Beachcoming is one of our favorite things to do while cruising. There’s always something new to discover. Yesterday we wandered a section of beach on the north end of Cayo Costa – you can get there by walking the beach, but it’s a long long way, so we decided to take the dinghy and make a morning of it. We found two live lightening whelks in the foot deep tidal range. They’re often mid-identified because they’re big like conch, but they’re not conch shells!
According to Wikipedia: The knobbed whelk lives subtidally and is migratory, alternating between deep and shallow water, depending on the time of year. During the weather extremes of the summer and winter months, these sea snails live in deep water, at depths of up to 48 m. In the milder weather of the spring and fall they live in shallow water, on near-shore or intertidal mud flats and sand flats. On the shallow-water mud flats whelks prey on oysters, clams, and other marine bivalves.
We also found a baby starfish, just out of the tidal range and a piece of beach glass — unusual for around here. David found a fossil sharks tooth or two — the day before he’d found a dozen. No manatees in the manatee lagoon either – not even a glimpse of the alligator that lives there.
Cheers! Jan & David