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Old 11-25-2012, 06:59 PM
 
Location: Florida -
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We've lived in Florida for a looong time (40 years), but, only moved to live directly on the ocean about 10-years ago (Satellite Beach - Melbourne area). Then, a little over a year ago, we moved to Destin (Emerald Coast) and now live directly on the harbor with a view of the gulf, harbor and pass. For sheer beauty (white sand and green/blue water on a sunny day) ... you can't beat Destin.

My wife says that she misses the waves and open expanse of the ocean (plus turtles, surfers, beach goers, cruise ships in the 'backyard', etc).... but, then, she rarely got in the water. I like the activity of the Destin Harbor/Beach ... boat traffic, jet skis, a sky full of parasails, ultralights; pontoon boats in/out and Crab Island, etc.). (After a few years on the ocean, the empty expanse of water got a little ... well, 'boring' --- Don't misunderstand me, I love both and would take the 'empty ocean' a thousand times over any other 'backyard,' but, even too much of a good thing, can lead one to a desire for a little more diversity. Having said all that, we consider ourselves blessed with lives that enable us to enjoy the majesty of God's oceans/gulfs/water every day ... and take nothing for granted.
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Old 11-25-2012, 07:06 PM
 
3,972 posts, read 8,106,823 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazynip View Post
Gulf Beaches. No comparison.

The only people who like the Atlantic Beaches are transplants from new york/new jersey who are used to:
1. cold water
2. stupid waves
3. trash and junk rolling up on the beaches
4. sharks

Gulf beaches much, much better.
1. Not from April-december usually (75-80 degrees). This year getting a little colder sooner though-right around 70 degrees right now.

2. Wonderful waves that make it fun to boogey board, surf, and even just body surf or play in the water.

3. Sure waves do bring in some debris but really not a lot unless there are huge waves and wind coming out of the east. BTW it will take it back out if no one gets it picked up before the next tide comes in. Unfortunately if the winds are out of the East it does bring the sea weed and jelly fish onto the sand, but that is nature and the creatures are beautiful.

4. If you think there are no sharks in the Gulf, you are mistaken. Check where sharks have attacked swimmers and I think you will find several in recent years . We used to say we get more shark bites on this side(because we have more surfing going on) than on the Gulf side: but at least here they don't kill you. I think we have had 1 or 2 deaths in the last 20 years, so I think we caught up with gulf side now.

As for being from NY/NJ...never been to Jersey and only 1 time to NY. Moved here from Chicago over 30 years ago. Have been to both coasts many times and find Gulf side sort of boring unless you have babies and you want them to sit and play in the water or if we want to look for shells. We also find great shells here on the East coast and love wave pools for the little ones to play in on this side, too.

Not everyone is into enjoying the waves so I guess they prefer to just look and layout in the sun on the white sandy beaches. That is just not us. Sure the sand on most Atlantic OCEAN beaches is darker and shellier because of the wave action, but it is still beautiful in its own way and is the only kind some of the sea turtles will come into to nest. BTW The National Shore and Ponce Inlet beaches are beautiful and they both have the whiter softer sand, so we can get that on this side, too. . I also love our rocky beaches when the rocks are exposed. I love seeing the dolphins, occasional whales, and mantas, swim by when I am out walking. I love watching the surfers, the surf contests, and the kids learning to surf here on our beaches. I even love watching the Disney and Carnival cruise ships sail out on Sundays. And I love, love, playing in the waves body surfing or boogey boarding. I also love the way the color of the water here changes. It can be beautiful sea green, turquoise, a beautiful blue, and even the gray when it is cloudy. We get the same colors as the Gulf water.
I also like that I have never been asked to leave a beach on the Atlantic side because it is a private beach like my friends and I were ordered off of on the West Coast even though we saw no signs and after we paid the parking meter. All beaches are public-even behind mansions and hotels. I like that at most beaches I don't have to pay to park or to go on the beach. I like that the people you see on our beaches on this side are friendly. I like that we have beaches where tourists gather and beaches where you can walk for hours and only see a few people. So yep......put this person who was born in the Midwest but has lived here longer than I lived up there...... on the list of I prefer the Atlantic Beaches because they are ocean beaches. But we all find beauty in different things and that is the way it should be. I mean some people's idea of going to the beach is to sit at the hotel pool and look out at it and say it is pretty. Not everyone likes sand between the toes or in their suits. <g>
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Old 11-25-2012, 08:24 PM
 
Location: Tampa, FL
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^ the gulf is a lot more shallow up to shore versus the Atlantic were it can drop off severely 30-50 ft off shore, the big sharks cant get up to shore versus the atlantic. I was fishing out there off of Sebastian once and saw a ton of big hammerheads like 30 ft off shore, **** that
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Old 11-26-2012, 09:12 AM
 
Location: Treasure Island Fl
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While we are talking beaches, maybe someone can answer a question. I was at Ft Lauderdale beach 2 weeks ago. First thing I noticed was the beach sand was tan instead of white, like the sand on the gulf. I assume that the beach is made up more of crushed coral and ours Is crushed shell.
Second, the beach had ungodly amounts of trash. Not like, left from the day before, but just tons of small broken pieces of plastic mixed in with the sand. It was everywhere, not just in small clumps along the weed line. The only thing I can think of, is that since the Gulf Stream runs close to the shore, is maybe it drops all the trash from else where.
If anyone knows the reason for the trash, please, let me know.
Other than that I really liked Ft lauderdale.
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Old 11-26-2012, 11:54 AM
 
Location: New Orleans, LA
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Assuming we are talking about beaches north of Miami, I prefer the gulf side. It feels warmer to my untrained skin which I like. I don't care about waves, though.

