The Sharks did a fair job on the East coast this year, though Tampa Bay is known for it's variety and density of sharks who like to bear young in the surf at night along the beaches.  Add some excitement to your sundown leisurely swim. This year might set a record on the East Coast for attacks.  Share the water fellows, share!  Want to swim as fast as Phelps, make friends with a shark!

World-renowned shark expert George Burgess, keeper of the International Shark Attack File, is used to getting silly questions about the ocean's most fearsome predator. "Are sharks out to get you?" is among the most common, he said. "The short answer is 'No.' " The 64-year-old University of Florida professor is co-author of a new book, Sharks: The Animal Answer Guide, which contains a trove of great information for sharkophiles. "There are more than 400 species of shark but only a select few have been implicated in attacks," he said. 

"But another way you can look at it is this: Any shark that can get to be 6 feet or longer can be considered dangerous." Burgess said he receives many inquiries about great white sharks. "They are identified in many shark attacks because they occur in areas where they are the only species," he said. "But if you are looking for the most common ‘ grabber' in Florida, that would be the Black-tip shark.''  

The species most often implicated in attacks are the bull and Black-tip sharks (each with 20 percent) and the spinner (with 16 percent). 

If you were to pick a "Shark Attack Central" for Florida, it would be Volusia County on the east coast, for one reason: It has the best surf breaks. Spots such as New Smyrna and Ponce Inlets are revered by the state's wave riders.

"People also want to know if there are more sharks now than there were before," he said. "The fact of the matter is there are a lot more people going in the water and that means there is more of a chance for an encounter, more of a chance to see a shark.

The blacktip shark (Carcharhinus limbatus) is a species of requiem shark, and part of the family Carcharhinidae. It is common to coastal tropical and subtropical waters around the world, including brackish habitats. The  black-tip shark has a stout, fusiform body with a pointed snout, long gill slits, and no ridge between the dorsal fins. 

Most individuals have black tips or edges on the pectoral, dorsal, pelvic, and caudal fins.  It is a Carnivore, and can grow to 8 ft (2.4 m) and weigh 66 to 220 lbs (30 to 100 kg).  They school and Black-tip sharks are so common in Florida that scientists suspect most bites in the state can be pinned on the shark, but there has never been a single fatality in the region due to black-tip shark attack.

Swift, energetic piscivores, blacktip sharks are known to make spinning leaps out of the water while attacking schools of small fish. Their demeanor has been described as "timid" compared to other large requiem sharks. Both juveniles and adults form groups of varying size. Like other members of its family, the black-tip shark is viviparous; females bear 1–10 pups every other year. 

Young black-tip sharks spend the first months of their lives in shallow nurseries, and grown females will return to the nurseries where they were born to give birth themselves. In the absence of males, females are also capable of asexual reproduction.  Normally wary of humans, black-tip sharks can become aggressive in the presence of food and have been responsible for a number of attacks on people. 

This species is of importance to both commercial and recreational fisheries across many parts of its range, with its meat, skin, fins, and liver oil used. It has been assessed as Near Threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), on the basis of its low reproductive rate and high value to fishers.

🏍 JET-SKIS - The Harley Davidsons of the Water Clan
More dangerous than the Sharks were some of the two-legged knuckle dragging anthropoids who drove high powered speed boats (basically not good for anything else) at 60-70 MPH in congested areas while partying with spirit. 

Actually, too much spirits were at the party. And people died when a 24 footer smashed drove over a smaller boat. Coast Guard reported, minor driving, adult drinking and the owner was a doctor know in the sports rehab business whom it ruined professionally.

Then the other kind of leisure water craft, namely those water borne Evil Knievel machines; the Jet-ski’s. You probably weren't aware some of those water-borne motorcycles may have as much as or more than 215HP for power as in the RXT by Sea Doo.  That's more than a Honda, Saturn or PT Cruiser automobile. 

