Thank you for visiting The Islander Newspaper Online.

We are currently updating our website to provide you better service and function.
If you would like to access the new site, please, click here: The Islander Newspaper

Sorry for any inconvenience. Our new site and service will resume shortly.

Web Master

The Award Winning & Best News on Anna Maria Island, FL Since 1992

"The Award Winning & Best News on Anna Maria Island, FL Since 1992"

Friday, Oct, 31, 2014
Florida Press Assn. Award-Winning Web Site
Home Latest News Weather Sports Real Estate Classifieds Island Guide Islander Store

 SECTIONS

 • 

Main News

 • 

Classifieds

 • 

Opinions

 • 

Streetlife

 • 

Calendar

 • 

Fishing

 • 

Sports

 • 

Real Estate

 • 

Obituaries

 • 

Weather

 Features

 • 

Cortez Cook Off: The Results

 • 

Anna Maria Island Bridge FDOT replacement bridge

 • 

National Hurricane Center (Atlantic)

 • 

Advanced Search

 • 

I love AMI

 • 

Mystery Story

 • 

Fishing Laws

 Classifieds

 • 

Classifieds Page

 • 

Place An AD

 • 

Items for Sale

 • 

Garage Sale

 • 

Estate Sale

 • 

Announcments

 • 

Lost & Found

 • 

Pets

 • 

Transportation

 • 

Boats & Boating

 • 

Fishing

 • 

Kids 4 Hire

 • 

Help Wanted

 • 

Health Care

 • 

Services

 • 

Lawn & Garden

 • 

Landscaping

 • 

Home Improvement

 • 

Business Opportunities

 • 

Rentals

 • 

Real Estate

 Weather

 • 

Today's Forecast

 • 

10 Day Forecast

 • 

Today's Tides

 • 

Emergency e-mail

 • 

Storm Watch

 Archive

 • 

News Archive

 • 

2009 Top Notch Gallery

 • 

2008 Top Notch Gallery

 • 

2007 Top Notch Gallery

 • 

2006 Top Notch Gallery

 • 

2005 Top Notch Gallery

 • 

2004 Top Notch Gallery

 Useful Links

 • 

Island Links

 • 

i.wed

 • 

Islander Store

 • 

About this Site

 Contact Us

 • 

Islander Store

 • 

Subscribe

 • 

About Us

 • 

e-mail us

Story Tools

Date of Issue: March 17, 2005

Sandscript

Maritime history just offshore; boating guide for Tampa Bay, too

A piece of U.S. Navy history lies buried on the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico northwest of Anna Maria Island.

The USS Narcissus, an 82-foot-long Union tugboat, struck a sandbar just north of the shipping channel leading into Tampa Bay on Jan. 3, 1866, during a winter storm. The crew fought to get the ship back to deep water, but the hull ruptured and the ship exploded when seawater poured into the boiler. All 29 members of the crew died.

It was one of the single-worst disasters in naval history at the time, according to Terry Tomalin with the St. Petersburg Times.

Troops stationed at Egmont Key salvaged the ship’s armaments and left the hulk to eventually settle into the sand. Waves and currents slowly caused the ship to disappear, although storms have periodically left the wreck partially uncovered at times in the past 140 years.

It wasn’t the first mishap of the vessel. The 115-ton ship was patrolling Mobile Bay in December 1864 when it struck a mine that was seeded in the waters during the Civil War. The blast lifted the hull from the water, but the captain and crew were able to salvage the vessel and get it to Pensacola for repairs. Almost two years later, the ship set sail for New York to be decommissioned.

The winter storm brought other plans into play for the Narcissus, though.

Boating guide to Tampa Bay

There’s a new, beautiful guide to Tampa Bay available through the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the Tampa Bay Estuary Program.

"Boating and angling guide to Tampa Bay" is printed on waterproof paper and includes a very detailed and gorgeous chart of the estuary, complete with public boat-ramp locations, fishing piers, marinas and artificial reef locations, including lat-long coordinates and material. The chart covers from Tarpon Springs to Anna Maria Island as well as all of the bays.

There are even hot fishing spots identified on the chart and, for the errant boater, marine towing operators with addresses and phone numbers.

