Gulf of Mexico
somewhere out there is where we'll be tomorrow and the next day
Pete’s Pier in Crystal River is a nice enough marina, not fancy by any means, but adequate. It’s about a mile to the nearest store, a Save-A-Lot, and the West Marine. Neither place holds a lot of excitement. But Kerry walked to both of them several times during our 5 days and 6 nights at Pete’s.
The boat ramp at Pete’s is quite busy, especially on weekends. We were entertained somewhat watching people backing trailers down the ramp and loading and unloading boats with varying degrees of expertise. Add the strong west winds that came up every afternoon, and you have a few moments of drama.
Saturday evening around dark, when it finally settled down, and the use of the ramp had dwindled, we were enjoying the quiet. We heard the unmistakable sound of squealing tires and crunching metal that shrieks “car wreck!” We stepped off the boat and onto the dock to see blue lights arriving. One would assume (correctly as it turned out) that the police had been in pursuit to arrive so soon after the crash. Before we knew it, a second police car arrived, then a third. We heard a policeman yell, “On the ground!
this bird was getting bugs from under the toe rail of the sailboat across the way
Now!” So here’s the story as I read it in the police report online: Our perpetrator (the perp,) an 18-year old, had been drinking and hit another vehicle with his pickup truck down the road somewhere. He and the owner of the vehicle he hit were having words when the police arrived. Our perp, because he’d been drinking (he told the police,) took off with the police in hot pursuit. He reached Pete’s at a speed of 50-60 mph, and realized the road wasn’t going anywhere, so decided to make a u-turn in the parking lot. He then slid into a concrete power pole, bounced off that, and hit a pickup truck parked with its boat trailer in Pete’s lot. Then, using all the wisdom available to him, he jumped out of his truck and ran. The policeman, who had not been drinking, nor had he just run into a pole and a truck, quickly overtook him. The perp then got on the ground as told and was handcuffed. The three police cars were joined by an ambulance and a fire truck before our evening entertainment ended.
Sunday morning we decided to go see the manatees and maybe get
from our anchorage
some pictures. We put the dink in the water and headed south, to where we were told they were likely to be. The boat traffic had not yet got heavy and the water was still pretty flat, so we kind of followed one of the “Swim with the Manatees” boats. They were apparently having some difficulty finding manatees and were just wandering around. We finally saw one manatee crossing the bay, but didn’t want to chase it (that’s against the law) and, besides, the wind was picking up and the water was getting pretty choppy. So we went back to the boat and put the dink back up on the roof.
The rest of our stay at Pete’s Pier consisted of mostly piddling around, cleaning, playing solitaire, surfing the web, etc. Kerry probably checked the weather reports a dozen or more times a day. We kept hoping to get an email from Sara and Trevor telling us of their progress.
This morning (Wednesday) we headed back to the Gulf of Mexico. The wind was from the northeast and light, but combined with the residual swells from the west, we had confused seas and made a zig-zag path towards Cedar Keys. We saw along the way several turtles, dolphins, ballyhoo and mullet jumping out of the water, and some jelly fish. We are anchored in the Cedar Keys, near North Key, where we anchored on the way south in December. Again, we were greeted by dolphins as we turned into the Northwest Channel into the Cedar Keys. The weather has been cool today for a change, and we kept the pilot house doors mostly closed all day. The high point of the day was connecting to the internet after anchoring and finding Sara’s blog on their adventures since last we heard from them.
Tomorrow we head for Steinhatchee and hope to cross the Gulf of Mexico on Friday.
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