Destin, day 6

Today was our last day at the beach. Sadly, there were many much jellyfish lurking in the water. I swam a little bit, but didn’t really feel like getting stung…again. There weren’t as many people on the beach today, and they had been replaced by a flock of seagulls. We thought we would walk down and take a few pictures of them.

While we were by the seagulls I looked down and saw a piece of a sand dollar. I picked it up to look at it and then threw it back into the waves. Apparently pieces of sand dollar flying across the water look strikingly similar to fish when you are a seagull, and several of them took off after it. We thought this was a very good trick for getting pictures of flying seagulls, so I threw a few more sand dollar pieces (until the seagulls got tired of being tricked). Along the way back I collected lots of small pieces of driftwood (for the turtle tank, of course!).

After a while we rented an ocean kayak for for an hour. I decided to try it by myself first (it was a two person kayak). I didn’t realized that it is very difficult for a single smallish person to paddle out past the breaking waves by herself, so I ended up riding one in. That part was fun, while the kayak stayed turned the right direction. But since I don’t really know how to steer an ocean kayak in the waves…it quickly flipped over. Don’t worry! I didn’t land on any jellyfish. It was much easier to get past the waves once my mom came out with me, and then we just sat out in the water for a bit and looked at the numerous jellyfish floating by. We even saw some different ones that had sorts of ruffles instead of long tentacles.

We didn’t kayak for the whole hour, because we started to get hungry…so we went back for lunch. I also boiled my new driftwood collection (no, not for lunch). It did look like I was making some kind of driftwood soup, standing there stirring a huge pot full of boiling wood. The point of all this is to make the wood quickly release its tannins, which cause the water to turnĀ  the color of tea and are not so pleasant for aquariums.

Other than that, we ate dinner at Carrabba’s (an Italian grill with amazing brick oven pizza) and did some last minute gift buying. We’re mostly packed up for tomorrow. The turtles are safely tucked into their bed in the bathtub, in case they come up with some ingenious method of escape from their pool (now complete with driftwood). We *plan* on leaving at 8:00, so I’ll see some of you tomorrow night!

– Karen