"At high tide," according to the guide, "Tampa Bay, Florida’s largest open-water estuary, stretches 398 square miles. Popular for sport and recreation, the bay also supports one of the world’s most productive natural systems. Estuaries like Tampa Bay, where saltwater from the sea meets and mixes with freshwater from rivers and uplands, are nurseries for young fish, shrimp and crabs. More than 70 percent of all fish, shellfish and crustaceans spend some critical stage of their development in these nearshore waters, protected from larger predators that swim the open sea.

"Wildlife abounds along the shores of Tampa Bay. As many as 40,000 pairs of birds — from the familiar brown pelican to the colorful roseate spoonbill — nest in Tampa Bay every year. Others, including sandpipers and white pelicans, are seasonal visitors."

The guide also offers information about seagrasses, mangroves, salt marshes and oyster bars, and identifies their locations. Even the lowly mud flat gets a mention:

"Mud flats around the bay’s fringe are exposed at low tide. Although these flats are barren of visible vegetation, they are teeming with life. Fiddler crabs, clams and worms, which burrow in the mud, supply a veritable feast for birds wading at low tide."

The free map should be available at all of the Island’s city halls and, shortly, at The Islander office.

Got gun locks?

Speaking of The Islander office, we’ve still got a bunch of free gun locks, compliments of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Please stop by at 5404 Marina Drive and help yourself.

They make great bike locks, too.

Landscape stormproofing made simple

Remember the old adage about the mighty tree breaking in the wind, while the slender reed merely bent with the storm? Well, a new book by a Florida author has lent some specificity to just what those trees and reeds should be.

"Stormscaping: Landscaping to minimize wind damage in Florida" is author Pamela Crawford’s advice to which plantings can withstand a storm.

Virtually stormproof appears to be the pygmy date palm, or roebeleni. "It’s the only tree I can find no data on ever going down in a storm," Crawford told the Tampa Tribune.

Her book isn’t a scientific treatise, but merely an assessment of what trees were standing after the summer’s four hurricanes hit the state. Crawford’s advice is particularly valuable as homeowners begin to think about what to replant after the four-storm devastation.

Other top trees listed in her book to withstand the weather are Bald cypress, Black ironwood, Crape myrtle, Date palm, Live oak, Southern magnolia, Pindo palm, Sabal palm, Saw palmetto, Senegal date palm and Thatch palm.

At the bottom of the list of stormproof trees — or at the top of the list of trees destined to topple in a storm — are Australian pine, Cherry laurel, Drake elm, Laurel oak, Melaleuca, Queen palm, Sand pine and Water oak.

Crawford also has some shrub hints to weatherize your garden, such as Arboricola, Blue daze, Bromeliad, Cardboard palm, Croton, Crown of thorns, Hibiscus, Plumbago and Sea grape.

Crawford’s book is just out and, at $29.95, should be available at almost all bookstores.

Sandscript factoid

One of Crawford’s "worst" trees during storms are Laurel oaks, a tree that is very popular with non-Island cities in streetscape plantings because of its fast rate of growth.

Have your say:

No comments for this page. Feel free to be the first

Username:

Contact:

(email or url)

Subject:

Your View:

Please enter the security code below:

security  

Get breaking news

Follow the Islander on TwitterBecome a fan of The Islander on Facebook

Sign up to receive breaking news alerts via e-mail. We'll send you a notice when the news and classifieds appear online every week, before the print edition hits the streets.

Click here for Gulf oil spill updates related to Anna Maria Island.

Historic Anna Maria City Pier Plank Walk

Put your name, your message, your memorial on the Historic Anna Maria City Pier prior to the Pier Centennial Celebration! And join the fun!

CLICK HERE for Stoltzfus e-mails and related court documents.


FREE Island
Vacation Guide:
get it here

Cortez Cookoff

Click here for 2010 Cortez Cookoff Winner and recipes

To advertise here, please
visit our rates page
or contact us at:
sales@islander.org
Phone: (941) 778-7978
Fax: (941) 778-9392

Back to top of Page

Home | Weather | Real Estate | Classifieds | Archives | Contact | Island Links
Islander Store | Subscribe About this site | Classifieds Page | Place an Ad
For Sale | Garage Sales | Announcements | Lost & Found | Pets | Transportation
Boats & Boating | Fishing | Kids for Hire | Help Wanted | Health Care | Services
Lawn & Garden | Landscaping | Home Improvement | Business Opportunities | Rentals | Real Estate

Our Privacy and Copyright Statements © 1992 - 2009, The Islander