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Posted by sailingnightwatch in Caribbean, Durbeck, FL, Florida, ICW, Pensacola, Repairs, Restoration, Sailing, Sailing the ICW.

Well survived 2 weeks, then my son picked me up for a 4 day 4th weekend. Wahoo. First he picked me up to take me to the eye doctor. Cataracts are a coming, there coming indeed. Well, I new that before we left 2.5 years ago. This doc said yes they are there and you see them, but many of his patients do not come in till they almost can not see.   I am sorry, but I was blessed with much better then average site. I got used to being able to see what others have never seen. I want to keep it that way. I also have this dream that we are going back to the Bahamas right after Christmas. Got to keep the old bod together for a while yet.

Today it was the dentist. Technology has moved on. They have digital x-rays. First visit, you get x-rays. As soon as they take the shot, it shows up on the computer right beside you. Then you get the lecture about what brushing has done for you for 2 years without cleaning. Then what flossing would have done for you. Then what 2 years without a cleaning did for you. Not good. Then there is this deep cleaning. They go back into your gums and scrape out that growth of stuff that would have been taken out before the last year. I have had some of that done on a tooth or two in the past. Not a pleasant experience. A shot of Novocain hear one there and next to no pain. Then you get the digital ex-ray after the fact. No pack or what ever. Cool. Pay your bill and move on. Till about 3 hours later. Then you realize they pried your gums open to scrape the stuff out. The Novocain is gone, time for stiff drinks. Well not really. What is always worse is eating that first meal. You know you are stuffing food in all those nice clean places.

The 4th weekend. Much better then the dentist. I did the eye thing Friday. Then my son drove me to his house. A nice end to dilated eyes. Eyes were back to normal by mid afternoon. Saturday morning we were off to fish by sun up. We went out into the Gulf right off the beach for several miles fishing for Tarpon. Not something you eat, but a great fighting fish. About 10 am we headed to the secret Tarpon hole. Tarpon rolling all over the place but they were not hungry. It is getting hot. Time for lunch and planning for the afternoon venture.

Mid afternoon we took off for an island that marks the south side of the Tampa Ship Channel. The tide must be going out at 5 knots. We motor up and in towards the beach. Shut down, cast your lines out and drift out with the tide. Get out where you want to go, bring in your line and move back to the start. Drift Casting. I must mention that my son did catch a cat fish at the secret spot. And, I did see a lot of Tarpon there.

It’s the third or forth trip out on the tide. My daughter-in-law is spending her time netting crabs. Our bait for the Tarpon. I get a hit!!! It is heavy, goes where it wants to, yes, yes, yes. A couple minutes later my son says,” it has to be a shark”…. Na. I am not reeling this sucker in, it feels more like winching him in. He is finally coming up. good 3+ feet long. 10 feet, 5 feet, 3 feet, very visible. He comes up close enough to grab and opens his mouth and the bait fall out of his mouth. And he is gone. With catch-and-release, you have to get the leader knot up to the furthest out guide on your rod. The resident fisherman on the boat, my son, says the knot was not there, therefore is was not a catch. Bull. He was close enough I am not putting my hand in the water. What ever.

Sunday my son gets called in for a case. That what happens when you have surgeons who are on call and have nothing to do. My son got back about 10. We went out to eat lunch and then off to the county reefs. These are old barges that were sunk in the 50’s to make fishing reefs.

Off we go, about 20 miles out. Still not much wind and the swells are coming from 90 degrees to 180 degrees. It is like being in a wash machine. Really slam the boat getting out there. Tried different speeds, different directions, different trim. Still hard slams when the waves got together. Coming back was a lot better.

Conclusion: There are no fish in this part of the Gulf. We did not even go out on the 4th. It was in the 90’s by 9 am. Plus we had a pool party to go to that afternoon. The party was great. I would be happy to go fishing again…, after there have been some fish seen and caught in the last 48 hours.

Next Monday it is the Dermatologist. I heard they get paid by the pound of flesh they take out of you. This really does not sound good. After that I probably need a good general physical. Have not had one of those in 3 years. Get the blood test and see how the numbers are going up and down.



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