Blessing of the Fleet

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This is how my morning started ~ soooo, you know it’s going to be a good day…
I just happened to have my camera sitting in my seat, so I got this picture of Mr. Big Bird at my neighbors house just minding his own business.
CongregationThen after I picked the girls up from school, we ran down to the harbor to see the begining of the blessing of the fleet.  This was the 53rd year of carrying on this tradition but this year was different, hundreds gathered to pray for the future of fishing in Destin on Thursday afternoon as the ever-expanding oil slick loomed in the Gulf of Mexico.  This is a community of prayer, when things are out of control they pull together and this is just another example of the community we call home.
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The boats go by… one by one and they get blessed.  The kids play and then there is a fish fry.  It is simple, it is fun and it is tradition.
Look what the girls found off the docks…they put him safely back…
Morgan looking in the water
Destin Charter Service
Bird in the sunset
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Happy Mothers Day!!!

Egret 2 014My wonderful family took me deep sea fishing in the Gulf of Mexico and I can assure you – no oil here, but beautiful dolphins and A LOT of fish.  It was chilly as we went out so I was really glad we grabbed jackets at the very last moment. We went out on the Sea Winder and it was amazing!

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It was EARLY – my wonderful husband had me us at 5:00 a.m. and it was completely worth it! (& I never say that)

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Boat 1

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The first catch of the day and it was mine and everyone went right back into the water :  )

I did catch a snapper a little later and a shark got on my line and I was pretty sure I was stuck on the bottom – it felt like I was trying to bring in an elephant.

Needless to say that snapper did not fair as well…

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Look at this gorgeous coastline behind them and the equally gorgeous water.

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Morgan spent the majority of her time chasing the bait fish.

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My beautiful girls covered in fish goo…  they LOVED it!
We ran by Sexton’s (a local seafood market – I could not find a website for them or I would have linked them) and we got a few shrimp to go home and we made ceviche for dinner, yum!
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This sign kinda made me a little sad – everyone is worried, but the forecast right now is positive for us, so I am staying positive and enjoying every moment…and shrimp…and snapper…
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Life as we know it!









I got up to get the girls ready for school and again headed to the beach.  This seems to be a recurring theme for me these days.  Living here I have always noted we take this for granted a little.  We appreciate it, we certainly depend on it, but we are families, we work, we have children, they have activities so while we love the water, we can’t go to the beach everyday, but now I am taking a little time everyday to do just that and I am going to take pictures and share them with you everyday too.  I get a little snap happy, but I want you to see life as we know it…

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7 oil 050710 These are protected areas for birds mainly, but the sea turtles also nest here.  It is a very delicate Ecosystem.  The locals take this very seriously and if they see you messing with it, they will call you out.

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Seriously…what is this???

The media are calling them “sea plankton” or butterflies…  I have not seen them along the coast ever so this has me baffled.


This is one up close they are teeny (smaller than the end of a toothpick).


This is a jelly fish wrapped up in all the prickly butterfly drama…



These next two pictures are all the little sea creatures just underwater – that is how clear our water is.  I am looking down into the water.



Note it is bad beach etiquette to dig holes and leave them.  The turtles do NOT like that, so leave it to my family to cover the holes, I am so proud, this is them covering a ginormous hole!



The end to a great beach day at “The Back Porch” watching the girls play, while we eat…DSC_0021

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A Feline Friends of Destin Feral Kitty – well taken care of and very relaxed…


More time or less protection?

Local captains placing booms to protect our beaches.
Local boat captains placing booms in an  attempt to protect our beaches.
Local waterways may face the threat of the BP oil spill with less protection than first expected.

Okaloosa County Public Safety Director Dino Villani said the Department of Environmental Protection determined Pensacola’s need for the booms to be greater than Santa Rosa, Okaloosa and Walton counties and will not provide as many booms as he had expected.

The cleanup is still under the unified command of the Coast Guard and BP, LLC. Cleaning efforts were suspended Sunday because of the weather but the command reviewed the trajectory of the spill and announced the placement of additional booms.

My fear is they obviously do not have limitless supplies of these booms and they are attempting to mitigate damages in what they feel to be the larger populated areas.  We have not received any real updates of any magnitude for quite some time.

Gulf Coast Oil Spill

This is just heartbreaking…  we literally sit, and wait, and pray.    It is hard to put into words how pretty it is here, but here are a few pictures.  We love where we live, but we love the beaches, the wildlife, the fishing, the everything.

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Look at how clear this water is!!!

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It has been a long weekend and it consumes us all along the Emerald Coast.  So…I let the kids do what they do best today, PLAY!  Here is hoping and praying for the best and enjoying a rainy stormy day at the beach!

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Abbi fishing in the backyard - in the bay...

In our front yard...
In our front yard…

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A fairly yucky day, but look at how gorgeous our beaches are in spite of the storms.  I am so worried about our local families and wildlife.  In an already depressed market this is frightening.  Lifegaurds have been told they will not have jobs soon, they’re closing the pass (which allows boats in and out of the bay), boat captains, boat dealers, real estate, retaurants, it has the potential to paralyze a small fishing, resort community.  People are scared and the animals… the animals, they are helpless.
  Volunteers are needed, but it is very important to understand how to help.  The Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge is preparing for a potentially huge undertaking as they mobilize for the oil response.  Old towels, baby blankets, kennels, large plastic tubs with lids (the big ones ~ 18 to 24 gallon), heating pads, heat lamps are just a few of the things they need.