Thursday, February 29, 2024

Preparing to return to Kentucky

We woke a little after 5 am on this Leap Day.  Mary and I did our German lessons and had morning beverages before going downstairs. There was a good bit of fog, but the air temperature was warm. Mark and I took advantage of the calm wind to paddle out to retrieve the pinfish trap that we placed a few days ago. There was only a 6-inch sculpin in the trap, so we released it when we returned to the house.

We did the usual walk with the dogs ending at the wildlife viewing tower. The tide was a little higher than yesterday, and the wind had picked up, so we were unable to see the numbers of fish that we saw yesterday. We didn’t see the rays in the water, but there was a fair-sized dead crab visible. We watched a kingfisher moving around in the grassy area and saw a great blue heron wading in the stream.

When we returned to the house around 10:30 we had cold cereal and a bagel for breakfast. Cindy chatted with Mike, the neighbor across the street for a while then she and Mark went to the Outpost Shooting Range on Lecanto Road where Mark bought the gift certificate for Cindy. They took my Taurus .380 and Glock 9 mm to try out at the range. We had a light lunch after they left then I read while Mary knitted a cap for the newborns at Georgetown Hospital. Mary sorted clothes that will come back to Kentucky with us when we leave on Saturday morning, keeping some shorts and T-shirts here for when we return in April. I loaded the rifles, tools and some of my fishing gear into the trunk, leaving one rod and reel for our April fishing trip.

Mark & Cindy returned around 3 pm and appeared to have had a good time at the range. They both liked shooting the 9 mm better than the .380 and brought back targets from their day. On the way home, they stopped at the marina supply store and bought the items that the Coast Guard requires on boats like a throwable life preserver, flares and a horn. They also bought an anchor and chain although the Power Poles will typically be used in the shallow area off Homosassa.

Mark & I fashioned a wooden plate to cover the large bolts on the piers on their dock. We were concerned that the bolt heads would damage the boat despite the bumpers. We floated out in the kayaks for the quick job. Mark attempted to saw the old wooden piers off with the reciprocating saw that he bought at Harbor Freight, but the wood was surprisingly hard so we let the old pilings stand where they are.

We put the tools and kayaks away then cleaned up for dinner at The Freezer. We took the dogs on a very short walk, around Battle Creek Road and out to the stop sign at Standish and Mason Creek.

Since it wasn’t a weekend, The Freezer wasn’t especially crowded, and we were able to get a table inside. Unfortunately, they were out of mullet dip, so we all had steamed shrimp. While Mark & Cindy split a half order (1 1/4 pounds) of shrimp, Mary and I split a full order of 2 ½ pounds of shrimp. Mary had water, Cindy had a Bellini, Mark had a Blue Moon and I had a margarita. We all enjoyed our meals.

After returning to the house, we watched an episode of Astrid on PBS and two episodes of Evening Shade on Prime Video. Mark went out to his sauna and the rest of us turned in for the night.

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