What about what you CAN'T see??

Discussion of Gulf Oil Spill regarding Navarre Beach, Florida; the good, bad and ugly reports; however most of the reports of oil on Navarre Beach are good!
momto4boys
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Sun Jun 20, 2010 12:42 pm

Hi everyone!
First, I want to tell you I've been "lurking" on this forum for a couple of wks now. What a wonderful on line community you have here.

My brother in law has a vacation home in Navarre and graciously offered it to us for a family vacation. Last yr we flew to CA (where I'm from) and it was the first time my children, or my husband had seen the ocean. They loved it ! But, I know it's a whole new experience in Navarre. From what others have told me, and pics I've seen...it's paradise! Something I've never seen!
We were suppose to be there Friday night. But, when I read that tar balls had hit..I canceled :( I'm crushed..as are my children. We're considering asking brother in law for a different wk. But, I'm just terrified of the chemicals and such that nobody is seeing. I know the oil is organic, and they're at more risk on our lawn after it's fertilized. But, I just can't keep away the nagging feeling that there's something out there that'll cause people to get sick months, even years from now.

Thoughts?? Am I just being super paranoid??

Thanks!
Tritia
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AngelGirl
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Sun Jun 20, 2010 2:49 pm

Tritia,
The University of W. FL is regularly taking test samples and will alert the public if anything is dangerous to humans, either long or short-term. You can read more about their crisis reponse and on-going program here:

http://uwf.edu/UWFMain/press/oilspill/

A.G.
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Floridays
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Sun Jun 20, 2010 3:43 pm

the best indicator I would rely on is the sealife itself. Today the beach is teaming with all kinds of life. There are 1000s of fish about 1/2" long right at the shore swimming in schools and as you walk out into the water, the further you go, the bigger the fish are. We've seen several dolphins swimming up and down the beach and this morning, my sons and I watched a sea turtle swim around just off the beach and catch fish for breakfast - very cool! 8)

the reality is that all these creatures are like canaries in the mine shaft. If there is a problem, we will surely see a change in these fragile creatures first.
"everywhere you go, you always take the weather with you..."
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Teyla
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Sun Jun 20, 2010 4:21 pm

If I felt there was any danger in the water I would have never let my children get in it. As Floridays put it, the area is teeming with sealife. I, too, saw the sea turtle near the shore. He/she chased a crab, caught it and ate it. Crab and fish for breakfast! I also witnessed the pods of dolphins swimming in the distance all day. It was incredible!

I am always on alert for anything to make me suspicious of the water. I never saw wildlife in distress. The tiniest of creatures should be more susceptible if there are toxins in the water but everywhere I looked, there were gobs of underwater crabs (big ones, small ones, ones in tiny shells...) and they all seemed healthy. There were large school of very small fish swimming past me and gobs of fish in varying size swimming at the water's edge. There were also little sand crabs darting in and out of their homes up and down the beach.

In the end, the decision is yours. You have to feel comfortable. Good luck with whatever you choose! :wink:
momto4boys
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Sun Jun 20, 2010 9:29 pm

Thanks everyone!
It really helps to see what locals, as well as other parents are feeling about all of this. I think my BIGGEST concerns is the air quality. I've read so much about benzene, and hydrogen sulfide. But, who knows if I'm finding reputable sites? I know there's a lot of news hype, as well as dooms day reports! But, the stuff I'm reading scares me. I can't shake the fear that a weeks vacation, could somewhere down the road cause one of my children to end up with cancer :( I know that's dramatic. But, I also use low VOC paint through out my house, and won't let my kids eat hot dogs, lol.
So, yea..maybe this isn't the place for me right now :(
I do believe my brother in law is selling soon, so it'll probably be our last chance.....for a long time.
momto4boys
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Sun Jun 20, 2010 10:03 pm

Oh, and I wanted to add that my concern for health risks far exceeds my own family. The bigger picture here is those who live in these areas. Not to mention the threat to people's jobs, and all the marine life. My vacation plans are silly compared to what others are facing.
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electriceddie
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Mon Jun 21, 2010 8:19 am

I believe you over reacted! You blew a perfect chance to see what is really paradise by giving in to your phobias. I sure hope you get another chance down the road. If we listened to and believed all of what we hear we would be living in fear our entire lives. Seize the moment before it passes as you can never get it back.
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Teyla
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Mon Jun 21, 2010 10:20 am

momto4boys,

You didn't blow your chance. Maybe you won't be down this year and your brother is selling but there are plenty of other places here that rent and are reasonably priced.

This morning I just read about tar balls at the beach yesterday. I never saw a thing. The news media thrive on hype otherwise why would you watch. I believe in being informed and doing your research. Navarre has miles of shoreline and maybe something washed up in a tiny stretch but not in the area I'm staying. After completely stressing myself out a month before we came down, I can say I'm so thankful that I kept our reservation. It is absolutely gorgeous down here right now.

Currently the waves are a bit rougher but there is a stronger wind right now. I still walked the water's edge with my son and watched amazing sealife as the sun was coming up. Those are moments I will treasure forever.

