Over the weekend, I was over on the southwest coast of Florida on Sanibel Island / Captiva. I was there for several days with family for a surprise 80th birthday gathering for one of my family members. It was a outstanding weekend weather-wise, and spending time with family that we’ve haven’t seen in some time. So, on the last full day of the trip, we were all sitting down on the beach late in the afternoon watching the waves and just relaxing. It really was a nice afternoon with a decent breeze on the Gulf waters with a light choppy shoreline break.
So, I was walking along the water and waves when I notice what I thought was a jelly fish from a distance. It was about the same size of a medium Man O‘ War. When I got closer I realized it was black and firm looking. Right away after seeing recent pictures on the web and TV news, I thought tar ball. Sure enough, I was looking at a tar ball, but wasn’t sure if this was related to the big Gulf spill ongoing right now. Within a minute or so with me standing over it taking pictures, other people on the beach came up to see what I was looking at. Several people picked it up, smelled it, and chatted around while I continued to shoot pictures. It became the subject for many on the beach for the next hour.
Now, I have no clue where this could of originated from, like the ones found in Key West and later reported not to be from the big spill. I had my Aunt walk down and put her foot in one of my shots to give the black subject some scale. I wanted to be able to show the size unlike the first picture I took on my iPhone and tweeted.
A woman walked up from sitting down the beach and started talking with several other people about the oil spill and the Keys. She then removed the tar ball from the wet sand area and placed it further up on the dry sand away from the water. I took a few more pictures and then headed back to the room while everyone continued to stand around talking and looking at the tar ball.
I made a report about the find and that I had pictures. Never heard anything as of this writing but it is the weekend. I did want to share this finding because I thought it was important, but also want to assure the beaches in Sanibel still remain clean and beautiful. This could have been just a isolated find, and I’m not sure if there have been any other findings in the region recently. Although, I do have fears in the coming weeks ahead.