It's about time.

Many of you that can relate to this. Working long hours at your career. Raising your families. Buying a home and paying all the bills related to being homeowners and parents. We're now retired and don't need all that work and expense. Now "It's about time" to follow our dreams.

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Friday, January 31, 2014

Quick Visit on a Drizzly Day.



Our Location today is Crystal River, Florida.

After all the fresh cold air and outdoor bath we should have slept like rocks but I think I just went to bed too early last night. I was up for a few hours reading blogs that normally would have been read in the morning. By 7:30 I was up getting things ready for breakfast.
The other day we had picked up a second ceramic heater to help take the dampness out of the trailer. The two heaters ran so well that the furnace never even came on all night. Around the time we were having breakfast the new heater started sounding like a coffee grinder and we don’t have one. The fan was spinning on the motor shaft.
Manatee sucking Algae from anchor line.
Since it was still going between rain and drizzle we thought that this morning would be the perfect time to replace it. After unlocking the truck for Kathy the lock on the trailer door seemed to be acting up so it took me a little while longer to get it set. At that time I could hear somebody asking Kathy if we had been at the Yellow Jacket RV Park last year. Looking over I immediately recognized Joe Vess walking his dog Harley. He and his wife Deb had just pulled in to Rock Crusher yesterday afternoon around the time we were having lunch out after swimming with the Manatees at Three Sisters Spring.
Manatee tails are like a wide paddle.
Last year I had given Joe a tour of our trailer and explained all the modifications I had already made and what others I had planned to do. When he later talked to Kathy and Deb he said his head was still spinning from everything I had showed him. The bond between us is that he and Deb also had an Avalanche trailer by Keystone but it was a rear kitchen model similar to our older trailer. We’ll hope we can visit before we leave on Sunday.
Manatee interested in my swim shoe.
The other day when we bought the heater at Walmart in Inverness the shelf was filled with those heaters. Today the shelf was bare so after getting our refund we tried Lowes next door. After looking around for heaters I finally asked and was told they won’t be ordering anymore until next fall. So we headed towards the Homosassa Walmart but stopped for lunch at Burger King along the way.
Supper was Amish Potato Salad and the rest of the Farmers Sausage on a bun.
We found a replacement heater and a few extra groceries we had forgotten to get the other day before heading back to the trailer. The rain has continued the entire day and our new heater is already starting to have little grinding sounds. Thanks for following along and feel free to leave a comment. Be Safe and Enjoy!

It’s about time.

Krackers

Office Jokes, Quotes, and Anecdotes

A modern boss is one who would replace people with a computer,

if he could find one that cringes!

Milton Berle

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Swimming with the Manatees Again.



Our Location today is Crystal River, Florida.

We all know the feeling of a pretravel night where we just can’t stay asleep because our minds just keep flashing from one thing to another whether or not it has anything to do with the trip. Even though we weren’t taking the trailer when we attended the Snowbird Extravaganza on Tuesday that’s how I slept Monday night. I got a good night of sleep on Tuesday night because I was dead tired. Since we had planned to swim with the Manatees again today guess how I slept as I’m having difficulty keeping my eyes open enough to write this post.
Kathy's Canon PowerShot D10 camera. Takes pictures underwater up to 35 feet deep.
I got up at 7:30 and had started making breakfast for us when Kathy followed me ten minutes later. What we saw on the Weather Network was not encouraging as the temperature would be the same as last year when we made this swim last March 41 F (5 C). The only difference is that we would be out in the rain until later this afternoon.
 
 
Most would think that swimming (floating) at those low temperatures is very strange but we will be swimming in the warm spring fed waters of the Three Sisters Springs with the Manatees. The water temperature itself is 72 F (22 C) year round and as long as you stay in the water you remain warm. Manatees being warm blooded mammals move to the warm waters of the inland coast when the water temps of the gulf and ocean drop below 68 F (20 C) so the cooler it is the more Manatees are present. This makes for a better encounter with them.
 
