Saturday, November 20, 2010

Steinhatchee to...

Saturday, November 20...continued
So what, you might ask, does one do in Steinhatchee on a Saturday night when the no-seeums come out at 5PM? Did I mention we can't pick up one station on the TV? Most of the time in these out of the way places we can at least pick up a couple of educational channels and we catch up on episodes of Rick Steves. No NPR on the radio, either.

Tonight we resorted to our good old standby...National Lampoon's European Vacation. Oh, that's not all we have in the DVD genre, mind you. The reverse side has National Lampoon's Vacation! Holiday ro-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-oad, holiday ro-o-o-o-o-o-oad. Love that Lindsey Buckingham. The good news is that we just discovered there's a "comments" version, too. We were tempted to watch it tonight but decided to pace ourselves. Something to look forward to tomorrow, honey!

All I want for Christmas is Monty Python's All Time Greatest Hits.

Sunday, November 21-
We were restless today. We'd checked out the diesel prices at Sea Hag yesterday and they are $3.95/gal. for diesel. We paid $2.79 in Carrabelle...and calling down to Clearwater we got prices in the low $3 range. Hmmm. We decided to look around at the other marinas here in Steinhatchee to see if someone else might have a better price. River Haven Marina is on the same side of the river as Sea Hag...just under the 25ft. fixed bridge.

We decided to take a walk this morning, then, up to River Haven and see what the price was...and see about whether we could get in there or not. What a fortuitous decision! We walked up and talked with Shari Powell, one of the owners, and found out that 1) price of diesel is $2.89, 2) dockage (including power and wifi) is $25/night and 3) there's enough water around for us to get in here. Guess where we are tonight???

After the marina visit we walked on up to Fiddlers, a local restaurant that has been recommended to us by several different people. Turns out they were having a Sunday lunch buffet that began at 11AM. We were there waiting on the doors to open...and we weren't disappointed. For $10.95/person we had fried chicken, brisket, black eyed peas and rice, a variety of side dishes, 3 soups, salad bar, and a delicious peach and cherry cobbler. We'll be back!

Then we walked over to the grocery store and bought a bag of dog food for Lucy. (BTW, Lucy got a little razor burn at her last grooming (not unusual) and developed what looked like an infection in that area. [I know, I know, TMI!] This morning I called our dear veterinarian, Denise Frazier at Northshore Animal Hospital, and talked with her about the situation. Denise had put together a great first aid kit for Lucy when we went out on the first trip and updated it for this round. I have an antibiotic in the kit that she suggested I begin giving Lucy. Thank you Dr. Frazier!! :-)

So...our new location is great. It's like being off the main drag and in a quiet, more intimate neighborhood. The marina is great, the owner dropping by the boat this evening to tell us about the proximity to Fiddlers Restaurant. We'll be here tomorrow, at least. Our aim was to move on down to Cedar Key asap...but there's a full moon this week and a phenomenon called the "negative tide."

Monday, November 22-
What is this negative tide, we wondered? Our charts show depths and those depths are expressed in feet to represent the mean low water. So when we go into a channel that's showing 6 ft. (with our 4.5ft. draft)...we're expecting that most of the time the water is at least that deep. With a negative tide the water will be below that charted amount. Notice a tide chart sometime and look at the days when there's a full moon. Often those days will indicate a negative tide expressed with a negative number like -0.6. The full moon is responsible. We know the full moon makes people we know it makes the tides crazy, too.

This morning we spent several hours figuring out the tides for this location, Cedar Key, and Tarpon Springs...charting the course for each leg of the weather resources for information about wind and waves tomorrow and the next day. After a nice breakfast at Cackleberry's (adjacent to Fiddlers) we made the firm decision to go on Tuesday to Cedar Key and anchor out...then to Caladesi State Park (near Tarpon Springs) on Wednesday. Both days we'll need to be on the water by 6:30AM to avoid being around for a negative tide period. Tomorrow's trip will take around 7-7.5 hrs. and Wednesday's will take at least 9 hours. By Wednesday night, though, we will be back in the ICW and, therefore, in more protected waters.

A few pictures of Steinhatchee before we leave. First, Wayne sitting at the colorful bar at Sea Hag Marina..."it's five o'clock somewhere."

And a view from our dock looking up Steinhatchee River on the last evening here.

BTW, a little factual info on the town, the name (pronounced STEENhatchee) came from Native American words meaning river (hatchee) of man (esteen). A big improvement over the community's original name, Deadman's Bay.

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