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Jan 19th
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Beach Play & Tips

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Family fun at the beach


Beach Play...  The beach can provide endless hours of play, it brings out the kid in all of us, leaving us pleasantly tired yet... fully renewed!  Here are a few suggestions for what to pack in your bag for a day of fun at the beach... beach towels, mats, blankets, lawn chairs, umbrellas, plenty of beach toys (kitchen utensils and plastic ware are great fun, water blasters, kites, frisbees, balls, water gear, and baggies to collect great finds), water misters, waterproof sunscreen, zinc oxide, hat/cap, sun glasses, dry clothes, cover ups (kids can swim in t-shirts), and sandals.  Pack a picnic basket with plenty of food and drink and a big garbage bag to keep the beach clean.  Reapply even waterproof sunscreen.  Keep babies under an umbrella, especially when the sun is at its hottest, between 11 am-3 pm.  Be careful of broken glass that may be scattered on the beach and don’t forget the disposable camera... even one grain of sand can ruin a camera.  Now, grab the “whole” family... dog, too, and make a day of it at the beach!

Swimming in the Ocean... Always swim with a buddy and observe all beach safety signs.  Check to see if there are other people in the water.  Before en-tering the ocean, take a moment to watch the surf.  Waves come in sets and the calm lulls
between the sets of waves can be misleading.  Undertows can knock little ones off balance, pulling them back into the surf.  Both cross currents (run parallel to the beach) and riptides (move out to sea, away from the beach) can be dangerous.  Swimming against these currents can be futile, leaving you very tired.  Riding the current along for awhile and or swimming in a cross direction to it may help.

Snorkeling Tips... To make sure your mask and snorkel fit properly, first place mask in position on the face without placing straps behind head.  While you breathe in through your nose, which creates a suction, remove your hand from holding the mask.  If the mask remains on your face, you’ve got a good seal and fit.  Check for correct size of mouth piece on the snorkel.  Follow the same advice for swimming in the ocean (see above).  You’ll want to learn in calm waters, and for kids, preferably in the 1-2 ft shallows of the beach.  Fish will find you if you sprinkle frozen peas and bits of bagel in the water.  Be careful not to overfeed and pollute the waters.  Plastic coated fish charts are available to take snorkeling with you.  For smaller kids, boogie boards with a lens-covered hole are available.  Waterproof disposable cameras make for a great way to capture this truly unforgettable adventure!

Riding the Waves... Board surfing, body surfing, and boogie boarding are a hoot and can be found at many beaches.  Follow the same advice for swimming in the ocean (see above).  Check that the surf area is clear of rocks and that there is no debris in the water.  Beginners should start slowly with safer, smaller waves.  Watch other surfers for the best waves to try catching.

Seashell Collecting... Collecting seashells is fun, but always check to make sure you’re not running off with some marine creature’s home. Identify your finds with a sea-shell chart.  Try stringing or macrameing the shells into necklaces or bracelets.

Sand Sculpting... Let your imagination go...  With the right proportion of water and sand, you can sculpt all kinds of architectural masterpieces, a variety of beached marine life (sharks, octopus, starfish), even bury dad--give him a funny looking “sand-body!”  Try molding shaped chairs in the sand--it works great and they are comfy too! Remember to take a picture of your work of art; with the incoming tide it will become only a memory!
 
Tide pooling... When the tide is at its lowest, you can find an assortment of sea creatures on rocks and corals left ex-posed.  In little pools of water look for tiny fish and hermit crabs; attached in crevices and underneath you can find starfish, sea anemone, sea urchins, snails, mussels, and various sea plants.  Look and touch all you want, but replace all live creatures back to their homes.   You can wear reef shoes to protect the feet, also giving you traction, for the rocks may be slippery.  Watch that waves don’t break too near and be careful that you don‘t get stranded with the incoming tide.  Always check a local
tide chart.
       
          Enjoy!

 

Where was Solomon born?


This is Solomon, a new born Humpback whale. He provided hours of entertainment for our group of whale watchers. Where was Solomon born? Click here to find out.

Tips, Tricks & Tactics

HEALTH WATCH
...ideas to consider 

Tips on how to safely play under the summer's sun
and in the winter's cold.

 

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