Category Archives: On the Water

Sandy Feet

In my world, sandy feet are the sign of a very nice day at work.  My morning was spent birdwatching on Siesta Key Beach for an article I’m writing about wintering birds.

Great Blue Heron and harem

One of about 800 Reddish Egrets in Florida

Ruddy Turnstone

Red Knots that migrated from the Arctic

Pelicans hunting

Ella’s Boating Birthday

It’s been two days of non-stop tourism for me – the Ringling Museum yesterday and rental boating today.  I’m relaxed, happy and sunburned.  I may as well be from Ohio.  It’s awesome.  I’d say it was back to work tomorrow but covering the Sarasota Dirty Duo seems more like a continuation of the impromptu stay-cation than actual work.

Today’s outing was all about Ella.  Monday is her birthday, so Ubermommy rented a pontoon boat and we celebrated Florida-style – on the water.  It was also a day about critters.  We didn’t spot any dolphin or manatee, but we found a sand dollar, spider crabs and snails living in conch shells.  The sand dollar was a fluke, but crabs and snails littered the sand bar where we docked.  You couldn’t walk three feet without seeing one or the other.

John found the sand dollar after jumping in the water to save the metal Madeline bucket pictured above.  In writing, it sounds silly; but in person, that bucket carries 17 years of family memories.  It was bought for Mary, the oldest of my sister’s children, and today was holding critters for Dylan, the youngest of my sister’s children.  A lot has happened in between, and thanks to John going overboard, we have one more story to drop in…Remember the time Uncle John jumped off the boat to save the Madeline bucket and came up with a sand dollar?  Good memories were made today.  Thanks, Ella!

If you’re looking for a good boat rental, Captain Larry will take care of you.

Lunch: Spanish Mackerel

John just brought home lunch, and Luke just couldn’t stay out of the picture.

Cooper and Grouper

Dinner was on Cooper last night…Not only did he catch it, he cooked it!He fried the grouper and smoked the little fish on the hibachi.The grouper was divine.  The other three got mixed reviews.Cooper was clearly a fan.  His grin and the leftovers reminded me of the old cartoon cat that puts the fish in its mouth and pulls it out with nothing left but the spine.  As for me, I don’t care much for heads on my plate.  It started at the hibachi…their mouths were opened too wide and looked too circular.  It was as if they were pleading with us, “Nooooooo!”  Plus it’s a lot of work to eat a whole fish like that.  You have to pull the skin back and watch for bones.  Cooper looked like he knew what he was doing; John did not.  Big men shouldn’t eat small fish…he was spitting out bones every other bite.  Still, life and dinners are good when you live by the water.

Sarasota Boat Parade of Lights

We had all seen the parade before but never from the water.  It was front-row, and it was fun.  We tied up in a line of boats along the parade’s route at Marina Jack. There was dancing…There was boat-hopping…And there were lots of lights… I don’t know who won the contest; although you can find out at Marina Jack restaurant.  The trophy will be on display for the next year.  But the birthday boy’s pick for the winner was this 1957 Chevy.

Happy Birthday, John!

John’s birthday was yesterday, but since we love him so much, the celebration is being extended to include the whole weekend.  That being said, it didn’t have the most glamorous start.  They both start with a “g” but a garage sale is anything but glamorous.  Unless, you spend some of your earnings on lobster.And one was free!  Lotsa Lobster is just South of the Sarasota Square Mall, and they’ll give you a free lobster on your birthday…but sorry, kiddies, you have to be 18 to indulge.  You also have to spend $10, which is no problem considering their selection of fresh scallops, clams and fish.With our bellies full of lobster and drawn butter practically seeping from our skin, we floated off to the Sarasota Boat Parade of Lights.  The weather was perfect and the sun was setting as we made our way over to Marina Jack.

Sidebar for the house Katherine Harris is building.  The word on the street is that it’s a house for entertaining not living.  There’s supposedly multiple fireplaces and a large ballroom surrounded by balconies.

Now back to the joys of nature not inheritance…I haven’t sorted through my pictures of the boat parade yet.  To be continued…