Dennis menace to Panhandle, miniscule on Island
With the exception of a few tree limbs blown down, some water in the
street, high surf and lots of rain, Hurricane Dennis spared Anna Maria
Island last weekend.
No so for the
folks in Cuba, the lower Florida Keys, and the Panhandle
and southern Alabama. "Ouch" for them.
If nothing else
the storm served as a good drill for Islanders in getting
prepared for the ongoing onslaught of hurricane season - as
if lessons learned last year weren't enough of
a warning signal.
that Dennis was the worst that the 2005 season gives
Tarpon tourney a bust, again
The 15th Annual
World's Richest Tarpon Tournament off Boca Grande
was again a bust last week, with only one estimated
80-pound fish hooked but lost before it could be weighed.
of Englewood was elegible for the third-place prize
since she did meet the rules of at least touching the
leader holding the fish and got $4,100. The paltry
nine boats that entered the tourney split the first-
and second-place prize money, $21,300, between themselves.
This is the second
year in a row that the tourney has been plagued with
a lack of fish in Boca Grande Pass, one of the premier
silver king haunts in the world. Anglers have been
complaining that holding the event in July is too late
for the annual tarpon run, that the timing of the two-day
event hasn't coincided with good tides and that
it was at the wrong time of day.
this year did change the time of fishing from morning
hours to late-afternoon, early-evening times, but the
switch still didn't produce fish.
Last year's "winner," by
the way, was also a woman who hooked and weighed a
whopping 23-pound tarpon to take first place. It was
the only fish caught in the two days of fishing.
should be adjusted if the "world's richest" is
That's a fish!
Speaking of world
records, some Thai fishers caught a 646-pound freshwater
catfish in the Mekong River, confirmed by international
experts as the largest such catfish ever caught.
The brute was
all of 9 feet long. The fishers from Chian Khong, in
northern Thailand, had hoped to sell the fish to marine
groups for study, but the fish died and they decided
to chop it up and sell it to the hungry villagers.
The Mekong River
is home to more giant fish than any other river in
the world, according to the World Wildlife Fund.
World's deepest coral reef update, too
To continue the "world's
biggest, best, most ..." listings, an expedition
to what is believed to be this country's deepest
coral reef was deemed a huge success by the teams of
scientists participating in the jaunt.
The reef, in
200 to 300 feet of water in the Gulf of Mexico 100
miles due west of Naples, is called the Pulley Ridge.
It once was an island that became submerged as waters
rose after the ice age ended. It was discovered last
January by researchers with the University of South
Deep coral reefs
are rare because sunlight needed for photosynthesis
of plants can't reach the ocean's floor.
The Pulley Ridge, though, gets a lot of that really
clean water that eventually becomes the Gulf Stream,
and water clarity is good enough to allow all kinds
of plants and critters to thrive in really deep water.
Last week, an
eight-day expedition concluded with a whole lot of
news discovered from the reef, according to the St.
The finds included
a jellyfish that no one had ever seen before, a new-to-science
tube worm and some algae that is thought to be very
rare in the Gulf.
community doesn't study deepwater coral reefs
much, and the proximity of Pulley Ridge to a lot of
scientific facilities in Florida is making it a good
spot for what promises to be a global effort to analyze
right in our backyard.
Speaking of our
backyard, the St. Pete Times had a pretty neat set
of photos taken by a woman on a dock in Tampa Bay off
The woman, Mary
Mathias, was dangling her legs over a dock on the island
just north of Anna Maria when she got bored with fishing
and grabbed a camera to take some pictures of pelicans.
She saw a fin,
a big fin, and snapped a shot. The fin got closer,
and she took another picture, then another, then realized
the fin was coming right toward her dangling tootsies.
Mary scrambled up on the dock, finger still pushing
the shutter on the camera, as the 6-foot-long blacktip
jumped about halfway out of the water, rolled over
believe the shark's odd behavior - blacktips
don't do a "Jaws" act and lunge out
of the water to grab people - was caused by its
death throes as it succumbed to red tide. Mary just
happened to be too close to the action.
But she got the
shots, bless her heart.
Best of the best in quotes
folks at the American Film Institute have compiled
the top 100-best lines in all of American filmdom.
They range from the short - "Rosebud," from
1941's "Citizen Kane," to the longer: "Cinderella
story. Outta nowhere. A former greenskeeper, now, about
to become the Masters champion. It looks like a mirac ... It's
in the hole! It's in the hole! It's in
the hole!" from the 1980 "Caddyshack."
The top 10:
talking to me?" - "Taxi Driver," 1978.
your seatbelts. It's going to be a bumpy night." - "All
About Eve," 1950.
the Force be with you." - "Star Wars," 1977.
right, Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my close-up." - "Sunset
ahead, make my day." - "Sudden Impact," 1950.
looking at you, kid." - "Casablanca," 1942.
I've got a feeling we're not in Kansas
anymore. - "The Wizard of Oz," 1939.
don't understand! I coulda had class. I coulda
been a contender. I could've been somebody, instead
of a bum, which is what I am." - "On
the Waterfront," 1954.
going to make him an offer he can't refuse." - "The
And the winner
is, of course:
my dear, I don't give a damn." - "Gone
With the Wind," 1939.
made the list, but didn't earn especially high
marks by the judges.
At No. 36: "Badges?
We ain't got no badges! We don't need no
badges! I don't have to show you any stinking
badges!" from "The Treasure of the Sierra
Madre," 1948, and, at No. 79:
you can't be serious.' Rumack: ‘I
am serious ... and don't call me Shirley.'" - "Airplane!" in
in one of the five books which comprise the "Hitchhiker's
Guide to the Galaxy" trilogy, has a character
who is a rain god. He is a truck driver, and can't
figure out why he always has to drive through lousy
weather all the time. Unbeknownst to him, as a rain
god, the rain loves him and wants to be close to him
all the time.
My friend Joe
Bird is a "storm god."
Ivan bore down on us last year, Joe and family boarded
up their Safety Harbor home and hightailed it to safer
harbor in Jackson, Miss. - which was right where
Ivan ended up, drenching the region.
The Birds later
sold their house in Florida and relocated to Jackson.
I got an e-mail from
him last Friday. He and family were going on a vacation.
Joe writes, "Well, my prowess as a storm god
has not diminished. We are now en-route to beautiful
Destin, the computer model NOGAPS' ground zero
for Hurricane Dennis. We will arrive just in time to
join the evacuation party. The summer fun never ends.
If all goes as planned, you can thank me later. Sheeesh."
you now, Joe, for attracting Dennis away from Anna Maria
Island so it can be close to you.