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Blech- Red Tide Hangover in SW Florida

 
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d0uglass



Joined: 28 May 2004
Posts: 1070
Location: Bonita Springs, Florida

PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 11:05 am    Post subject: Blech- Red Tide Hangover in SW Florida Reply with quote

Strong NW winds in the Gulf of Mexico several days ago produced the best swell I have seen at Wiggins Pass since moving to SW Florida last summer. Yesterday the period was 9 seconds, the lines were clean and peeling, and the height was waist to occasionally head high. (Ok, maybe knee to occasionally chest high.) The wind angle was too offshore and the wind strength too light and flukey to effectively WindSUP it (though I tried), but it was great to regular SUP on the WindSUP 11'8" board. I spent about 3.5 hours out there.

Unfortunately there was a Karenia brevis red tide going on, with dead fish on the beach and floating in the water. The mist from breaking waves burned your eyes and gave you asthma-like coughing. Now I have a sore throat and congestion.

I'm sure I'm not the only windsurfer to dumbly risk his health with waterborne toxins or pathogens because the conditions were too good to pass up. Does anyone else have similar stories?

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Last edited by d0uglass on Sat Jan 19, 2013 10:09 pm; edited 1 time in total
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slinky



Joined: 24 Aug 2007
Posts: 409
Location: Old Saybrook Ct.

PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 3:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One year here in Southern Connecticut we had a very hot summer, and the temperature of the water in Long Island sound got so warm, that when the bluefish started to run, they chased all the bunker which they feed on into the shallow bays and harbors where they all suffocated. There were litterally millions of dead fish everywhere. It stunk to high heaven, and you could not go in the water for a long time. All the tourists were really pissin and moaning about the stench ruining their vacation, but what do you do witha few million dead fish? A fertilizer company could have made a killing! I did not go in the water for months.

Hope you are feeling better soon. We are having a good southwesterly here with winds 25-35 gusting 40+. Air temps around 45 ,water 41, a little chilly.
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rswabsin



Joined: 14 May 2000
Posts: 215
Location: New Jersey

PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 8:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As a kid (way back in the late 60's an early 70's), the red tide was fairly common along the Jersey shore beaches - probably the result from too much untreated sewage entering the waters - at least that's what I was always told. Anyway, when it wasn't too bad, the beaches would be open for swimming and I loved to ride the waves with these inflatable rubber mats with a rope strung around them - before boogie boards were invented. On the way home, I remember frequently having a sore throat in the car - not too bad but I remember having many of them. Despite the soar throat I always went home happy cause I had a blast - a day at the beach was always the best (and still is). Plus, we just stopped for ice cream and all was OK.
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d0uglass



Joined: 28 May 2004
Posts: 1070
Location: Bonita Springs, Florida

PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 10:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

From what I've read so far, the Florida Red Tides do not appear to be directly related to human activities like sewage pollution, in contrast with the red tides up North in New Jersey. (There are reports of fish kills and stuff in Tampa Bay even as far back as the Spanish explorers.) Of course that doesn't rule out the possibility that human impacts are making the Red Tides more frequent or longer lasting. A guy I work with at FGCU is an expert in Harmful Algal Blooms, so I'll ask him what he knows about this one. Hmm...

PS- Posted a video of the SUP session that poisoned me: http://jimbodouglass.blogspot.com/2013/01/karenia-brevis-red-tide-doesnt-kid.html

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jpf18



Joined: 13 Aug 2000
Posts: 239
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 12:45 pm    Post subject: Re: Blech- Red Tide Hangover in SW Florida Reply with quote

d0uglass wrote:
Does anyone else have similar stories?

Brown water sessions on the West Coast:
http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-king-santa-monica-bay-20121226,0,1329079.story
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jingebritsen



Joined: 21 Aug 2002
Posts: 2399

PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 6:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

james, you may want to explore what is too offshore with your windSUP. i've had fantastic rides with my long boards over the years with winds being nearly straight offshore. lotsa folks that have done short board wave sailing don't quite grasp how empowering long boards can be. next time it goes offshore, give it a go, you'll see. trick is to grab the wave from the upwind shoulder and race downwind in front of it. if you try from the peak, it's too late.... too bad about the red tide.
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d0uglass



Joined: 28 May 2004
Posts: 1070
Location: Bonita Springs, Florida

PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 10:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ingebritsen- I hear what you're saying about positioning at the shoulder so the slope of the wave is pushing you more across the wind as opposed to straight upwind.

My frustration the other day was that the wind was so light and the angle so offshore that I could barely track parallel to shore with the daggerboard up, let alone track at the 45 degrees or so towards the shore that I would need to catch a wave. A little more wind, a little more sideshore angle, or a little peakier waves would have made it easier to WindSUP.

As it was, though, the paddle SUP was pretty fun and easy.

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amarie



Joined: 25 Aug 2003
Posts: 165
Location: Corpus Christi, TX

PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2013 11:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We get red tide periodically in South Texas. Here normally the likelihood of us sailing during red tide is inversely proportional to the number of recent good wind days. i.e. if we really need a fix, we'll sail regardless. We're also lucky enough to have several beaches, and since it usually doesn't strike everywhere at once, we can choose another launch to avoid it. I get the same symptoms you mentioned, watery eyes, respiratory irritation, etc, and it wears off once I'm out of the proximity. Sometimes it's strong enough to cut the session short. Since I don't have any preexisting allergies, though, I don't worry about it.

Your Wiggins Pass story sounds like my experience there a few years ago, minus the red tide. Nice little wave, but it was about 1-2 mph short of being able to sail.
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