Welcome to A Tropical Breeze!

Named #1 Beach is the USA in 2002 and Only Gets Better Every Year!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Sea Turtle Patrol Monitors Cape San Blas Hatch - By J. Michael Brown

The cycle of life often begins along Northwest Florida's beaches.  In Gulf County, volunteers are monitoring 96 nests in a six-and-a-half mile stretch of Cape San Blas.  Members of the St. Joseph Peninsula Turtle Patrol hit the sand just after sunrise Tuesday to check for loggerhead hatches.
The sea turtle nesting season lasts from May through October.  Nests average about 100 eggs each and the incubation period is 60-65 days.
The group first stopped on the beach behind the William J. Rish Recreational Park where two nests are marked with stakes, yellow tape and a warning sign.  There was no evidence of a hatch.
"I see that they're high and dry so they probably will hatch, probably within the next week," Penny Weining, a turtle patrol volunteer, said.
A few hundred yards farther down the beach, an excited group of volunteers gathered for the highlight of the day – an excavation of a green sea turtle nest to determine whether last weekend's hatch was successful.
Weining said green sea turtle nests are a rare find.  "It's been a couple of years since we've had one... they don't come every year and they are more rare than a loggerhead nest," Weining said.
After removing the stakes and wire that guards against predators, the digging got underway.  Volunteer John Ehrmann did the dirty work.  "The clutch is usually about nine inches to twelve inches below grade," he said.
Nearby, Katrina Larson's two home-schooled children enjoyed a day in an outdoor classroom.  "It's just an amazing place to be able to do real hands on science," Larson said.  "They see that there are real scientists working in this world to help God's creation."
Ehrmann dug down in the white sand all the way to his shoulder and pulled pieces of shell and a few whole eggs from the cavity.  The volunteers were pleased with what they found.
"It looks like everybody got out okay," Weining said.  "Most of them are hatched and only about ten of them were probably infertile."
The excavation revealed that 130 hatchlings had made their way to the Gulf of Mexico.  It's a long shot, but some of them might return one day.  Female sea turtles that reach reproductive age – in 20 or 30 years – come back to the beach where they hatched to lay their own eggs.
"They do imprint on the sand and they're familiar with their home," Weining said.  "I guess it's a natural kind of GPS system that brings them back."
Development is encroaching on the turtles' natural environment and patrol volunteers are trying to protect what's left.  "These creatures have been around for 60 million years and we just want to keep them around for a little while longer," Ehrmann said.
Sea turtles aren't cuddly, but there's a fascination with them that is wide reaching.  "One of the reasons that our visitors love to come to Gulf County is for the natural beauty and the wildlife element that we have here," Kelli Jackson, Business Manager for the Tourist Development Council, said.
After the results of the hatch were logged – the data will be forwarded to researchers at the University of Florida – volunteers returned the beach to its natural state.
Weining struggled to find the words to explain her devotion to the sea turtle's cause.  "They're massive but they're beautiful," she said.  "Everybody's fascination is for a different reason, but I just find them beautiful."
Beautiful creatures beginning life in a beautiful place.
For information on how to become a St. Joseph Peninsula Turtle Patrol volunteer, call (205) 910-4717 or email the group at sjpturtlepatrol@gmail.com.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

We Love Our Guests! Thanks for a Great Rental Summer

Rob and I came down by ourselves for 4 days to check on the house after 10 straight back to back weekly rentals.  We love our guests and management company!  A Tropical Breeze is in great shape and that's because our guests treat it so well. Of course there's always something to do, so we added a new phone system, switched out a TV in "Under the Sea", the bunkroom so it now has DVD and VCR to watch many of the classic movies that we provide. We also had the carpets cleaned, did some touch up painting, replaced the microwave which was rusting on the inside- that darn salt air even affects the interior of the house.

Of course we still had plenty of time for bike riding, fishing, dolphin watching and relaxing in the sun.

Yesterday was a banner day: Beautiful sunset last night and yesterday there was a dolphin party in front of A Tropical Breeze.  We were in the water and Rob said, " I wonder where the dolphins are today?"  Less than 2 minutes later, one surfaces within 20 feet of us.  Turns out he's the leader with at least 5 more pods of 4-6 dolphins to follow.  Usually they gracefully swim by while feeding but today the dolphins were feeling frisky, lots of splashing around and then one jumps in the air and all of a sudden several start jumping, some 2 at a time.  There were only about 30 people on the beach in all directions but everyone was up and watching the dolphin show.

Then about 7pm, I'm doing computer work on the upper deck and I hear loud snorting sounds.  It's more dolphins about 30 feet off shore.  They're calling my attention,  as if saying, "How can you look at a computer when we're swimming right by on this beautiful evening". Amazing!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Cape San Blas Author Writes about St. Vincent Island

Author publishes second locally-based book
Published: Thursday, July 25, 2013 at 09:18 AM.
Pineapple Press announced last week the publication of Secrets of St. Vincent, the second book in its popular Florida Secrets trilogy by award-winning author Charles Farley.

The first book, Secrets of San Blas, is based on events surrounding an actual murder at the Cape San Blas Lighthouse near Port St. Joe in 1938. Old Doc Berber, Port St. Joe’s only general practitioner, is dragged into a murder investigation, a romance, and a series of intrigues that even he can’t diagnose.
Michael Lister, author of The Big Goodbye, called the novel “an unforgettable journey through Florida’s Forgotten Coast . . . a delightful dance of history and mystery, an intriguing interplay of fact and fiction.”
Now, in Secrets of St. Vincent, bluesman Reggie Robinson has been wrongly arrested for the gruesome murder of Sheriff Byrd “Dog” Batson. Doc Berber and his best friend, Gator Mica, mount a quixotic search for the sheriff ’s savage killer on equally savage St. Vincent Island. If they survive the frightening adventure, they’ll return with the shocking secrets that will shatter the town’s tranquility forever.
A Kansas native who now lives in Huntsville, Alabama, Charles Farley has written for American Libraries, Library Hi Tech, Library Journal, and Living Blues. His first book, Soul of the Man, was a biography of the great soul singer Bobby “Blue” Bland. In 2012 he won first place in the fiction category in the Alabama Writers’ Conclave Writing Competition. His website iswww.charlesfarley.com.
Charles Farley will be in town to sign copies of his books during the Scallop Festival.

