On Monday, we made it out to Gooseberry Island for a memorable outing highlighted by some excellent snorkelers and their findings. We netted no less than three sizable lobsters, though none as big as the one I encountered last week. These crustaceans were walking on the sand out there near Gooseberry Island and Joe's Head. After climbing and exploring the island, we headed back over toward Joe's Head and found numerous live Sanddollars, something campers rarely see. In the picture, we had enough sanddollars to write 2009, and even make an exclamation point. There were also two small moon snails hiding in their shells and a Waved Whelk inhabited by a hermit crab.

Sanddollars, when alive, have brown fuzz on them which are really small movable spines that enable them to travel and dig in the sand. Once they die, the spines drop off and they eventually bleach white in the sun.

It has been extremely hot, up in the ninety degree range. The water is warm enough so prolonged snorkeling without a wet suit doesn't result in shivery shakes. Of course, I as usual, was so adorned. Incidentally, all of our animals were set free to go about their business on the campground shores. The rest of the week went well with more beach discoveries as the tides were very low consistent with a new moon. By Saturday, the ocean had churned up and was becoming quite violent from Hurricane Bill's activity. By Sunday, again with extreme high and low tides, the surf was extremely wild and dangerous. The picture on the home page was taken two hours before high tide. They finally closed the parking at Head Beach and Popham because of the high tide, erosion and violent surf. I will have more on that in my next link, but at least you have had a taste of a rare occurrence in August. 8/24/09 Ronnie, appalled at the ocean.