Thursday, December 23, 2010

Waiting Out the Weather

We're holed up in the tiny fishing town of Steinhatchee, Florida (population 738), waiting out the weather. Our intrepid little canal boat has more than proved she can take on big water . . . but though we're crazy, we're not stupid! When the forecast is for wind more than 15 knots or "Waves 2 to 4 feet" or more (10 feet this weekend!)  we stay in port.

There's MUCH to interest us in Steinhatchee.  Like oysters.  LOTS of oysters
A boater we talked to the other day said, "I spent a week in Steinhatchee once. Longest year of my life."  But we like small towns, where the guy who nods "hello" in a store will later stop when he sees you walking by the side of the road and offer you a ride, and where the local diner is decorated with so many lights, you'd swear you are INSIDE a Christmas tree.

 And honestly, we're glad to sit still for a couple days and catch up on the parts of our lives that don't involve engine maintenance and mapping routes.  

The town is a mix of "Old Florida" and New Florida:  simple, weathered, wooden buildings and swanky condos with "For Sale" signs.   LOTS of "For Sale" signs.

Now, the fishing here is absolutely world class.  (Former President Jimmy Carter vacationed here.)  And you ARE far from the hustle and bustle of city life (the nearest hospital is 40 miles away, the nearest shopping mall is nearly 50 miles away). 

But economic downturn and real estate bubble aside, I'd say it would take a special class of buyer to decide "my dream vacation home is a $400,000 condo with a view of a rusty trailer."

Speaking of fishing, the Cap'n acquired some new tools of the trade back in Apalachicola, including a casting net so he can snag his own bait.  And now that we're sitting tight, he has time to try out his new toys.

Casting nets are like fishing noodles:  a novelty to us non-fishing Yanks, but a tool with a rich history that requires significant arcane knowledge to use effectively. (Did you know that a particular kind of Roman gladiator competed using a trident and a casting net?) 

On our last grocery run, the crew selected some traditional southern bread-crumb coating mix for fish and seafood, so she would be poised and ready to saute that speckled sea trout he is going after!

So far the Cap'n has caught one stick. 

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