Chasing Dolphins!

It’s about time the dinghy went back in the water!  We enjoy dinghy riding … explore the area and see what we can see.  So splash went the dinghy and we headed out the marina channel.   The first thing we saw was a barge coming in the channel, rather strange, but apparently this barge is going to work on some docks somewhere.  Then we spotted an “everglades” style air boat, unusual in this area, but they were taking advantage of the zero draft to fish in waters even the flats boats don’t go.  I can’t imagine there are fish in four inches of water, but who knows.

Then we were off – outside the channel and no wake zone, we opened up the power-charged 8 hp Tohatsu and our 9′ zoom zoom AB dinghy took off on a plane.  I love this boat and I love the Tohatsu, both serve us well, with minimal maintenance and just keep on going (hopefully I didn’t just jinx us!).Dinghy Zoom

We like to venture far afield in the dinghy, I guess that’s because in the Western Caribbean, we’d  dinghy for miles to reach the best snorkeling/spearfishing reefs.    So with the breeze in my hair … and blowing David’s hat off … we skim over the ice-tea clear waters of Charlotte Harbor up to the next inlet.  Along the way we saw lots of birds, cormorants, brown pelicans, white pelicans, seagulls, even invaded an osprey’s privacy while taking his bath.

Cormorants pose on posts.

Cormorants pose on posts.

But NO bald eagles.  David told me when he did the delivery the other day that there were bald eagles on the sandbars outside the marina, munching on fish, no less.  We’ve seen them soaring overhead much more frequently this year than last, so I was hopeful … but no bald eagles.  We’ll have to try again another day.

What's that off the starboard bow?

What’s that off the starboard bow?

On the way back … WAIT, what’s that off the starboard bow?  A blip, then another and we were off chasing dolphins. Dolphins are abundant in this area.   They love playing around the boats in the marina, bumping the hulls (particularly just before dawn, an hour I fondly refer to as “uncivilized”), tossing fish in the air during their feeding frenzies, jumping and cavorting and treating us to dolphin shows as good as anything at Sea World.

Dolphins playing around the dinghy ... just not too close.  FYI, a powerboat wake just rocked the dinghy, accounting for tipsy photo.

Dolphins playing around the dinghy … just not too close. FYI, a powerboat wake just rocked the dinghy, accounting for tipsy photo.

Dolphins

We turn off the Tohatsu and drift, but they continue to play just out of camera range.   What fun.  When the action fades, we reluctantly pull the cord and turn the dinghy toward home.

Wonder where we’ll go tomorrow … oh wait, there’s a cold front supposedly coming through … or stalling out north of us … or who knows!   Maybe the next day!  Both of us wonder how far Matlacha really is and if we could dinghy there for lunch at Bert’s Bar, a Matlacha (pronounced MAT-la-shay) institution.   Hmmmm…..

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