A Trip to Florida

The Supercomputing convention was in Tampa this year, so Flo and I took the opportunity to visit Family and the Roseate. The convention was huge, but exceedingly unexciting, while downtown Tampa was as unappealing as ever. I knocked off a bit early one afternoon to drive out to the Gulf.Unfortunately, the coast has been covered so thoroughly with condominiums that we seldom got to see the Gulf, much less enjoy a walk along it. The Florida I grew up in is long gone, at least around the cities.

Come Thursday, I’d had about as much conference as I could take, and we drove up the coast to Yankeetown. You know, right next to Crackertown. It’s a very small town on the Withlacoochee river, just south of the point where the coast curves west. It’s only distinguishing characteristic was the presence of the Roseate at a private dock just off the river. We actually went a bit further north and visited Cedar Key before we went to the boat. Though Cedar Key has been blighted a bit, you don’t have to go very far away to discover some really nice places. We visited a historical state park that we liked quite a lot. It did seem strange to see New-England style buildings on the waterfront, all housing resturants and similar operations.

That boat was cold! I think it was the first time it had been used in cold weather, and it just wasn’t equipped for it. There were no curtains for the windows, and only think cotton blankets for the beds. We went and got some fleece blankets and those helped a lot. I suspect that it will get curtains soon, which should reduce radiation losses a lot.

The next day we went up along the Suwanee River and visited a couple of springs and the wildlife refuge. Spring flow was down from a dry summer, but it was still lovely. Read the captions on the pictures for more on this. I was pleased to discover that this area was just as beautiful as I remembered it.

Saturday Charlie came up and we took the boat out into the Gulf and up the Homosassa river. There was surprisingly little chop on the Gulf, despite a storm that had come through a bit before. Actually, shortly after we left Florida another storm came through and they actually had snow in Orlando. I feel reasonably competent at handling the boat in simple situations now, though my physical limitations (two bad ankles) worry me for solo trips. We’ll have to see.


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