Sweetwater Rv Park – Zephyrhills, Florida
We’re getting ready to end our wonderful 3 month stay in Florida. The weather has been great. I had forgotten just how nice Florida winters are. It’s been getting pretty hot during the day, but the evenings get really cool. It’s perfect in my opinion! I love those cool nights.
Our house in Georgia is only about 275 miles north, but it’s amazing how different the weather is.
We intend to leave Sunday, but since we don’t ever get an early start, we may just go half way and spend the night somewhere between. We really don’t like to drive more than 150 miles a day…I know, I know, but that’s just us :)
We have a big job ahead of us when we get home and I’m not really looking forward to it. I think living in the motor home for the past 3 months has given us a better perspective on what we actually need, use, and have room for. It may be a little easier to unload some stuff because we know better what we actually will need.
I have not posted for a few days or posted about our latest kayaking adventure on the new Sea Eagles. I just haven’t had the heart to get into it until now. Here’s why.
You may remember, we got the first ones sent to us at Vero Beach and we had problems with both boats. One had a skeg that was coming unglued and the other had a leak in the seam by where the keel is glued on. Water was getting inside that seam making it difficult to deflate and fold the boat. Both were minor issues, but since we just paid $1600 for brand new boats, we wanted them to be right.
We contacted Tim and Crystal from Inflatable Boats 4 Less. They requested pictures for Sea Eagle. In just a short while we were told Sea Eagle was sending us brand new boats and that we could keep the old ones until the new ones arrived. They shipped the new ones Fed Ex 2 day delivery and we shipped the old ones back. It was very good service, but still a hassle packing and shipping the old boats.
We never got a chance to try out the new ones before we left Vero Beach, but made plans on Monday to take them out to the Hillsborough River with our friends/neighbors Dean and Shirley.
We really love the handling on the new Sea Eagles. They are stable, easier to get in and out, and handle well. They weigh half of what the old hard kayaks did and are much easier to carry.
Inflating them doesn’t take much time, but the deflating process it a little more time consuming. Our Fast Track boats have a “drop stitch” floor. It gives the boat more stability and you can actually stand up in the boat and paddle if you like. We love that feature, however it makes it more difficult to put them away because you have to make sure the bottom of the boat (under the floor) is dried out.
Our old boats got thrown into the truck bed wet and dirty and we were off. With the new boats, you have to dry them off before you roll them up and put them away. Of course the sand is a big problem and you seem to have sand everywhere!
Anyway, it was getting late, and while drying and deflating the boats we noticed water leaking from the EXACT same spot by the keel as the first boat. I was extremely disheartened, to say the least. Evidently Sea Eagle has an issue with that seam and it needs to be rectified. I’m not sure if the other boat had the same leak or not. By that time, we were in no mood to check it out, or even care.
I haven’t notified Tim and Crystal yet because I have just not been in the mood to deal with it. I’m sure Sea Eagle will make it right, but it’s more hassle. We aren’t going to be sending any boats back until we get back to Georgia though.
We did have a nice kayaking trip that day, although it was late when we started, so we just made it a short trip. Dean and Shirley got a little nervous because the gators that had previously been hanging around on the banks, were swimming around in the river. Dean said Shirley was concerned that it was feeding time and since they feed at night, maybe it wasn’t a good time to be on the river. I’m still not convinced it was Shirley that was concerned about the gators :)
We did have a few swim right underneath us and it was a little unnerving.
This next picture is my view from my kayak. You can see the floor in this picture. The hole you see is one of the places you inflate the keel area of the boat. There is a valve for the keel, the floor and each side.
Here is Al on the Sea Eagle Fast Track 385.
The next picture is of Dean and Shirley's Sea Eagle 330. You can see there is quite a difference.
It was a pretty day. The new growth on the trees was so bright green and pretty and despite the issues with the boats and the wandering gators, it was a very nice trip.