I'm horrified of sharks and im only 90lbs so I don't go out too deep. I've had one come close to me while on honeymoon island.
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Old 11-26-2012, 06:17 PM
 
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Gulf has better individual beaches hands down particularly if you like more secluded beaches but the Atlantic has long stretches that in most cases are more accessible. One trip to Siesta Key will settle the argument for most people though. Throw in Captiva/Sanibel and a lot of the secluded island beaches accessible only by boat in the gulf and the choice is clear as to best beaches.

As for sharks, the bull shark which is the most likely culprit for doing damage to a swimmer is found all over Florida including brackish waters at virtually any depth. We have hooked six footers in 2' water at San Carlos bay. I know a couple fishing guides in the area that get nervous getting into the water when their boat grounds in a 1' or so.

Last edited by Straegen; 11-26-2012 at 06:31 PM..
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Old 11-28-2012, 04:16 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazynip View Post
^ the gulf is a lot more shallow up to shore versus the Atlantic were it can drop off severely 30-50 ft off shore, the big sharks cant get up to shore versus the atlantic. I was fishing out there off of Sebastian once and saw a ton of big hammerheads like 30 ft off shore, **** that
That is the thing you have to remember...sharks can be in shallow waters too----- even in canals and rivers that are brackish waters. Earlier this year we even saw one on shore in a tide pool that was about shin deep after one of the storms .

The Gulf does have some shark attacks and even deaths too, though. There are lists if you do a search. Here are a couple I remember. from the west coast... In 2005 a little boy was killed boogy boarding near Destin In 2000 a man in Pinellas County was attacked by a big shark when he jumped off his dock for his daily swim and I am thinking this was in the canal behind his house. Usually on the East coast it is surfers who get bit because they are out further than swimmers and they sort of look like fish to the sharks because of the shape of the boards and wet suits they wear. My sons see them all the time and just balance arms and legs on the board when they swim under them etc. This year there has even been reports of a great white off the coast. I guess as/if? the pole ice melts the Atlantic will get cooler and more sharks will come south.

I thought I saw a hammerhead once when swimming near shore, but found out it was a bonnethead. They are timid and harmless. They won't be as large as hammerheads....maybe 3-4 feet max. Once when my sons were 5 and 10 yrs old, they were playing catch in the water, the lifeguard made them get out because he saw a big shadow in the water about 50 feet from them. That was the first whale we saw. Then about a half hour later, they were called out of the water again because a shark was near them, too.
Once when my oldest was about 12 and going out on his board, a surfer who was going out at the same time just ahead of him and his friend yelled to them to go back. A shark bit all 10 of his toes.
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Old 11-28-2012, 04:27 PM
 
3,972 posts, read 8,106,823 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Straegen View Post
Gulf has better individual beaches hands down particularly if you like more secluded beaches but the Atlantic has long stretches that in most cases are more accessible. One trip to Siesta Key will settle the argument for most people though. Throw in Captiva/Sanibel and a lot of the secluded island beaches accessible only by boat in the gulf and the choice is clear as to best beaches.

As for sharks, the bull shark which is the most likely culprit for doing damage to a swimmer is found all over Florida including brackish waters at virtually any depth. We have hooked six footers in 2' water at San Carlos bay. I know a couple fishing guides in the area that get nervous getting into the water when their boat grounds in a 1' or so.
I think the bull shark even comes into the Indian river to have their babies. Then the small bull sharks stay in the river for a couple years before going out to the ocean.

The other one to watch out for is the tiger and if a swimmer /wader playing in the waves gets bit on the leg it is usually a sand shark reacting to being stepped on while they lay on the bottom. Compared to California, Australia, etc. the sharks generally just mistake you for food, take a bite, realize they are wrong and swim off, they usually don't kill you.
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Old 11-28-2012, 06:37 PM
 
Location: St. Pete, FL
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"Usually"

That's a relief.
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Old 12-09-2013, 11:41 PM
 
3 posts, read 23,977 times
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Default Both

Both have there own good points but Gulf beaches are better imho, Nowadays the waves have increased in height and frequency especially when the water temp drops in fall and winter.Swimming if effortless and one can float for hours due to the higher salt content. Originally from the northeast northeaster beaches like misquamicut, cape etc..but you freeze ,you get the best of both worlds on the gulf . I like both but definitely lean toward the gulf which is part of the ocean duh.
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