Monday, June 7, 2010

Long weekend with Nicky!

Well, after a haul-out for Equinox on Wednesday, and fit and adjustment of the boat trailer for Tingum on Thursday (lots of running around there, from the trailer storage place to boat ramp to trailer store and back again), we finally took a hiatus from coordinating all the boat work this past weekend. The reason? We had a good friend from Baltimore visiting, Nicky, Ron's long-time former "day wife" aka his professional executive secretary from his former working life. It was great to see her and have her join us here in Florida for a few days! Her arrival didn't mean that all boat work stopped, for Mechanic Dave continued his efforts down belowdecks inspecting and replacing the water pump on the 12Kw genset and changing an exhaust fitting to the air filter on the 20 kw. Thus, progress was being made!

Heading out aboard Tingum Saturday morning with Nicky

We had a great time showing Nicky around. We went out for lunch and/or dinners at our favorite spots from Mulligan's to Ian's, to Conky Joe's to Crawdaddy's. We found good music and did some dancing, along with the great food! We went out in Tingum both Saturday and Sunday mornings to do some fishing in the Gulf Stream and generally just enjoyed being out on the water. While we weren't entirely successful in our efforts at fishing, we did get one mahi-mahi, although it was just a small one which we released. Nicky was happy to experience it, although with the waters being so calm and the days so bright, we should have been bottom-fishing if we wanted to be more successful. With the weather being so hot, hot, hot, we all wanted the breeze from trolling though, so enjoyed that! Maybe next time we'll stop and bottom-fish...

Nicky at the helm!

Ron skirting some ballyhoo

Saturday, on our return to the St. Lucie Inlet, we saw an absolutely huge leatherback turtle that was at the water's surface. At first we weren't sure what was at the surface, until we saw its huge helmet-shaped head and the very distinctive ridges on its leathery carapace. Out of the many, many turtles we have seen, either while diving or aboard a boat, this was our first leatherback sighting. According to the NOAA Fisheries Office of Protected Resources, leatherback turtles are the world's largest reptile, and the largest turtles in the sea, typically weighing in at 600-1000 pounds. Mature adult turtles can reach 6-7 feet long and some have tipped the scales at 2000 pounds! They are highly pelagic animals and make long migrations, so can be found in tropical waters to more temperate latitudes. I'm just sorry I didn't grab my camera in time to get a picture of it before it dove down and away from us, but for us, just seeing it was a treat and very cool!! 

After fishing for a bit Sunday morning, we took Tingum around to Sunset Bay Marina where we enjoyed a great lunch with our dear friends off the Miles Aweigh. More boat talk, good food and fun times there, then we cruised a bit more, exploring Manatee Pocket with its scenery, marinas and restaurants. We passed a floating "Coney Island" -- shades of the pit beef boat from Hart-Miller Island days of years ago! Between catching glimpses of dolphins and watching the pelicans along the St. Lucie River, we had quite a nice cruise! 

The floating hot dog stand, Coney Island!

We enjoyed showing Nicky around our new hometown, and were glad she came to visit. We also were delighted to speak with Ally, who is now back from her Argentina May Program trip. That was an amazing experience, and a great way to wrap up her senior year. She has one more week at Oldfields School before we all join her next weekend for graduation. Friends and family...that's what its all about!

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