach - make some precious memories.

note : Katie asked me why the hooks were discarded in a public place...They are broken off or caught on things, they are not deliberately discarded in the water. Some of these hooks are rather large - I will take pictures, so they get caught up on the ocean floor. I personally don't fish I am just a shore walker. Shore fishing is a big thing here. Flounder is the big catch.


Kiki Finlayson said...

Thank you for your "beach manners" blog. Here in Oregon all our beaches are public, and twice a year, fall and spring, there is an enormous volunteer beach cleanup, where objects as big as cars and as small as the ubiquitous plastic bags, all the detritus left by beach goers, and an amazing amount of stuff that's come in with the tide are collected and taken care of, either recycled or trashed. Thank heavens more and more folks are using reusable bags for shopping (the little fold-up or roll-up ones are great and fit in your purse--I keep three in mine! Our beaches and the wildlife along them are part of our heritage. Please take care of them!

Elizabeth Golden said...

Kiki our beaches are all public, also. Our garden club does a monthly beach clean up and then two big city wide beach cleanups. You would be amazed at all of the trash!

Kelly said...

My hubby and I vacation on Tybee in Georgia. I'm always angered when people leave their trash on the beach. Especially cigarette butts.

Good beach advice.

Tamara C said...

Great post Elizabeth! I grew up in Santa Cruz, California, also a beach community (and tourist destination with the Beach Boardwalk Amusement Park). It was always amazing the amount of trash people left behind!

Call me old fashioned, but I think we need to start teaching manners in school, since the parents don't seem to be doing it much. Or at least more civics so that kids start taking pride in their environments. :)

Sand Dollar Hugs, Tamara

KatieScarlett said...

Since we're on the subject of manners and tending to things well, Im confused as to why you're all tossing your hooks into a public place. Why aren't they being disposed of safely?

Melinda Cornish said...

wow! great advice and I agree with it all.....just from a different coastline but now here I am in landlocked Utah!