Outing on the Indian River Lagoon

3 07 2010

Hey, I’m caught up to just two weeks ago.

Conditions were ideal, so AJ and I went out in the boat and snorkeled on a sand bar. It was gorgeous. The water was clear, and we found a couple of spots all to ourselves.

This whole area is about waist deep. The dark sections are sea grass, and teeming with life.

Lagoon

Diver-Down

It’s hard to look dignified with a mask, snorkel and wet hair. I am officially a “Dorkeler”

Dorky-Snorkeler

The Indian River Lagoon is an important estuary that is used as a nursery by many sea creatures. When we snorkel, we like to take an unofficial survey of what we find. Aside from the things we caught, we saw a manatee, a barracuda, a large cobia and thousands of colorful little bait fish, which schooled around us as we floated. Surely they viewed us as some handy pieces of flotsam, beneath which to seek shelter.

Here is a sea urchin I found wandering across the sandbar.

Urchin

A shy hermit crab.

Hermie-2

And a gangly spider crab, who was not keen on having his photo taken.

Spider-Crab

AJ can manage to still look cool, even when snorkeling.

AJ-Snorkeling

You’ve got to keep an eye on him, though. When he gets in nature he takes “au natural” literally. There were no boats within viewing distance, so he got a little extra sun where the sun doesn’t usually shine.

Ricketts-Moonfish

AJ caught the tiniest, most adorable little tripletail. These fish grow up to be quite ugly and very tasty.

Tripletail

With his experienced eye, AJ noticed the telltale star marking of sand dollars buried in the sand. I was quite surprised, as I didn’t realize they were so plentiful in our lagoon.

Baby-Sand-Dollar

Looking to the East, towards the inlet.

AJ-in-Boat

Here is a typical view to the West on any summer afternoon. That large beige box is the big, ugly marina. Our park is right next to it.

Sailboat

After we got water-logged from snorkeling, we cruised over to an island by the inlet and had “Happy Hour” in our beach chairs while watching the boats go by.

Whaler-Side

Beach

A wonderful day in a wonderful paradise. Times like this remind me why we live here and love Sebastian so much!





Playing Catch-Up

3 07 2010

I feel as though I’ve left a bunch of loose ends on this blog. I’m sure that I’m the only one who cares, but I’m doing my best to tie them up. Here goes:

Miss Carrie and the Giant Electric Bill

Miss Carrie is doing fine (see this post for context). The assistance program covered not only her past due electric bill, but they matched the amount of her credit. I assume this is what happened, because she now has a credit of $250.00. It has been difficult to get her to understand that she won’t have to pay her electric bill for about one year. I guess that she’s had this large credit since February, and has been paying her monthly bill, regardless. We’ve had to explain this to her numerous time, and I’m still not sure that she isn’t sending them payments. I am very grateful to Tom at FPL for taking a personal interest in her case and making sure that her power did not get turned off while we sorted things out.

AJ got her a nice, new water heater for free. Frank (the park manager) donated his time to install it, and Captain Kym’s wonderful lady (Marie) was so generous to pay for the materials.

Carrie also got an increase in her Social Security check (I’m assuming as a result of the phone calls we made). She still won’t wear the clothes I got her. When I ask, she says they are “really nice”, but continues to wear the old ones, with rips and stains. Oh well. I guess you can’t win them all.

Visitors

We’ve had some great company including AJ’s friend Nelson and his son, AJ’s Mom and her fiancee Mark, AJ’s dad and his wife Caroline, my dear friend Kim and my other dear friend Christy. As always, lots of great food, beverages and conversation.

The Garden

I’d give the garden a solid 5 out of 10. A few things are doing great, but many are not. The nematodes are winning most of the battles. The whole endeavor has become a testing ground for which plants are nematode resistant. I’ve had some interesting results, which I’ll share in a later post; as well as a depiction of what happens when you grab the wrong sprayer when treating the plants.

Work

Work is going great. We have finally gotten the wolves away from our door and are working at paying off our debts to family and credit card companies. As the economy continues to falter, we are seeing that bars are hanging in there. I suspect that people will continue to drink until they haven’t a dime to spend.

OK, enough of that half-hearted attempt to get caught up. Please move along for a more interesting post about our recent outing in the lagoon.