I can't tell you how to live your life but remember that sensation sells. Navarre has survived hurricanes and it will survive this. I hope people give it a chance as we did.
momto4boys
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Mon Jun 21, 2010 10:42 am

electric..I'm not going to argue with you. I'm a FREAK, lol. Seriously..I read the labels on everything, refuse to use chemicals to clean with. But, deep down I know I can't control everything. I had come to grips there could be a slight "risk", when we planned for this trip. And I was trying to make a rational decision. I probably know of 20 different families that vacation there every year, and not a single one kept their reservations. All sighting they couldn't live with themselves if their children got sick years down the road.
But what I'm reading isn't on in the news. It's websites talking about the chemicals. I'm reading about the alarming amount of 9/11 workers who have died from ground zero. All from chemical exposure they were told was "safe". But again, am I reading the right stuff? I'd love for someone to point me in a different direction. Because ALL I find is the bad.

Teyla, you're right. We can come another time. Surely we can make an attempt next summer on our dime..with some budgeting. And honestly, I never saw anything on the news about the tar balls there. I read it on this forum! I did see the footage from Ft. Walton on the news.
I think it's just that mommy guilt standing in my way. The "what ifs". I know I can't protect my children from everything in the world. But, I feel it's my job to at least TRY to protect them from the things I know about. And if this REALLY could be a potential health risk for them..I rather not expose them. But, again..who really knows? :(
I am happy for you that you made it there, and it's been so beautiful!
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wregle
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Mon Jun 21, 2010 12:26 pm

We just got home from another wonderful week in Navarre. The very small in size and amount of tar balls that I saw didn't keep me out of the water 1 day! I can't say what impact they or the chemicals they have put in the water will have on me in the future but I was more than willing to risk it. It was a wonderful week with the clarity of the water being amazing. Only 1 day of rain and it came after dark. I have heard that because of the oil that wildlife is coming in closer than usual. We did see turtles every day as well as dolphins and on the last day saw a Mante Ray (past the line of swimmers) that was at least 7' across and absolutely beautiful to watch! I hope for the sake of the economy of Navarre and the rest of the state that people do continue to keep their reservations but on the selfish side, I sure did enjoy the almost deserted beaches!
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john boy
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Mon Jun 21, 2010 3:39 pm

We are down here at Navarra Beach right now typing this reply looking at the gulf which looks spectacular i might say.

My wife and 2 girls and myself have all been swimming in the ocean today and it was amazing no oil no tar no smells just warm water white sands.

DO NOT BELIEVE THE MEDIA HYPE. BP guys walking the beach finding nothing.

You have to do what is right for your family but never miss a opportunity to expereince a great vacation spot like Navarra.

Weather is Great Beach is Awesome Life is Good
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EastBayBabe
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Tue Jun 22, 2010 9:52 am

momto4boys - What you are saying is very familiar to me. We have a son who is paranoid about everything. He still does not eat beef since the mad cow disease. They drink organic milk, he checks all labels, and only shops at organic stores. He has e-mailed me numerous articles about the doom and gloom associated with this oil spill .... if a person believed all that stuff, they would build a cocoon around them. When the Asian flu was in the news ... he told us to go out and get face masks and latex gloves .... we did, and they are still in the trunk of my car.

People cannot live in fear every day.
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beachgirl
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Wed Jun 23, 2010 7:32 pm

Agreed. I would hate to think what I would have missed in life if I stopped when I was not sure.
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Teyla
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Wed Jun 23, 2010 8:50 pm

Even thought the tar patties have bummed me out, I saw things today I have never seen in my whole life. I would have missed these had I cancelled.

This afternoon we drove to the Gulf Islands National Seashore. Just the drive from Navarre into the area that is roped off to protect the nesting birds was something to behold. Sand dune, birds and no man-made structures. Totally surreal.

When my son was wading into the extremely shallow water (it was low tide) I saw a school of sting rays swim about three feet from where he was. I saw nesting birds and a baby bird running after it's parent.

Earlier today when we were fishing off the new pier I witnessed two dolphins playing together. I caught and saw fish I've never seen before. All of this because I took a chance. Yes, I did see some tar patties but everything else I've witnessed and done far outweighed the little BP Pancakes lurking around.

I have no desire to visit any other beach in the future and will sing the praises of Navarre when I return home this weekend.
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Kenny Wilder
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Wed Jun 23, 2010 10:26 pm

Teyla,

I'm really glad that you and your family have experienced a wonderful vacation at our beach. Come back and visit Navarre Beach soon.

I'm glad that you did not allow the destructive force that we call "worry" to influence you in not vacationing at Navarre Beach.

I refuse to worry about things that I have no control of. If there is a time of tribulation I seek a solution because I'm concerned. Being concerned is not the same thing as worry (fear). There are psychological studies that show that about 90% of the things that folks worry about never comes to pass. I realize that some folks are destined to worry (fearful) about everything. It has become a habit that they have a difficult time with.

I decided as a young man that I would not let negative thinking such as worrying control my life. One of my favorite comic magazine characters is Alfred E. Neumann in "What me worry?" I say let Alfred E. Neumann do the worrying, but he most likely never worried about anything either.

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