Sep 24, 201204:48 PM
Swing Set: Cruising Full Time
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Once we got the boat cleaned up on Saturday morning, using the clear freshwater from the river, we loaded up the dinghy and went exploring. We had a line on some local hangouts, and we retraced our path back to near the entrance to the river, where a shell beach attracted local boaters. We chatted with some guys in a little center console, and they showed us their catch of scallops and demonstrated how to clean one should I decided to go hunt them before the season ends on Tuesday. I figured the season for the scallops didn't mean much to me, as I didn't intend on having a fishing license anyway. We have to wait another week or so before the six month requirement for residency takes affect.
We left the shell beach and headed to another hangout, and we anchored the dinghy in some clear shallow water near one of the popular manatee viewing areas. There were lots of other boats anchored there, too, and as soon as we got situated, Holly made the acquaintance of another dog in a neighboring boat. The dog's owners walked over, and we visited with them until we were almost out of beer.
We continued our search for local hangouts and headed for Three Sisters Springs, where there were a few boats anchored around the entrance to one of the sources for the Crystal River. The water was cold and clear coming from the springs, which was welcome on a hot day. You have to wade in past the entrance to actually go view down into the springs, and it's best to do with snorkel equipment, something we'll do later this week, as we plan on staying here for at least a week.
We took Holly back to the boat and got ourselves presentable to visit one of the popular watering holes, Crackers. We tied the dinghy up and got a high-top table in the tiki hut, which was full of patrons. No one was at the bar, so we decided to enjoy the view from the deck and just people watch. The menu was a little more suited to our wallet than Fiddlers was, but we weren't in the mood for a heavy dinner. We had a big platter of chicken wings and another basket of flounder fingers. The flounder was delicious, and the wings were prepared just the way we like them. We're going to visit Crackers again before we leave.
This picture was taken at sunrise this morning. We are sharing Kings Bay with several other vessels, none of them presently occupied. We could call some of them derelict vessels, and we wouldn't be wrong. The sailboat in the picture is one of them, there are lots of birds using this boat as their roost, and subsequently, their toilet.
What attracts us to this town is the protection of the anchorage and the fact that there are several local boater hangouts if we get antsy for human interaction. There is also a Big Lots for groceries if we need them and also a laundromat that we can reach after a short walk once we park the dinghy. We know the grocery store and laundromat are not too far away, judging from the Mapquest directions, but this morning we are going in search of them in person. We're also going to bring along our laundry bag, so we can get a couple of loads done while we are at it.
We also know that we won't be spending the rest of our lives in freshwater, but since we are here we'll make the most of it. The locals say the water quality has diminished somewhat over the years, but when the tide is going out, the water is plenty clear to us and is very inviting to dive into. One thing missing is a coastal breeze to spin our wind generators. We've only run our diesel generator for 15 hours in over three weeks, so our wind generators are doing what we expected them to do, but we'll trade a few hours of diesel generator use for the clear freshwater of our present anchorage. For a few days anyway, until we decide to head for our next stop, which we think will be Tarpon Springs, unless we hear of another inviting place in the mean time.