Wednesday, June 14, 2017
Due to our late night turtle walking we slept in a little. As soon as I got out I took off for a paddle up to the north side of the island and around a smaller island along the way. As soon as I returned the thunder began as a storm started to brew. Now the high winds began and we got all the awnings up when the storm split around us and only a few drops of rain fell.
There was still a strong wind and current ... this meant fishing, kayaking and paddling would be put on hold for awhile. That's when Tim suggested I go fly a kite! So I did. I got a warm smile over my face during assembly as I found sand from its last flight in the Outer Banks.
Since Plan B was now in play and we were making things up as the day went on we then decided to go find Coral's nest, the loggerhead sea turtle from last night. We easily found it. The nest has not been officially marked yet but I did take a picture of it and one from earlier in the season that had.
Once off the beach we drove to the north side of Sebastian Inlet State Park to check out the bridge, jetty and fishing action.
Look for the fishing museum in the far distance.
Only serious fishermen here.
Check out the crazy surf and current at the mouth of the Inlet. This is where the current is coming out to sea and meets the opposing force of the ocean waves coming in. Serious stuff!
Another storm rolled in once back at the Airstream so we sure there would be no more time on the water for this trip.
Hot dogs and champagne as promised for dinner. Yes, we ate out of the can of beans cooked on the grill. Yes, that is champagne in orange Solo cups and there could be a PBR off camera too. If your going to be Trailer Trash you gotta do it in style. Go ahead judge me!
Wait! One last paddle! Sunset was spectacular. I was too busy taking pictures to realize ... hey ... go paddle. So I did! YOLO!!! What an amazing way to spend the last moments of sunlight on your birthday just as I started the day.
Tomorrow we are home bound.
But first let's get to yesterday. We stayed pretty low-key. Tim and I hung out at camp during the day. The morning started with a tasty breakfast cooked outside on my electric frying pan.
Tim spent most of the day prepping some fishing gear. I played with the girls on our beach. They are exhausted! Just a note on how extremely opposite these girls are:
Mattie chill'n watching the little waves hit the sand ...
And then there's Jett ...
We had an early dinner of fried fish, crab cakes and corn on the cob. I swear we don't eat like this all the time. It's my birthday celebration all week and I'm TREATING MYSELF!
After dinner and a thorough rinse of the dogs Tim and I headed down to the Fishing Museum at Sebastian Inlet State Park. We needed to get there by 9 PM for first a presentation on sea turtles then a scout on the beach to look for a female turtle laying her eggs.
This time, opposed to nine years ago when we did this, seemed a little more organized and less rushed. Last time we waited in the museum until scouts found a turtle then we all jumped in our vehicles to a spot south of the Inlet, jumped out then proceeded to run down the beach to the turtle.
This time after the presentation the scouts had just found a female but she was just about finished and the group would not make it in time. So then we immediately drove to a beach crossover, walked over the dune, out onto the beach where we waited for word from the scouts.
Since there is no guarantee we waited patiently. It didn't take long since it is height of egg laying season for them. Our group then began walking about a mile in the dark down the beach toward the location.
Guessing a few folks should have prepared better. Tim and I had our Keen water shoes on and figured we would be walking in the ocean as the waves came ashore! Back to the story ...
As we walked south on the beach we came across not one but two other turtles coming onshore. The one we witnessed her do a false crawl and head back to sea. The other we let her be as she was just beginning her process ... it would be awhile.
Once we arrived to our scouts the loggerhead turtle had just completed digging the body pit and had begun digging her egg chamber just below that. When turtles get to this stage they are committed to laying. Our ranger then laid his red light into the body pit as we then gathered close behind her to watch her lay all her eggs filling the egg chamber. As she finished laying we had to back off allowing her to finish covering and disguising her nest. This prevents her from stressing. Last time we were allowed to watch this phase. Guessing they have learned more since then. After she turned and crawled back into the dark ocean the ranger shinned his light on her. Wow! She was humungous! Since she was buried down in sand and it was dark we really couldn't tell her enormous size until now. They can reach 350 pounds!
The eggs will lay dormant for approximately 60 days. Then hatch! All of the turtle walks are done under strict supervision and permits through the state and the FWC. Only one in 500 turtles will survive. Sorry photography was prohibited due to camera lights and only the ranger and scouts were allowed to have red lights for us to see.
