Florida Keys (high 81, low 73)
Our plan yesterday included going back to the Square Grouper restaurant for their weekly philly cheese-steak sandwich. Last week we tried the restaurant out for the first time and that cheese-steak sandwich was so darn good that we couldn’t wait to go back.
Since our plans for the day had to revolve around lunch, we had to plan accordingly to fit everything else in! :)
First thing was an early morning walk along the bridges.
On the way down from the first bridge I spotted what I knew was my biggest treat of the day.
Not only one, but two Golden Retrievers! My very favorite dog and I never let one get past me without some loving.
I wasn’t going to let this poor man get past me without me getting some pats and the infamous “golden lean.” I ended up with dog hair and slobber all over my shorts but I didn’t care!
We walked over to the other fishing bridge and did our normal fishing line and trash pick up. I swear, don’t these fishermen ever pick up their trash? Fishing line is so hazardous to marine life and birds.
As we were heading back, I saw what I thought was a piece of wood covered in fishing line. It was caught between the supports on the bridge. I grabbed it and as soon as I grabbed the line, it flung back towards the water underneath the bridge. It turns out it was a piece of rebar that had a bunch of fishing line tangled on it. One end was attached to the other end was loose. When it flung back, my finger got caught in the fishing line. Fortunately for me, the line slid off of my finger with only a cut. I could easily have lost my finger. (It was my good one too) :)
After our walk, we decided to go down to Venture Out for a while since it’s nearby where we were going for lunch.
The winds had died down finally and I was able to enjoy taking some pictures.
The resident pelicans posed nicely for me.
There seem to be a lot of snowbirds trying to get their suntan before they head north. The Jimmy Buffet song about tourists covered in oil, came to mind here.
This is the Tiki hut on the spit across from the marina. We think this will be a good spot to spend some time reading.
On the other side of the water across from the marina is this other little spit of land. The birds like it and on occasion they will all get spooked and fly off at the same time. One of these days I’m going to get a good picture of that.
We walked around to a public access area to get a closer look at the birds.
We stayed back so that we didn’t frighten them, but I was able to zoom in for a better shot.
I love these skimmers.
After lunch, since the winds had died down and the seas were flat calm we decided to go out in the boat.
When we were launching the boat, a manatee swam right up to the ramp. She appeared to be looking for something. In the past, I’ve seen people give her fresh water from a hose at the marina. You aren’t supposed to do that, but people do. The result is a manatee that is too tame and looking for handouts. I worried about her and made sure all the other boaters knew she was there.
There is a lot of construction here in the Keys right now as they re-do the sewer lines. There are a lot of workers both on land and in the water. Some of the boats are kept here at Sunshine Key. Sometimes these construction guys aren’t as concerned about the wildlife as they could be, or at least that is my perception. When I saw the manatee swim up under one of their boats, I warned them. Fortunately, they were concerned and kept an eye out for her.
She has obviously had some encounters with boats and I worried about her the rest of the day.
The water was so clear and calm yesterday. We decided to head to the Atlantic side by the 7 Mile Bridge.
Al did some fishing while I read.
He caught two fish. The first one he thought was a porgy. He threw it back.
Later on he caught a mahogany snapper. It was a pretty fish with a lot of red coloring on it. It actually looked more red than the photo shows.
It also lived to see another day.
We stayed out until about 6ish.
After we loaded the boat, we sat outside and had happy hour and I finally was able to finish my book. We decided to bring Baxter outside with us, so we put him in his little cage next to us. He really enjoyed the cool sea air, but soon it got too chilly for me and it was time to go inside.
This is where close call number two occurred.
I got Baxter out of his cage to carry him in and was giving him kisses while I was walking towards the door. I wasn’t paying attention to where I was walking. I tripped over a big pot we have on the mat and almost went face first into the ground. Your normal instinct is to put your hands out to catch yourself, but I remember my instinct was to hang onto my cat! And I did. Fortunately, despite a few drinks and a very chubby furball in my arms, I was able to regain my balance without falling. I could have killed myself and maybe even Baxter. I think I’m going to be extra careful today after having two close calls yesterday.
The weather looks mighty nice today and the palm trees aren’t blowing, so it looks like another day out in the boat.