Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Blind Date at Blind Pass

Karen, The Essential Beachcomber, and I met for the first time at Blind Pass yesterday morning.
I was excited to meet her, a blogging friend who lives just 20 miles away.
"I'll be driving a white Honda Pilot," she said. "Look for a tall blonde!"
And there she was as we drove up, tall and blonde,
seated on the opened end of her vehicle, ready and waiting.

I arrived with my family Christmas guests, happily anticipating the hunt.
 Karen had offered to mentor Blake (10) and Hunter (11)
 in the art of hunting fossilized sharks' teeth in the best place she knew~~
 Blind Pass on Manasota Key.

A shark shovel for sifting sand, shells, and~~hopefully~~a shark's tooth.

There are several methods for searching the sand and the sea, she said.
One is to scoop directly from the sea, digging into the sand.
Another is to walk along the sand at low tide, hoping that the waves have brought some to the surface and that you spot them before others do!
I heard Hunter ask Karen why this beach is so good for hunting
 and she said, "Because there's no one here!"

Blake is making good progress...
note the plastic bag of collected sharks' teeth.

Karen taught the boys a third method: Dig a trough in the sand and wait for a wave
 to fill it with water~~and possibly bring in a tooth. It happened!

They also learned about The Boneyard~~an area between the Service Club Park and the jetty of Venice, Florida filled with fossilized bones. Besides sharks' teeth, fossils of other marine creatures are found in this area. You can see the boats and divers out on the water, searching for big treasures. Because millions of years ago most of Florida was under water, many fossils are also found inland.
However, state law prohibits digging without a permit.
Blake and Hunter's fossil finds are small by comparison
 but they're thrilled by the hunt. So is their dad...but that's another story.

It takes concentration and sharp eyes to discern the differences between sharks' teeth
 and the black debris in the shell/sand crush.

At one point, a proud shark's tooth hunter came along and showed the boys his big find...
he actually found it several years ago but enjoys taking it out of his carpenter's apron and showing it off every year as he walks the beach looking for more great finds.

Last shot at the beach as a storm kicked up and sent us running for our vehicles.

Note to Karen: THANK YOU for a marvelous morning! It added so much meaning, history, and appreciation to Blake and Hunter's Florida experiences...also for the rest of the family. 
 And, check out this hilarious picture of everyone in
 the Sharks' Tooth Squat!
I look forward to seeing you again soon!
Hugs and Happy Hunting,