Wednesday, July 28, 2010

1st Nest to Hatch on Little Tybee

Turtle nest #1 has hatched this week over on Little Tybee.
We got the low down after bumping into Tammy at the BR boat ramp earlier this week.
Incubation is about 60 days and by which time the little reptilians start there long haul for survival. Egg and nestling predators include oligochaete worms, beetles, fly larvae, ants, parasitoid wasp larvae, flesh flies, crabs, snakes, gulls, crows, opposums, bears, rats, armadillos, honey badgers, skunks, raccoons, cats, hogs, and humans.
During their migration from their nest to the sea, hatchlings are predated by dipteran larvae, crabs, toads, lizards, snakes, birds, and mammals. In the ocean, predators of the loggerhead juveniles and adults include sharks, other fish such as parrotfish, moray eels, portunid crabs, gulls, monk seals, and killer whales. Nesting females are attacked by flesh flies, feral dogs, and humans.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Kayaks For Sale

Necky Looksha 4 - 2010 models
A great deal.

One of our clients has two sea kayaks that he'd like to sell.
They are 14-ft Necky Lookshas, sunset orange color.
They both have rudders as well as the compartments in front and back. Aside from a few scratches that can probably be buffed out, they are in great shape - both of them have been used less than 10 times. New these boats go for $1400 and are now selling for a lot less than this.
Boats are located in Savannah.

The Necky Looksha comes from an excellent heritage of kayak design. We use a the longer version and it's the dependable workhorse of our fleet.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Save Harris Neck Wildlife Refuge

From Dot Bambach

At a time when we see daily photos of dead and oil-contaminated wildlife in the Gulf coast states, I take some comfort in knowing that many of the species that will struggle to survive in Louisiana, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi and perhaps Texas can still find safe haven at Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge, located halfway between Savannah and Darien, Georgia.

But Harris Neck is under a different sort of threat -- former landowners who sold their properties to the federal government for use as an air base during World War II now want to move back onto the refuge. You can read more about their demands via the following link:
Aside from the fact that their claims to the land have already been adjudicated (twice) in court and found to be without merit, the proposed 70+ residences, hotel, and convention center are completely incompatible with the purpose and operation of a wildlife refuge.

Nonetheless, the proponents of the Harris Neck land grab have been creating a lot of media attention and exerting political pressure on our elected officials. I stopped by Congressman Jack Kingston's office yesterday to register my opposition to the proposal and one of his aides made it clear to me that he needs to hear from a lot more people like me to "counteract" the pressure he is getting from the proponents.
Contact Jack here..

So please call, e-mail, write or visit your elected officials and your newspaper and radio editors about this issue. Let them know that wildlife refuges aren't expendable "vacant land" and that Harris Neck must remain intact and protected. The article in the above link will give you their names and contact information.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Suicidal Shrimp Story

Improving human mental health is having some serious unintended consequences for our friends in the ocean.
Exposure to antidepressants makes shrimp five times more likely to place themselves in life-threatening situations.

Exposure to the antidepressant fluoxetine causes shrimp to radically alter their behavior. While normal shrimp are more likely to avoid swimming towards light because it's often associated with prey like birds or fishermen, those exposed to fluoxetine become five times more likely to swim towards light than away from it. That change in behavior places them in harm's way, and if enough shrimp are exposed to the antidepressant the entire population could be at risk.

Alex Ford, a marine biologist at the UK's University of Portsmouth, explains how that can reverberate throughout the oceanic ecosystem and why this is a serious concern:

"Crustaceans are crucial to the food chain and if shrimps' natural behaviour is being changed because of antidepressant levels in the sea this could seriously upset the natural balance of the ecosystem. Much of what humans consume you can detect in the water in some concentration. We're a nation of coffee drinkers and there is a huge amount of caffeine found in waste water, for example. It's no surprise that what we get from the pharmacy will also be contaminating the country's waterways"

Yes, it aint easy being a shrimp... and with all the oil in the gulf, those shrimp are going to need all the antidepressants they can get.

Thanks for this story Jim.
We'll be keeping a close eye out for local suicidal shrimp behaviour.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

GA Shrimp Season Up and Running.

Ga Shrimp season began early June and will run until the end of the year.
At the time of opening, the DNR had sold 116 trawler licenses, including 26 to shrimpers from Northeast Florida and the Carolinas. As of the start of the season, no shrimpers displaced by the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico had bought a license to fish in Georgia waters.

The DNR decides when shrimp season starts and ends after officials have reviewed data measuring shrimp abundance and size.
“Catches of shrimp in coast-wide scientific surveys have continued to be below normal in our creek and sound stations,
but well above normal at stations located in traditional fishing grounds just offshore,”
said Jim Page, the Coastal
Resources Division (CRD) biologist responsible for monthly shrimp sampling.
“Water temperatures are presently 10%
above normal and count size looks great so we believe adequate numbers of white shrimp have had an opportunity to