Farley will sign books 1-4 p.m. ET Saturday, Aug. 10, at 155 Capt. Fred's Place (the old Maddox house) at Shipyard Cove.

Friday, July 19, 2013

17th Annual, Florida Scallop & Music Festival

Make plans now for The Florida Scallop & Music Festival, July 27-August 4, 2013 along St. Joseph Bay in Port St. Joe.

Don't miss this year's 17th annual event where Arts & crafts vendors, educational exhibits, our popular Kidz Zone, and many food vendors will be offered throughout comfortable George Core Park around the pond and under the shade. Fried scallop plates will be available for sale and frozen scallops for take home.

Parking is free or you can pull your boat up close to the beach to hear the music!

Wish I could be at A Tropical Breeze this week for the scallop festival.  Taking the boat from Cape San Blas across the St. Joe Bay to eat some scallops and listen to some great music sounds like the perfect way to spend the weekend.  I hope our Tropical Breeze guests for that week, the Starr Family, have a wonderful time!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Welcome to a Wonderful Week at A Tropical Breeze!

Summer is in full swing and we are welcoming our weekly guests to A Tropical Breeze. Even though Cape San Blas may be quiet to some, to me there is so much to do that I can never fit it all into one stay.

I was there last week for 3 nights and enjoyed a daily morning bike ride.  One day we went into St. Joseph Peninsula State Park and saw 4 deer grazing by the side of the park road.

We then went to visit my son, Cody, who is working at Scallop Cove Too, the state park marina store.  He and his co worker, Kevin  are busy renting out kayaks and sharing their fishing stories with their attentive customers.

 These two silly boys know how to fish and have been on a run with red fish in the bay. Yesterday it was so calm, they took our 19' boat that never leaves the bay, 6 miles out into the Gulf and caught a grouper!

We have a new sea turtle nest on the beach.  The sea turtle laid her eggs on May 23rd.  I would love to be back to see those little baby turtles scurry towards the sea.  If you are staying on Cape San Blas or any beach this summer, please don't leave blockades on the beach at night that keep the mama turtles from laying their eggs.  Barricades can be sand castles, large holes, beach tents or beach chairs.

As always, we enjoyed baked oysters at the Indian Pass Raw Bar. The picture is upside down :-(

Here I am in my very favorite spot, watching the sunset on the beach in front of A Tropical Breeze.

We are so blessed to enjoy the pleasures of this beautiful beach.  ENJOY!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Tropical Breeze on Cape San Blas - Dolphins, Spanish Mackarel, new 60" and 32" LED Flat Screen TV's.

 We had a big week at A Tropical Breeze on Cape San Blas, caught lots of fish including a large Spanish mackerel, Red fish, Sea trout and the dolphins were everywhere.  

Dolphins All Around Us

Two Dolphins surface

Cody with red fish and sea trout - caught May 10, 2013

Roni and Cody with Roni's Spanish mackerel - caught on lucky first cast

New 60" TV in Living Room

46" Flat screen TV added to main master bedroom 

New 32" TV added to 2nd Master

New cushions added to outdoor furniture

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Bald Eagles, Playful Dolphins and Beautiful Sunsets

My husband and I just spent the perfect weekend alone at A Tropical Breeze on Cape San Blas.  It was like a second honeymoon and a glimpse of how sweet retirement will be some day.

We left Atlanta on Thursday night at 9pm, after the threat of snow passed, and arrived at 3am.  This sounds like a crazy time to travel but the benefits are great, no Atlanta traffic, traveling with a beautiful moon, a sky full of stars and waking up to the sound of the waves and the view of the beach all make it worth leaving at night instead of waiting till morning.  Plus we always have an action audio book to keep our minds alert.

We both had to work on Friday, but working on the computer and taking conference calls while looking at the beach all makes it so much better.  Plus a bike ride for lunch and a mid afternoon walk on the beach were nice breaks. The day ended with a perfect sunset over the Gulf. Definitely well worth the trip.

Sunday we took our new to us, small fishing boat into Port St. Joe and launched it off the Port St. Joe Public ramp.  Even though it was a beautiful day, the bay was a bit chilly, so after fishing for a few minutes, we headed into the inter coastal waterway which is much more protected from the wind. 

We meandered up the waterway fishing here and there with the sun was warming us to the point of shorts and t-shirts.  This is when all the action started.  First a boat went by with 3 dolphins following it.  By the time I got my camera out they were gone but then the fishing boat across from us caught a large sea trout and as they were reeling it into the boat, a dolphin flies into the air chasing the fish towards the boat.  It was as exciting as any dolphin show. 

(The dolphin is on the side of the boat.)

  The dolphin proceeds to dance on the water begging for the fish.  Being responsible outdoors men they did not feed the dolphin, but the dolphin stayed with them for another 5 minutes begging.  I couldn't have been more excited and did get a few pictures.   Then a bald eagle flies right over our boat, we spot another flying over the trees and then a 3rd baby eagle starts following the 2nd. It was better than any movie or Broadway show.  

Rob caught a trout too!

We ended the evening with another beautiful sunset in front of A Tropical Breeze. 

God sure knows how to put on a show at Cape San Blas.