Saturday, May 27, 2017

You've heard of tennis elbow...


How about shutter finger?


Well, more like "concrete mixing knuckle" - yeah, she is still hurting from mixing the concrete when we set a post in it a week ago.  On the fun side: we've added another splint type device to our "malady drawer" (the drawer that holds all our straps, splints, braces, etc).

She discovered it isn't as easy to use your middle finger for the shutter release on the camera...


Another warm and windy day in the Tropical Tip.  Small craft advisories due to wind, which is currently 20, gusting to 27.  Nonetheless, we figured we'd beat the holiday weekend crowds (yes, even on the water) by getting out early today.

It worked, we only saw a few small private fishing boats out this morning.  OK, may have been more due to the wind than the time.  No boats...


Joan was on the lookout for dolphins...


She reminded me that we could see an Orca this morning...


Her travel mug is the Orca brand.

As you'd expect, the water was a little lumpy this morning, so we stayed where we could get some protection...


Then, in the ship channel, Joan got the first view...


A couple dolphins, but they were quite elusive.  Still, we enjoyed looking around for them.



We made our way back through the turning basin, where a group of jetskis came roaring in, single file.  The last two were a bit behind and cut inside the channel marker - they were fortunate the tide is up right now.

We passed by this Coast Guard boat tied in front of the Homeland Security office for this area - the bow ensign is a jack, signifying a US non-Navy vessel having the longest total period as active (in place of the Union Jack).


From there, we headed towards home.  Coming in our canals...



This is typical of the bay fishing boats around here...


They are designed to run in shallow water; not much boat in the water, no topsides to speak of.  They are designed to do a specific job - get fishermen to the shallow fishing waters.

Turning into our canal, we saw an unusual sight...



What looks to be a group of more than a dozen osprey.  Around here, we generally see them hunting individually or as pairs.  Gathered together for the holiday weekend?

Back at the dock, after cleaning the boat, we headed to Manuel's Restaurant for a late breakfast.  I was thinking it would be late enough that the holiday breakfast crowd would have subsided and the lunch crowd not arrived... I would be wrong.  I don't generally care to wait for a table at a restaurant, but this is Manuel's - those who have been there will understand.


Friday, May 26, 2017

That's a wrap...


Today was the ribbon-cutting ceremony!

Our son-in-law Dan did the graphic design for the City of Buckeye Library's bookmobile...




Dan developed the characters and did the design work so it would flow with the lines of the (formerly plain white) bookmobile.  The ribbon-cutting...


Nice that they invited Dan to do the cutting!

Group shot...


Steph and Dan...




We are very proud of the graphic design work Dan has been doing, for clients all over the country.  We have seen his growth/development over the years (some of you may remember the Captain Jim comic strip that was a regular feature here almost a decade ago).

And, yes, Steph checked out some books.  I'd like to think we had some part in her being a voracious reader - we read to her every night when she was little... back in the olden days before e-readers... and tablets... OK, even before personal computers.  ;-)  Oops, digressing again.

Way to go, Dan!!


Tag...


You're it.  Scooter "tag"... nobody's it.  It's a race to see who can get a photo with your scoot and post it first.  The latest tag was "your scooter with a horse."  There are horses around here, once you get a ways out of town.  With the holiday weekend traffic pouring into the area, we didn't feel like mixing it up with the crowds.  Just off our island is a restaurant that has a silhouette of a cowboy on a horse painted on the side of the building...


Well, if you look just above the "Restaurant Now Open!" sign, you can see a bit of a horse.  Close enough.  Especially since I haven't participated in the scooter tag game in over a month.  The new tag I posted...


Your scoot by an American Legion Post, for the Memorial Day holiday.

The scooter tag game wasn't the main reason for being out... just running errands and riding around a bit.  We did brave the traffic to go to Walgreens; got "caught" at an intersection with a stoplight when our scoots didn't have enough weight or metal to them to set off the traffic controlled stoplight.  As traffic built up behind us, Joan got off her scoot to tell the woman who was stopped WAY behind us to pull ahead so her car would activate the light.  Yeah, we were there a while.  Over the holiday weekend, the city will probably just set the lights on flashing yellow to keep traffic moving on the main highway through town.  Those of us coming at it from a side street will just have to try to get out between cars... or just stay home for a couple days.  Or, just get out and about by boat.  ;-)

We rode around the Fingers area in town - canals like on our island.  The city put in a few slips for transient cruising boats a few years ago - they mostly sit unoccupied.  There is a sign there, letting people know that the slips are $30 per night.  Not a bad price, considering what the two marinas (both owned by the same people) in the area charge: $2.75 per foot.  Even though, there was only one boat in a slip there.


You have to drive through a residential neighborhood to get to this area, which also has the city boat ramp and parking (paid).  In front of one place along that street is a small retaining wall with this painted on it...


Orcas.  No, there are no Orcas around here.  If you go to the Convention Center on SPI, there is a Wyland Whaling Wall painted on it... also with Orcas.  For some perspective, the new-born Orca calves are larger than most of the adult dolphins around here.  But, people like Orcas - I know I do!