My original plan was hoping to still be on the beach at midnight for my birthday but CORAL as she was named by the youngest in our group had other plans. We got back to the truck at 11:50 and back to the Airstream at midnight. No cake here but a Reese's Peanut-butter Cup and a beer to celebrate worked for me!
Tuesday, June 13, 2017
Oh yeah! We did it. Cinnamon rolls with cream cheese icing on the grill!!! If you put a little thought and creativity into it you can cook a lot of different things on a grill. They were very tasty ...
Kinos anyone? I think it's time for few new pairs. This pair might be close to being spent after this trip. I have recently seen a purple and a dark brown version of these. I'm taking orders and will need color choice and sizes if interested. I'll be at the factory in September down in Key West.
Yesterday Tim and I went kayaking down to Sebastian Inlet. I'm not sure how long we were gone but the trip was pretty cool. We saw lots of osprey, fish and even a manatee. The seacow swam right under me! I was relieved that she didn't spook and roll me. Since we were in the Inlet, that has an extremely strong current, I was a little concerned. Manatees are very slow and curious creatures so I watched her as she turned then came around again. Crisis averted! She just wanted another look.
Staying near the bank of the Inlet due to the turbulent current we then eased closer to the bridge. The water was clear and beautiful as we began getting still even closer to the bridge and to anglers fishing from shore. Not wanting to disturb them we decided it was time to turn around anyway. As I was turning my stern got out in that stronger current. It was a little workout trying to get back out of it! On our way back we went around a few islands on the intercostal side and took in the peacefulness and tranquility of gliding on the water in a kayak with no boat motors to be heard.
Jett and Mattie were excited to have us return. We let them play in the water then one at a time get another paddle board lesson. Mattie did just as expected and Jett did better than I expected. I was able to sit on the board with them and paddle a short distance out. We will see if today brings even more progress with the girls on the paddle board!
Monday, June 12, 2017
Yesterday turned out to be a fun day of relaxation. There were no dog incidents. I got a few paddles in on my board. Tim and I spent time hanging out under my colorful umbrella on our beach while we heckled at our neighbors. Love them!
Jett and Mattie played and played in the water. Jett just wants to retrieve what ever you throw for her. I had the little boy next door throw for her too. Since Mattie doesn't retrieve she spends her time trying to get the little waves that splash on the beach and then steals Jett's toy after she retrieves it.
As soon as Jett departs the water and gets on the beach she rolls in the sand. This picture is a close-up of her coat. Rrrrgh! Once the campground cleared out of the 'weekenders' and our tent dwellers next door (love them) departed I began paddle board lessons with the girls. It's going to be baby steps. I hate to say I have no pictures. I left my GoPro at home! I'll have Tim take pictures today. Mattie was up first. She got on the board and laid down, held still and enjoyed me just pushing her around in the shallow water. Jett was up next! She did much better than I anticipated. Jett is so hyper that I wasn't sure she would ever get on my board. She got on and stood stiff. Jett refused to sit or lay down but stayed on! She even turned around a few times without falling off while I pushed her around in the shallow water.
Today I hope to (one at a time) get a life vest on them, get one on the board, get me on the board (sitting) and take short paddles. They have already been acclimated to the life vest. Their hiking packs helped with that! Tim and I also plan on a kayaking trip out.
The day ended with a scrumptious Low Country Boil that we did on the grill. My secret ingredients are beer and Old Bay Seasoning. The shake kind not the bag with this cooking technique. And imported Irish butter infused with garlic and herbs. Also if you have all day you can do the same thing in a crockpot but it takes about six hours.
Sunday, June 11, 2017
First a quick note:
Mattie sleeps with her little tongue poking out!
Our day went by super fast. By the time we all got up, unloaded the kayaks and paddle board, had a late breakfast of banana pancakes it was time to head out.
Tim and I then loaded up in the truck, leaving the girls behind to nap, to head south to Sebastian Inlet State Park. There they were holding a Beginners Workshop on Surf Fishing. This is something we know very little about and decided it worthwhile to attend. The weather was going to turn bad so we wouldn't be missing anything at camp. I've Surf Fished before in Africa off the coast of Namibia. Since Tim wasn't there he doesn't like me talking about it. I was working! ;-)))
The workshop was held in The Fishing Museum on the south side of the Inlet ... more on it later in the week. It was interesting. The topics covered were what rods and reels to use, bait rigs and what type of bait to use and much more. We will probably come back again later in the year when they have additional workshops that cover different surf fishing subjects in more detail.