We were at Pete’s Pier by 9:00 just on time for the earlier tour to be returning in a very foggy environment that would last the rest of the day. Kathy and I chuckled as everyone made a beeline for the warmth of the office to warm up. We were even more amused to hear that no one from that trip had swam (floated) with the Manatees.
There were so many Manatee in the area you could see them from inside the boat.
A cute loving face of a young Manatee.
After we watched the prerequisite video of how to properly interact with the Manatee on our swim Kathy and I suited up while the six other members of our group finished watching the video segment they had missed. Outside on the Pontoon craft the Safety procedures were discussed and again we were surprised to hear we would be the only ones from our group that would be actually swimming (floating) with the Manatees.
You can see quite a number of Manatee in the clear water outside the  restricted swim zone.
Manatee surfacing for air.
Arriving at the Three Sisters Spring there were already five other swimming (floating) tours on location with people wanting to swim (float) with the Manatees. (Today’s fly over count was 659 Manatees in our area alone.) After we were anchored Kathy and I started doing what we came to do while the rest of the group watched. I just can’t float so the only thing I do is stand or crouch in the water and move extremely slow to avoid stirring the sediment from the bottom as I take pictures. Unfortunately people from one of the other tours were really kicking things up and it showed in many of my pictures as the water was filled with debris floating in the water. Because of the large number of Manatee present as well as all the swimmers it made it impossible for me to get to deeper water today to get full body pictures.
Those marks on the back of the Manatee are from collisions with watercraft.
See the silt in the picture someone has kicked up.
After an hour and a half Kathy and I called it quits and returned on board to get changed. The others from our group couldn’t understand how we could be in the water because they were frozen just being on the boat. Again the water was warmer than the air and until we got out of the water we were warm. Unfortunately the change room on the boat was not heated so we quickly cooled off and really appreciated the warm office when we got back to port.

Curious of why I was kneeling there and what the camera is.
Me on the left, Manatee on right squeezing by me and other swimmers.
It was nearly 1:00 when we left so we stopped for lunch at Grannies Country Cookin'. The warm food and hot coffee started the slow process of warming our body temperatures. We did have to stand waiting for a seat for ten minutes but it was worth it. We both had another breakfast and the service was fast & courteous and the food was excellent at reasonable prices. Unfortunately by this time I was cold enough not to bring the camera in with us.
Manatee at rest. Rules are Do Not Disturb!
This one smiled for the camera while getting a breath of fresh air.
While inside we were talking excitedly but low keyed about the experience we just had. The couple at the table next to us had just moved to Florida so they could see the Manatees and hadn’t heard they could swim with them. When we left the restaurant they were making plans to do just that.
Kathy and I walked around a few stores before finally walking around Walmart so we could warm up. We also bought a precooked chicken before we left so when we got back to the trailer we had supper. I even had to take a half hour nap just so I could write this post. It was a terrific day today and one we will remember for a long time.
Chicken, Amish Potato Salad and Greek Salad.
Here’s hoping we both sleep tonight and the temperatures start warming back to normal. Thanks for following along and feel free to leave a comment. Be Safe and Enjoy!

It’s about time.

Krackers

The World's Great Proverbs

A bleating sheep loses a bite.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Another Cool Wet Day.



Our Location today is Crystal River, Florida.

When we woke to a mild chill in the trailer this morning and it didn’t take long to turn on the cube heater. At breakfast we watched the Weather Network it showed us we were already at the daytime high of 43 F (6 C) and the only change we’d see today was the scattered showers we’d get throughout the day.
Turning on the MiFi this morning felt unusually easy as it worked the way that it was supposed to. Recovering from the long day we had yesterday we took our time catching up on all the blogs we follow. We talked of doing some walking around some stores for exercise and to shop around for something unique to fit the theme for the outside of our trailer.
The first place we looked was Big Lots since we were fortunate to have found our Willow Tree there. We did find another set of rope lights for the Gazebo as the sets we have didn’t light it as much as I wanted and the best part was they were only 40% off what I paid back home. When we walked outside we noted there had been a heavy rain while we were inside the store.
The next place was at the Big Kmart where again our search continued but we walked everywhere more for the exercise. Kathy did find a new Hoodie as her’s was starting to show some wear and wasn’t keeping her warm anymore. We stopped for a piece of Key-Lime pie before continuing our walk around the Crystal River Mall. Some of the shops that had not been open the last time we were there had customers coming and going. When we decided to leave the mall it looked like there had been a tropical storm with all the water laying on the asphalt it looked like a lake.

We decided to go to Home Depot to continue our search but on route we made a quick stop at Harbor Freight. I had left my magnetic nut drivers back home in my large tool box and I’ll be needing them. I bought a nine piece set for less than what it would have cost for a single one at Home Depot.

Finally arriving at Home Depot we looked in the outdoor section only to be disappointed in the selection they had in stock. Then like last year it donned on Kathy that it is still winter even down here in Florida. For the third time today we came out to a very wet parking lot so we figured it was time to head back to the trailer.
Since it was nearing 5:00 I fired up the Weber Q and grilled a nice Farmers Sausage while Kathy put together a nice Asian style salad and Amish style potato salads for the sides. We were very satisfied and we still have more for another meal.
The loving face of a Manatee up close and personal.
Tonight the temperature will drop to 35 F (1.5 C) but tomorrow the high will be 54 F (12.5 C) and we have a 10:00 swim with the Manatee scheduled. We did it last year so we’re hoping to get more great pictures of them for our collection. Thanks for following along and feel free to leave a comment. Be Safe and Enjoy!

It’s about time.

Krackers

You Might Be a Redneck If

You use an ATV more than an ATM.