A holiday weekend at the beach.

We always say that we stay away from the beaches on a major holiday weekend. We broke our own rule on the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend. We decided to go spend a few hours in the morning at Fort Desoto Park and then swing by to visit Brett’s aunt since her nursing home is close by. We were there before 9am and left before lunch. The crowds were thick before we left.

Sea hares in the water and on the beach.

A manatee cruising by the fishing pier.

On the fishing pier, I caught this dragonfly resting on a fishing pole. This poor shrimp was bait.

Ships passing by the pier and snowy egrets hanging out on the shelter.

We took the scenic route over to St. Pete beach before heading to visit his aunt.

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Boring vacation pictures

View of the beach from the Naples pier before sunset.

Shots above are from the Naples beach at the hotel we stayed at. All private condos on both sides of our hotel so the beach was pretty quiet.

View from our room. Watching the sun come up in the morning and then the storms roll in during the afternoon before dinner. We didn’t splurge for a beach view since we live in Tampa and spend a fair amount of time on the beach. If you are coming from up north, I highly recommend getting the beach view anywhere you stay if possible. We stayed at the Edgewater Beach Resort which was nice and quiet while we were there.

Our view eating lunch at the Tin City marina.

Back at our hotel after dinner. One night the storms came in so no sunset.

The last night we were there, a huge fire had been burning close by and covered the sunset in smoke.

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“A three hour tour!”

While we were in Naples we took a boat ride around the bay and out to a spoil island. We passed the big boats and big houses near the marina.

It was a beautiful day out and there was not much traffic on the water.

 

We saw so many dolphins along the way. They were coming right up to the boat. The bottom two shots I took with my phone.

A lot of the channel markers had osprey nests on them. Most of the babies were grown up and yelled as we went by.

We cruised for almost an hour to a spoil island where there was no one else on the beach. Just us and a few other people that were on the boat. We walked around for close to an hour looking for shells.

Not many birds on the beach but far away we saw an osprey had caught a fish and had landed on the beach with it before taking off again.

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Hanging out at the beach.

A beautiful morning at Fort Desoto out on the beach.

Watching all of the big boats go by, wondering about that life at sea. I recently started following a guy who¬† pilots the big boats in and out of Tampa bay on Instagram. It’s cool to see his pictures from the boat. I bet he has some great stories to tell. You can find him at Tampabaypilot.

It’s always fun to see the dolphins swimming around the fishing pier and the little terns diving for fish.

The cactus all over the park are blooming.

Brett and I spent a Sunday morning in April just hanging out on the beach. With work, chores and family we don’t get there as much as we use to.

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A quiet morning at Fort Desoto

Someone had staked out their spot on the spit island just off the north tip of the beach. By early November, the red tide algae bloom was mostly gone from the beach but there were still some spots that smelled of dead fish. The water looked clear but the bloom came back later for a short time after a big storm. The morning I was there was clear.

The birds on the trails were scarce with the exception of a few common ones including a northern parula and many of the state bird, the mockingbird.

The usual waterbirds were also around.

Frigatebirds were flying high overhead.

On my way out of the park I saw a bald eagle sitting on a utility tower. All of the eagles are back for the winter.

Ghost town on the beach

A nice clean beach after Park supervisor Jim had scooped up all of the dead fish from the red tide algae bloom that lands on the beach during high tide. This morning in late October, Jim had told me that they had just cleaned up 6 miles of beaches, trying to keep it clean so the tourist can enjoy the beach. Even in late November, we were still getting some dead sea life but not as bad as it was in October.

It was still a beautiful morning even with a slight fishy smell.

The dog beach and the fishing pier were deserted that morning since no one wanted to be in the red tide water. It was like a ghost town.

I did see some dolphins coming out of the water from far across the bay.

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Two parks in one morning

A very hot morning at North Shore Park in downtown St. Petersburg. The beach was busy with volleyball players. On a Saturday morning you can find a lot of joggers and dog walkers on the sidewalk but not many people in the water. Since this is the bay, the water here is not nice but you can usually get a breeze.

Across the bay, you can just make out the energy plant with steam coming out.

After walking around at North Shore Park, I stopped by the Safety Harbor fishing pier before heading home. They have a new boardwalk that goes along the mangroves next to the pier. This small area is a little piece of Florida that hasn’t changed much over the years (with the exception of that big condo building going up next to the old Safety Harbor Hotel in that first shot).

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