While we were in the workshop the monsoon hit. It was pouring so hard that one minute you could see across the Inlet and the next you couldn't. Water was standing everywhere, the park had cleared out for the most part and the people left were doing their best to stay dry. Luckily we had anticipated this before we left as Tim had put all the awnings up, put away the chairs and secured everything else. When we did make it back all was well. Just the bikes fell over. However our new party friends next door, the tent dwellers who we love, did not fare so well. One of their tents collapsed, the party pool collapsed and everything they had got soaked. They handled it all with grace. Did what they could to dry out and made the most of it. I think most people would have picked up and left. Others in the campground had their entire RV awnings destroyed.
I almost forgot ... right before we left to go to Sebastian as I was walking the girls I had a Pit Bull, very young, come at the girls growling and barking. In attack mode! I hate to name the breed of dog but when you have that, are in a crowded campground you are required to keep your dogs leashed. They had not. It's called responsibility. Everywhere you go there is always someone who believes the rules don't apply to them. I screamed, like a little girl, the dog backed off and charged again. The owner came and got this dog, never apologized then their other dog came to attack. So scary! Since then those dogs have been kept cabled. I'm sure it's not the last we will deal with them. What if that had been a small dog or a toddler cruising by on a bike?
The day ended with a beautiful fire pink sky, a short paddle on my paddle board in the slick mirrored water and a delicious grilled foil pack dinner of ham, pineapple, sweet potatoes and apple.
Saturday, June 10, 2017
It's so hard to believe that it's been TEN years since I found and purchased the Silver Palace. I find it appropriate to send a BIG THANK YOU out to Wynn and Annie-Dear for making the decision to sell their Airstream in Florida while traveling across country ten years ago from Oregon. That's when I found it and the rest is history!
So our first trip out ever in the Airstream was to Sebastian Inlet State Park on Florida's east coast for my birthday. After all I had to show off my birthday present I bought for myself. Sebastian was a place of fond memories from my family camping there when I was young. Way back in the 70's ... late 70's. I remember flounder fishing with my dad. When my family came their friends came as well and they always stayed at a different place up the street called Long Point, it's a county park. We never knew why they stayed there. So when Tim and I came ten years ago we decided to check the place out. As soon as we saw the park we knew why! It's a little island. Most of the sites are on the water on the intercostal.
When my birthday came around the next year we decided to stay at Long Point. I recently couldn't remember much about that stay other than it was Father's Day weekend and we had most of the kids near us at our campsite. Playing with Roxy, our Labrador we had then. Feeding her ice all day and being very curious about the Airstream. When the weekend was over one set of parents came over to retrieve their kids and asked ... which kids are yours? None we replied. Ohhhh ...
This memory made me chuckle and curious about what else we did on that trip. I then began the search of my written travel log that I use to do prior to this blog. In it I discovered we arrived at Long Point a day late because of a job I was working. We did kayak some, we took a local turtle walk at night to watch a sea turtle lay eggs on the beach and had to depart a day early to head straight to Miami for another job.
Also while staying at Long Point my mom and step-dad John came to visit on my birthday. They brought Bethaney along for the ride. She is John's granddaughter who was visiting them from out of state. We celebrated with hotdogs and champagne! (but not Bethaney) Which is what we did the year prior at Sebastian.
Here we are full coming full circle ... we are back at Long Point camping. In the best spot of course! Our site has a great beach. The girls love it! Jett and Mattie will be exhausted from all the swimming. We arrived late yesterday. This place is party central for sure. Today we will unload the kayaks and paddle board. Notice Tim's new rack ... no more plumbers rack. And we have a little event to go to at Sebastian Inlet State Park later today.
The hot dogs and champagne have become tradition every year. No matter if we are out traveling or if the Airstream is sitting in the yard. That's what we do! The hotdogs are on board and the champagne is currently chilling for later in the week. Observation so far ... Silver Palace aka The Trailer Park Lounge has far exceeded the dreams that inspired it!
Last nights view out the door of the full moon ...