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Florida Guide > Places to Visit

Longboat Key

SARASOTA IN THE SUMMER - THE RED TIDE

After spending a hectic week at Disney we looked forward to a week of relaxation in Sarasota on the Gulf coast. We stayed at the Hilton, Longboat Key, a pleasant if somewhat small hotel but it was on the beach so we had the best of both worlds beach or pool to laze by.

We had only 7 days on the Gulf coast and were surprised to hear about the RED TIDE which was due any day. It is reported that the Red tide is a naturally occurring algae bloom that is toxic to marine life and can cause respiratory problems in humans.

On our second day the tide came in from the gulf and brought with it this dreadful smell as well as death to many fish found washed up on the beach or floating in the sea. This ammonia type smell stung the eyes and the throat bringing on coughing and making the eyes water. We were unsure whether it was safe to go in the sea so stayed clear as a precautionary measure.

This lasted for a couple of days and then the smell began to subside but we still had multitudes of dead fish etc on the beach and in the water.

The pelicans loved this as they had fish in abundance and fed well over those three days. We even spent time throwing the fish for the birds to catch and it was a wonderful sight watching them swoop and dive through the air.

A wonderful holiday but would not visit at this time of year again as it was spoilt by the odour making you stay to the hotel where the smell was not quite so bad.

It obviously didn't harm the dolphins or the sharks which we espied on the horizon before, during and after the tide had been and gone.

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Page added on: 25 January 2005
Viewed 4418 times since 1 September 2008.

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