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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Come See the World UNDER the Bay - Snorkel St. Joseph Bay

From VisitGulf.com I love our guided snorkel trips says Debbie VanFleet, Adventure Guide and owner of Happy Ours Kayak and Bike Outpost. Generally I’ll start in an area of the Bay that is shallow with pure white sand. We will see sting rays – I’ll teach guests the “sting ray shuffle” to get them out – and we will see whelks, egg sacks from tube worms and horseshoe crabs. And blue crabs will hide under the sand. There’s a whole world under that sand! Then we will head on to the short grass. Get everyone used to the turtle grass. It’s like an aquarium. The tulip shells are so beautiful. Before you know it, we gradually work our way into the thicker, longer grass. One of my favorite creatures is the tunicate. Some species are nicknamed sea squirts. Do you know it? It’s a filter feeder similar to a sponge but with a central nervous system. But, a tunicate will close their tiny holes when you touch it. It reacts to you. Or, an adjacent hole may close. It’s very neat to see.

Nature is constantly changing – every season and every year is different. I tell people that you think you’ve seen it all after a few hours but it is only the beginning. Every time you go, it’s different and it’s that change that makes it great.

Debbie VanFleet: Come visit Debbie, Adventure Guide and Florida Master Naturalist, and her husband Dan at Happy Ours Kayak and Bike Outpost. You are sure to see a side of St. Joseph Bay you have never seen before.

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