Sunday, December 13, 2009

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Craig and Dawn had originally made plans to be in Orlando this weekend. Craig had some vacation time to burn and they like to get out of town when they can but we were pleased that they decided to stick around home and leave their weekend open to spend with us. Today was our “shopping day.” Craig and Dawn picked us up at the marina at 9:30 am and we headed for the mall. We needed to find a new wedding band for Gale to replace the band with the missing diamond and were hoping to pick up Christmas gifts for each other along with a few smaller items. Our expedition turned out to be quite successful. Gale chose a very attractive tungsten wedding band with a small inlaid diamond that should work better for him with all of the “hands on” work he does. Maureen picked out a pair of polarized sunglasses as her Christmas gift and Gale found a pair of deck shoes as his.

Gale had made a date with Tom Saunders, our next boat neighbor in the marina, to meet at 3 pm and do some saltwater fishing. Even though Tom is legally blind, he had spent some years working aboard a charter fishing boat and was a very accomplished fisherman. Gale was eager to learn what he could from him and Tom was happy to share his knowledge. On our way back to the marina, we stopped at a local bait and tackle shop to pick up the items that Tom had told Gale he would need. Upon our return, Tom was getting his dinghy ready to go. Brandon, a 15-year old that Tom had “mentored,” was hanging around the dock during the afternoon and Tom invited him to go along. Gale lowered his own dinghy and they set out.

The fishing area they chose was just outside of the marina and in very shallow waters. Upon arrival, they rafted the two dinghies together and Tom showed Gale how to cast and jig for trout and redfish. Gale caught the first three fish – all speckled trout. Brandon caught the biggest fish of the day – a 25-inch speckled trout – and Tom commented that he had never seen a bigger one! All in all, Gale caught about 10 speckled trout and two sand perch. The trout were all released because the season didn’t open for another two weeks. He turned the perch loose because he wasn’t sure if they were in season either. Three very happy fishermen returned to the docks before sunset.

Craig drove back to Dunedin to pick Gale up and bring him back to the house. Dunedin was having its Holiday Christmas Celebration and the Christmas parade was slated to begin at 6 pm. Craig encountered quite a bit of traffic on his way in and out of town, but the men returned home and brought with them the wonderful boiled shrimp that we peeled and ate for our evening meal. Following supper, Craig and Dawn took us on a Christmas light tour around their neighborhood. There were many homes with festive decorations, but two places really stood out of the crowd. In fact, people made a point to visit these homes during the Christmas season because the displays were spectacular. We actually parked the car and got out to walk around the grounds at both places. By the time we’d seen the lights, everyone’s energy was beginning to fade so Craig and Dawn took us back to the marina for the night with the promise to meet up again tomorrow.

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