Heading back towards home around 2:00, I asked Joan if she wanted to stop anywhere for lunch... seems she wasn't hungry thanks to the apple pie we had before leaving the house (a la mode for those keeping track).  We drove by a BBQ place here in town (Porky's Pit)... the smell was wafting... I immediately started drooling.  "Let's go back for some BBQ!"

Porky's is kinda what you expect a Texas BBQ place to be - nothing fancy, a few LP album covers on the wall for decor, along with a couple Dallas Cowboys items, and a Route 66 sign.  We are nowhere near the actual Route 66.  Not even close to Ruta sesenta y seis.  ;-)  Joan had one of the specials...


I'm not generally one who posts photos of a meal, but that is a big pile of BBQ beef, coleslaw, mac & cheese, pickles and a jalepeno, and a couple slices of white bread.  You don't get white bread at the chain BBQ places.  ;-)

A few chores to do when we got home, one based on starting to look into considering to think about getting things ready to head out of here again.


Thursday, May 25, 2017

A pretty start to the day...


It was still dark when I shoved off from the dock...


The weather weasels are calling for building winds today, so an early morning outing seems prudent.  Well, that and the sunrise was calling.  At the end of our canal, looking east...


It wasn't that bright to the eye - the camera tries to adjust, but there is frequently this pretty glow in the sky before the sun gets to the horizon.  Out the canal, the drilling ships are lighted and right ahead...


Looking back towards our island, again with that glow in the sky...



Out to the ship channel for an open view of the impending sunrise...




The wind was still light, comfortable in shirt sleeves at 78º.  I put the boat in neutral and just took in the view...



A bait shrimper was on its way out...



The color temperature of the light changes quick this time of day.  A manual exposure on the camera to expose for the sun...


Egrets in the bush, not quite ready to take on the day...


A happy boy, heading back in...


Nice way to start the day.



Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Double Wave...


You know: that excited wave with both hands.

We had a "cold front" come through in the middle of the night... about 10 minutes of rain and some gusty north wind.  This morning, it was a beautiful 72º, clear sky, low humidity, and a cool north breeze.  The wind was supposed to ease up after noon, so the plan was for a boat ride.

A dryer issue came up this morning.  Dry issue?  Yes, thanks for asking.  One of the knobs came off... according to Joan, it was one of the rather important knobs, necessary for controlling the dryer.  Why not just put it back on?  You're just full of questions today, aren't you?  Inside the knob is a plastic shaft with a metal piece... the plastic had come apart to the point the metal was just spinning inside the knob.  Apparently, this is a bad thing.

Joan, being the fix it type, deduced that a small hose clamp would hold it together and allow it to function... with the added bonus of being within the knob, so it wouldn't show.  No, we didn't have a hose clamp small enough.  Really, we both looked.  I hopped on my e-bike and rode to NAPPA to pick up a couple small (the smallest they had) clamps.

It worked.  Good thing - we could probably order another knob, if they still make knobs for this model,  But, we plan on heading out of here in the not too distant future, and sure as heck, it wouldn't get here in time.  Plus, there were wet clothes in the dryer that needed to be dried.  And now they could.

Lunch out at the nearby Mexican restaurant, then out on the boat.  At the end of our canal, the dredging operation working on our canals has moved their pump boat...


I'm guessing they won't get to our canal before we're ready to pull the boat out.  Hoping so, anyway.

We made our way out into the ICW, heading to the ship channel.  A US Coast Guard boat was coming in...



Check out the small boat "garaged" in the stern.  The breeze didn't let up much, but it was still very pleasant out.  Some chop in the ship channel...


We saw about a half dozen shrimpers heading out...


The "classic" pelican shot...


Not a lot of other small boats out today; this sportfisher came at us, kicking wake and belching smoke...



Our first view of dolphins...




We had them to ourselves for a while, then were joined by one of the commercial dolphin watch boats...




We stayed with them for a while, then decided to head back towards home.  I mentioned the clear sky earlier - you can see the oil platforms being worked on in the Port of Brownsville, about 15 miles away...


Heading back towards the turning basin, we came upon another group of dolphins...




Joan and I were both shooting and got another of those "double captures"...



DSLR on top, pocket camera directly above.  More dolphins...



The double wave?  Again, thanks for asking.  As we were ready to turn and head for home, we got a "two tail" wave good-bye...



Yep, we can contentedly head for home now.  Yeah, some birds along the way...




Back at the dock, the depth finder transducer was in need of being scrubbed.  It is the only part of the boat below the waterline that isn't bottom painted... and the water temp has been warm, making the slime grow even faster.  We pulled the boat up a bit further than usual at the dock, I held it in place while Joan wielded the scrub-brush.  Then, back to where we normally tie off (where the gate on the boat lines up with the lowest level of the dock), and I took over the scrub brush to knock off the slime on the inside of the motor bracket.  Less to do when the boat comes out of the water, probably next week.  Yeah, boat ownership is very glamorous.  ;-)