Friday, December 13, 2019

Florida: Land of Water

Water is everywhere in Florida. Even the most modest home can have waterfront property here.

Friends paddling in the Gulf, as seen from Islamorada in the Florida Keys on a calm afternoon

The seabirds are plentiful, so are the bugs; the worst of the biting bugs... no-see-ums. These nasty little buggers even manage to get past the window screens so our best self defense is to keep the windows closed and the air conditioning on, and layer on copious amounts of bug spray before venturing out. Everyone has their own answer for bug repellent; the recipes I've heard include vinegar, Vapo-rub, tea tree oil, lavender oil, and even some particularly foul-smelling blue Calgon perfume. I've tried it all and despite my concerns about wearing poison, I find the green Deep Woods Off with Deet works best. It smells like some demented chemist's idea of what a tree should smell like, if they had never actually left the lab and sniffed at a real tree. So I stink. Better than being eaten alive. For some reason they don't bite Lance at all. It's so unfair.

What ate the gators?

Speaking of being eaten alive... check out these gator eggs discovered within 100 yards of our campsite. We've been puzzling over these for quite some time and still are no closer to figuring out what could have drilled such perfect holes and slurped the baby gators.

The view from Sharky's patio in Key Largo - our favorite location for Taco Tuesday and live music

Our first stop in Florida was a Thousand Trails park in Crystal River Springs on the Gulf side. It was a lovely little resort town but we didn't get to explore much of it as we were boat shopping most every day. It's definitely worth circling back in the coming months if we can make it work.

Manatees resting on the surface in the Fort Pierce Marina.
They look like they are mooning us. This is as close as I've been to a manatee so far.

Our second stop was Jensen Beach where we caught up with some friends for Thanksgiving. Since Lance, Todd and Lorri aren't into traditional Thanksgiving fare we ate at a fish and steakhouse overlooking the ocean and it was lovely. Todd & Lorri know the area well so they took us along for local happenings such as live music and a farmers market hosted every weekend by the Fort Pierce Marina. Lorri and I even got in some swim time in the pool at her swanky mostly-adult resort.

Stone Crab Claws at Conchy Joe's, Jensen Beach FL
The crab claws are harvested from the still living crab and he/she
is returned to the water to regenerate a new claw.
I sure wish we could develop this technology for people feet.

Our third stop in Florida was the Elks Lodge in Tavernier, where we were warmly greeted by friends and it felt like home.

Mother Ocean is a second-hand boat stuff store, similar to Minney's in Southern California. A gal could wander around here for days.

On Key Largo we discovered Mother Ocean, a store for used boat parts. If I ever turn up missing, start the search there because I've likely gotten lost in some pile of small parts in the back 40 somewhere. I love this place, and if we end up finding Miss Right on the East Coast I expect we will spend a lot of time here in the future.

Now that's a helluva cascade system! Air, anyone? Everyone?

Internet Speed Comparison
Pritchard’s RV Park, Jensen Beach, FL
Sampled 11/24/19 at 4:07 pm

MB down
MB up
Calyx (Sprint)
Google Fi
Jetpack (Verizon)
Park wifi
None available