Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Worms, food, and a wedding anniversary

Another week has begun after a peaceful weekend on the water.  Saturday was stormy, so we sat in the cockpit and watched the storm clouds gather. When the rain came down in a torrent, we moved below to the dry cabin, watched a movie, listened to music, read books.  We went to sleep with the rain hitting the hatch cover over our heads, and the boat gently moving in the small swells.

On Sunday,  the weather had turned around to a beautifully bright spring day.  We took a long walk on the beach, looked for shark's teeth,  and talked to a few families who were enjoying a picnic. Amelia enjoyed her time on the beach because she loves to greet people who pet her.  She says hello and then moves on, wagging her tail.  I like that she has the same manners as her mother, my old girl who died in November.

Beach combing for me is not so much about what I take but what I observe.  On Friday evening, we heard the sounds of thousands of mating bristle worms hitting the hull.  These polychaete worms swarm in a mating frenzy when the water temperature begins to warm.  Their tubes are so numerous that they cover the sand in many places.  Shining a light over the side of the boat at night reveals thousands of the red epitokes.  The epitoke is a portion of the bristleworm that  is packed with eggs or sperm and becomes highly specialised for swimming.  At mating time, the epitoke breaks off from the main worm and can move about on its own. Swimming to the surface, it is joined by the epitokes of other bristleworms. At the surface, the epitokes burst apart, releasing eggs and sperm for external fertilisation.  In this way, the worms can reproduce without exposing the rest of their bodies to danger.
Worm tubes on the beach
There is always something to talk about on the beach.  So many people don't seem to take the time to stop and wonder about what is right under their feet.  Maybe some don't want to know!

We had a foodie weekend too with snow crab and corn on the cob on Friday evening,  Szechuan flounder and crispy eggplant on Saturday, and linguine with white clam sauce on Sunday.  No bristle worms were added though! All the salt air and long walks builds up a healthy appetite.

This coming Friday will be the 70th wedding anniversary of my wife's parents.  We are planning to take them to lunch at a nice restaurant. I'm not sure how all this will go because Mom doesn't really remember who Pop is at times, thinking that he is her brother or father.  And Pop is frail but doing okay as long as the ammonia buildup on the brain is kept low due to laculose.  But then the laculose causes diarrhea which presents another set of problems.  Anyway, we are hoping that all will go well, and the parents will be healthy enough to go out.  I can tell that C. is a bit anxious over the whole thing.

I cannot imagine 70 years together.  I won't speculate on what that takes.  But it takes more than what most people can imagine.  


  1. A great achievement, 70 years. I hope you all have a good time together.

    Fascinated to read about the bristle worms.

  2. Now see- I have been seeing bristle worm tubes on the beach for my entire life and I never knew what they were. In my next lifetime I want two things:
    1. To be a musician, and
    2. To be a scientist.

    Thanks, Syd, for explaining them to me.

    And seventy years? Lord. No. I can't imagine. But let me say this- if lunch out wouldn't do anything but make y'all feel as if you'd done something special for them, then what's the point?
    Okay. I guess I see the point.
    I hope it goes well.

  3. I'm feeling the need for a beach day, your post made me want to skip work and just drive out there.

  4. Interesting read on the bristle worm. I've never seen their tubes on the beach. If I do, now I'll know what they are. Seventy years of marriage is such a blessing. I know their health isn't great, but I hope they do enjoy the day. :)

  5. Thank you for the science lesson. The menu juxtaposed to the worms was pretty funny. Hope you guys have a nice dinner.

  6. wow 70 years....interesting on the worms...a little ick factor for me...but i do love walking the beach and seeing what i see and meeting people...and sleeping in the rain...

  7. Yucky - - - great science lesson on wriggly critters. But, worms???? EEEEUUUUUUUWWWWW

    Great to learn of the elders hanging in there and you and spouse looking forward to celebrating their 70th anniversary, even if they may not be that aware of it. Still - - - it's worth celebrating.

    No comment on dinner following worm observing.

    Love and hugs,
    Anonymous #1

  8. Gosh Syd, thanks for all of that info. I love learning about stuff like that! But not in a classroom where I have to take notes.....I would rather be out on the beach and have someone pass by and say, "Hey, you know what those are?" And then he is off...explaining his world to me.
    And 70 years!! Wow....through the good and the bad. That is an accomplishment no matter how you look at it. My suggestion would be to bring lunch in to them. Add some fresh flowers for the table to make it special. Going out is sometimes just too much work and effort for all involved. Just a thought....I'm not telling you what to do though. lol

  9. "So many people don't seem to take the time to stop and wonder about what is right under their feet. Maybe some don't want to know!"

    *puts one hand over mouth and frantically waves other hand to be excused* :)

    And, a serious suggestion about the anniversary dinner. One option we have with my father who is in a nursing home is to bring a special meal in to eat with him. There is a small kitchen with a nice table that is private. Perhaps there is something similar where your FIL lives. No matter what you do, you will know you tried to bring them pleasure, and that counts for a lot.

  10. Annette knows a lot about elderly people...

    whatever you decide, hope it's special for all.

  11. 7- years is certainly a long time, patience, dedication, perseverance and self-sacrifice all have to happen in order to be in a partnership/marriage that long.

    Love too

  12. I have never seen that sight, and oh, I don't think I want to! but love hearing about them.

    70 years, that is a lifetime.

  13. i love that I learn so much visiting your blog Syd. Your descriptions of being on the boat just blow me away. And the ocean, well there's just not enough words...

    70 years, that is truly amazing!

  14. I love that you share these adventures with us! I always feel like I'm right there exploring with you and C. :)

    Amelia is just adorable! I want to give her a big hug.

    Wow, 70 years. A lot of history there. Sinding wishing for everyone's good health.


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