White Shrimp Facts
In waters of 89 feet or less although occasionally found much deeper. Post larval shrimp occupy nursery areas in estuaries that offer abundant food, suitable substrate, and shelter from predators. In the South Atlantic, these areas are generally dominated by the marsh grass Spartina alterniflora. White shrimp enter the estuaries in April and early May and begin emigrating out to commercial fishing areas in August through December. White shrimp prefer muddy or peaty bottoms rich in organic matter and decaying vegetation in inshore waters and prefer soft muddy bottoms offshore.
•Life span: Short - less than one year. Shrimp are an annual crop.
•Food: Juveniles and adults are omnivorous bottom feeders that mostly feed at night. They eat polychaete worms, amphipods, nematodes, caridean shrimps, mysids, copepods, isopods, ostracods, mollusks, foraminiferans, chironomid larvae, and various types of organic debris.
•Growth rate: Rates are highly variable, depending on season, water temperature, shrimp density, salinity, size, and sex. Adolescent white shrimp grow rapidly, ranging from 0.04 to 0.09 inches per day.
•Maximum size: Estimated at 7 to 8 inches.
•Reaches reproductive maturity: At about 5.3 to 5.5 inches total length.

Spearfishing Banned at Grey's Reef

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has banned spearfishing gear in the Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary.
The ban went into effect earlier this year.

One of the most popular sportfishing areas on the Georgia coast, Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary is one of the largest near shore live-bottom reefs in the southeastern United States.

More than 180 species of fish including mackerel, grouper, black sea bass, angelfish, and endangered species such as loggerhead sea turtles, live in and around the varied ecosystems of the reef, which is located 17.5 nautical miles off Sapelo Island.

Spear guns make it easy for divers to select the largest specimens, which can lead to downward pressure on the size of subsequent generations. The agency believes the ban will also reinforce an existing ban on bangsticks or powerheads, a specialized firearm that discharges on contact with the target, as these often are attached to the end of spear guns for self-defense underwater.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Surf Amelia - Spaces Open


Sun, Sea and Surf south of the border, just off A1A.
Spaces available for both Saturday and Sunday.
Mega Surf Kayak Demos and Tiderace Demos available. Call now to reserve your ride.

Mega Boost in Stock

Johnny Bingham loves his Boost....

The Mega Boost is hot on the shelf for 2010.
With a comfy seating position and spacious leg room, this boat is not lacking in the radical performance department. If you are planning on taking part at the Worlds next year, now is the time to gear up.

We currently have new and used Mega boats on sale
Give us a ring to see what is available or come try the new Mega Boost.
It has the dependable paddle out ability of the Neutron, but does not feel as big in the cockpit. This boat has taken some of the best characteristics of the Reflex, Neutron, and Merlin and rolled them into one comfortably radical ride. If you are too big for the Reflex and too small for Neutron, then the Boost will sit you well.

Specs : 7'6" x 24.75

"Compared to the Merlin and Neutron, the entry rocker is more gradual - I found it seemed to glide very smoothly whilst surfing, but it still seemed to skip up over the waves easily on paddle-out."

"I like a boat to sit comfortably and easily around me. The knee braces and cockpit are an inch or two lower than the Merlin and Neutron, which I don't find it easy to lock myself in. I find this a better, more natural position to fit the boat. It also means I can roll it very easily."

Demo this boat today.
912 341 9502

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Happy 4th From the Sea Sprouts.


We had a great Sea Sprouts kayak camp this last week.
Lots of mad-cap games and stunts kept the the Sprouts in the loop with the latest kayaking techniques and instructor updates direct from the top.

'Muddy Buddy' was once again voted best non-technical game, with
'Guide the Blind Paddler' winning the "Whoa, dude! It's totally dark" award.

Congratulations to all those who graduated.
We will see you next year at Surf Sprouts.


Thursday, July 1, 2010

Loggerhead Activity on Little Tybee


Local kayaker, Tammy Smith, continues her summer beach patrol of Little Tybee...

Every day, all summer long Tammy kayaks over to Little Tybee, walks the beach, and looks for evidence of Sea Turtle tracks and nests. On finding a nest, she records it's location and covers it with netting to help prevent raccoon intrusion. If the nest is too close to the shore and risks being flooded, Tammy carefully relocates it back behind the high tide line. The eggs are put back into the nest in their original order, since the temperature of the eggs during incubation will determine the sex of the turtle.

A recent three hour tour to Little Tybee included a special experience for our clients. We were fortunate enough to witness the extraction of an egg from a nest. Tammy explained that she is taking part in a multi-state research project with the DNR. One egg is being sacrificed from each nest in order to study the DNA from the shell. So far they have remarkably discovered nesting siblings - remarkable because only 1 in a 1000 turtles survives to sexual maturity. They have also discovered nesting mother-daughter pairs - remarkable because this would put the age of the egg laying mother into her 60s, since the daughter would be in her 30s.

Little Tybee now boasts 10 nests, with 1 having been
destroyed by raccoons and ghost crabs before it could be recorded. Tuesday evening brought 4 new nests in one night. Tammy's efforts have certainly furthered the cause of protecting the Loggerhead Sea Turtle on the Georgia Coast. Her dedication and passion is outstanding and is much appreciated here at SC&K.

Tammy is a trained volunteer and works through the DNR. If you come across an unmarked nest, an injured or dead turtle, please call the Tybee Marine Science Center or the DNR. For more info on turtles check out
or take a family trip to the turtle rehab center on Jekyll Island.