It has been very breezy here each day, with some days breezier than others. It has been nice because we have always had nice ocean breezes coming in and have not had to run the air conditioners :)
The windy conditions have not made for great kayaking so we decided to spend the day sightseeing and Geo-Caching. It is a fun way to spend a day and learn about new places. The locals are the ones that hide the cache’s, and they know of places the rest of us may not know about. We find it a great way to find interesting places that you might otherwise miss.
We use this GPS to help us find our cache's. I have heard that you can also use a I-phone or Droid. We like this GPS because we can use it not only for Geo-Caching, but for hiking and kayaking. It has features to mark your location, and keep "tracks" so that you can find your way back if you are out in the woods or on the water. I feel much more comfortable knowing I can get back to where I started. One other feature I particularly is that it keeps track of the time and distance of your hike or paddle.
If you don't have a GPS, and would like to try Geo-Caching, go to the website I linked to earlier. Down towards the middle of the page, there is a place you can enter information to do a search for Geo-Caches. Type in your zip code and search to find some Geo-Caches near where you are. If you are very familiar with the area, I guarantee you will recognize the place and will be able to find the cache without a GPS. They give you some hints.
Here is Al at our first "found" cache.
and here is what he found
Sometimes it is only a paper to write down your name and date you found the cache. Sometimes, there are "treasures" inside!
These are some of the homes we found on this part of Keaton Beach. Pretty, aren't they?
The houses here are all sitting up on stilts in case of a tidal surge.
All Floridians remember the No-Named Storm of March, 1993. It did a LOT of damage to Florida, then headed up the east coast and did damage all the way up. There was over 6 billion dollars in damage by the time the storm was finished with the east coast of the US. It was also called the "Storm of the Century."
March is not normally when you expect such a storm. It was more like a hurricane than regular storm, with winds gusting to 100 mph! It dumped a lot of snow as far south as the Panhandle of Florida, and spawned a lot of tornado's. There were 10 fatalities in the Keaton Beach/Steinhatchee area alone. One fatality was in the little motel that was owned by the owner of this RV park.
We were living in Tampa at that time, and lost the solar pool heater that was on the roof of our home. We were lucky though. It was a very bad storm.
This part of Florida,(Apalachee Bay) got a sudden and unexpected 12 foot tidal surge. Keaton Beach was completely destroyed...all the houses gone! The Rv park where we were staying used to be a restaurant. The tide rose 6 feet in 20 minutes....in the middle of the night! Twelve feet may not sound like much, but you gotta realize, we are sitting in our rv, which is about 5-6 feet above sea level!
Anyway, that storm is why you don't see houses here that are not on stilts!
Here is a photo of s scruffy looking bird we found at a nice little boat ramp. I don't recall seeing one like him before so I had to look in my bird book. The closest thing I could find was a Common Merganser, but they are supposed to be in freshwater, and he was in saltwater. Anyone have an idea what he is? He definitely looked out of his element and maybe not too healthy. With the oil spill heading this way, I thought about that, but I don't think it is too close to Florida...yet.
We followed our Geo-caching trail south to the little town of Steinhatchee. It is another quaint little seafront town. Another hidden gem. The Steinhatchee Rive flows into the Gulf of Mexico. It even has waterfalls, Florida style :)
Here is a view of Steinhatchee from the bridge.
There are some rv parks there, but we didn't see any we liked better than where we are.
Sunset photos from our last night in Keaton Beach. There were clouds blocking the final dip into the ocean, so this was the best I could get.
The severe storms that have hit Arkansas and Tennessee are heading towards south Georgia, so I think we are going to pack up and try to beat the storms. I sure don't want to be driving in heavy rain.