Photo Credit:  
Water safety is important in Florida as shown in this wonderful shot of the Sea World skiers doing their version of the Michael Jackson Moon Walk on water.   And we thought they were trying to replace the JB COOL methane walk in the ozone layer.   

Needless to say we are proud to announce the Jet Ski group has propelled Florida into the top three states for Marine Accidents and Fatalities. Well done fellow’s!  

 Yet the license law looking for 18 or over to operate a vessel, an operators license for marine use, a qualification marine test, written or other has never passed in this state.  

Lobbyists again… you see good accidents make work for good attorneys. The lobbyists are just protecting their surf - en- turf.
This must drive the United States Coast Guard and the various Sheriffs Departments bonkers.

Another treat in Florida’s West Coast is RED TIDE.  No,  not a new name for the Russian Navies latest sub. No,  not a football team, that was the Crimson tide. It's a water borne blossom of Red Algae that kills fish, turtles, and other water species resulting in an odiferous STENCH on the beaches. Some years it took bulldozers to haul the dead fish landfill fodder away. Even employees at the counties landfill thought the fish smell was too much!  The only thing it did well was clear sinuses.

Red tides in the Gulf of Mexico are a result of high concentrations of Karenia brevis, a microscopic marine algae that occurs naturally but normally in lower concentrations. In high concentrations, its toxin paralyzes the central nervous system of fish so they cannot breathe. Dead fish wash up on Mexican gulf beaches. Dense concentrations appear as discolored water, often reddish in color. It is a natural phenomenon, but the exact cause or combination of factors that result in a red tide outbreak are unknown.

Red tide causes economic harm and for this reason red tide outbreaks are carefully monitored. For example, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission provides an up-to-date status report on the red tide in Florida. Texas also provides a current status report.

Red tide is also potentially harmful to human health.  Humans can become seriously ill from eating oysters and other shellfish contaminated with red tide toxin.  Karenia brevis blooms can potentially cause eye and respiratory irritation (coughing, sneezing, tearing, and itching) to beachgoers, boaters and coastal residents.   People with severe or persistent respiratory conditions (such as chronic lung disease or asthma) may experience stronger adverse reactions. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Ocean Service provides a public conditions report identifying possible respiratory irritation impacts in areas affected by red tides.

Both coasts feature cruises to the Bahamas, Mexico, and other parts of the Caribbean and South America.   Even Clearwater has a short cruise aboard a totally fake pirate ship followed by one of our attack subs.  Lots of Tecate Beer and Rum Capitan General on board.

The SS Yohoho and a beer.  Pirates are big in Tampa Bay.  Jose Gasparilla parties and Krewes are a Holiday in Tampa.  Literally the city shuts down, mainly because the parades lock up the traffic and a bunch of drunk pirates invade the town. Recently, well more than just once so recently the city is cracking down.

The problem was not the Pirates, raping, pillaging, and burning, not in the script, but the problems were spectators who drank too much, drunk offenses prevailed, and used any location as a bathroom, all in all the pirates (actors and local citizens) were under control.  And feel protected that out Navy has these pirates wannabes under control and keeps an eye on them. (see classified photo)

CRUISE FEVER - What do you get when you cram 1000 people into a boat with cabins that don't circulate air well? Lets face it, open windows or portholes are not that common below the waterline on most sea going ships.  Thus the answer to the question is a bunch of little virus's and bacterium that cause about 20% of the travelers to get various upper respiratory and lower tract problems.  More common than you think.  It’s called Legionnaires Virus or Sea Flu...

Just recently Carnival Lines had two from their fleet come back to port with hundreds sick on board.  Adds new meaning to the expression “Cruise to Nowhere".  Each season either fires, bad food, epidemics of porcelain polishing or just going over the side welcome the seafaring cruise public.  Fortunately they had enough toilet paper.

Unfortunately this cruise fever occurred seven times this year, mostly out of Florida.