Last Friday Wade had the day off, he also has Sat, Sun, and Mon off. His boss is headed on a challenge this week, he's riding his motorcycle from Key West to Alaska! So he will be gone for however long it takes and Wade gets to run the shop! He gets a mini vacation before weeks of H**l, well maybe not that bad. He had helped a friend of our fix his boats so we got to use it...or I should say test drive it. We like to put in at Turtle beach because it's the closest boat ramp to our house.
Last minute checks on the boat before launching. It was hot that day so we stopped in the shade...every little bit helps.
Even used the Bimini top, even though it looks a little goofy. We just got in here and didn't get the top up yet.
The last time we were out on the jet ski and kayak I took some pics of birds on the pilings. I wonder if they each have their own number. We decided to head south toward Venice .
This is the first bridge we come across, or go under. It's a one lane, swing bridge. The traffic has to wait and alternate going over the bridge. We are small enough it doesn't have to swing open for us.
We can go under it, even though it pretty low.
An Osprey nest was just beyond, pretty close to the bridge. You can see the baby's little white head. The baby is pretty big now.
Here is another one a little farther down.
I bet we saw about a dozen nests along the way, and many more flying by, and fishing!
Everyone was very active today!
The next bridge is the one that goes out to Casey Key. I forgot to get a photo of Stephen Kings house as we went by earlier. Oh well, next time.
There used to be a dolphin that hangs out around here, and so many stupid people would feed him. They had to put up this sign telling people not to feed the dolphins. This sign is for the same people who need a sign to make sure they buckle up. They would feed the dolphin then be surprised when they bit their fingers, trying to get the fish...sheesh! We saw a couple of dolphins earlier, but it's hard to get a photo of them, they do move quickly.
Oh yes and pelicans....I love to watch them fish, and fly!
This is Marker 4 in Venice, just under the bridge on Business 41 before you cross to get into Venice. Or channel marker 4 if coming by water.
We stopped for lunch and in the shade with the fans blowing it was very comfortable.
The ceiling is full of paddles. We usually get to come to places like this during the off season, when all the "snow birds" and tourists go back up north. Now we get to go to restaurants without the long wait.
The view from out table, we got to sit near where our boat was tied up.
On the way back, and more birds. If he stepped in the water he would of been swept away with the tide. The tide was rushing out so fast, we had a hard time getting the boat under the bridge here.
We called our friend Eric who runs The Waterfront Too restaurant, what channel marker his restaurant is at. Channel marker 20. So we went down this channel.
To reach his restaurant. He had to go through a lot of red tape to put in his dock, but it's a nice new one. Straight ahead...
Another bird, he was hoping for some leftovers. Hanging out on the rail of the deck on our way out. We didn't eat here just stopped in to say "hi". The bird was scared off as we walked by.
Then flew down on the dock and we had to untie the boat, so here we were again.
Just as we got back into the ICW an Osprey was doing some fishing. We saw him sitting on the pole as we went in. Can you see him skimming the water?
Okay another one in a nest. I wonder...are the females the ones that stay and feed the young?
Farther down as we were turning in to go back to turtle beach, we saw another osprey dive and catch a fish. He was flying right over us and I took several pictures, but my camera doesn't zoom very much. This is the best one that you can actually see the fish that he caught! The end of our trip down the ICW. (They didn't know I was taking this photo), we really did have a good time. It was nice to get a chance to take it easy on the water...and not on the weekend. We even saw a manatee...sort of, as much as you can see from a boat in the wild. One nice thing about a jet boat, no exposed propeller to hurt anything! There were no problems, the boat ran fine!
Maranda graduated from eighth grade and will be starting high school next year. Thursday night was her schools graduation. She goes to a very small school and will be continuing into high school at the same school. So to her it was not a real big deal. Here she is with one of her BFFs.
Before the graduation started with a couple of her classmates. Maranda did win the Lion's Award. I wasn't prepared for that so I wasn't able to get a good photo of her accepting her award. It is for a student who comes to school everyday with a good attitude, smiling face and is friendly and encouraging to others.
They held a dinner right next door to where the ceremony was. They all started out with some line dancing. The founder of the school passed away this year and this was the first graduation without her. They all tried to carry on as she would and she always wanted everyone to dance and started out with this song to line dance to.
Maranda's trying to get down and boogie!
Her Marine Biology teacher dragged her out there and is showing her some....umm...disco moves? That's okay the teacher is moving to Texas, so it's okay to let her hair down.
The next day, Friday was our schools last day for the students. So here are a few of the precious faces that I see every day!
In the health room...
They come with their buddies...
First thing in the morning an breakfast....
Pull out a camera and silly things happen with kids....
Classes waiting for the fifth graders to come for their graduation walk....
Some are thrilled....some, maybe they're just nervous....