dear sandy:

I just got on your spi home page to check out the island and want to know when the picture of the miasma emitting sludge being dumped at the north end will appear on it. The spring breakers are going to love wallowing in the stuff, wouldn't you agree?

curious (via the internet)

That does seem to be THE question of the moment. Why did so many of us think that beach re-nourishment was going to be a clean and tidy operation? Instead we are seeing black sludge studded with chunks of clay and samples of all the colorful debris that finds its way to the bottom of the channel spewing forth upon our beautiful white beaches.

spew photo

On the other hand, what we are witnessing seems truly miraculous: instabeach; beach-in-a-can; "click here for beach." The beach is growing fat before our very eyes. As a sandcastler, how can I fail to be impressed by the sight of massive amounts of sand being moved from here to there?

Back to the first hand: I am not overly eager to plop myself down in the stuff to see how it builds, how it carves. They tell us it will bleach out, though no really has a clue on how long that could take. If it doesn't look more inviting by summer the outlook could be grim for the sandcastle lesson business.... at least on the north end.

Butlook at that big fat beach! $600,000 is a lot of money, yet seems reasonable enough if the plan actually works.

Perhaps the best thing to do is to adopt a "wait and see" attitude. We have been warned that this solution is not permanent and that the treatment will likely have to be repeated. Let's give this plan a fair shake and if we don't like the long-term results, we have the power to prevent a repeat performance.


Dear Ms. feet,

I keep hearing about free sandcastle lessons and figure you must have something to do with them. Can you fill us in?

(multiple phone calls)

Being a fabulously wealthy woman - (well, wealthy in family, friends, and happiness quotient - if not in the traditional monetary sense) - yes, I feel compelled to freely share my sandcastling knowledge most Sundays at noon on the beach at Boomerang Billy's. You will notice I said "most" -- if it is not warm and sunny or if I have a deadline or a bad cold or am feeling grumpy there is a small possibility that I will not be there.

(By the way, please do not harass the nice bartenders at Boomies - it's not their fault if I'm not there, and if I'm not on the beach by noon that probably means I'm not coming - thanks.)

On a related note: The Young Senior Citizens beach party and Fish Fry is scheduled for Feb. 15 at Boomies. Related activities will include a fun-fly - brought to you by those kite-flying fiends over at Windchasers Kite Shop - and a Valentines sandcastle demonstration - courtesy of yours truly and the Sons of the Beach Sandcastle Wizards. If the weather cooperates, we may get started as early as Feb. 13, and we are banking on a guest carving appearance by our favorite Winter Texan, Don "Dad Feets" Wierenga. Y'all come by and give him and Mom Feets a big Texas welcome, okay?


The spring break '97 page of the alternative spi site is up and running - check it out!

Also, I am still working on a Turtle Lady site and am still looking for photos and/or personal testimonials from those whose lives she has touched.

There are five (5) ways to submit your questions/comments for future Ask Sandy columns: In person; by phone (761-6222) or fax (761-8930); the US Postal System (box 2694,spi,78597) and E-mail: ( Visit my web-site ( for tips on sandcastling, contest info, recent Ask Sandy columns, and my reviews of local businesses.

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