Central Florida, USA Currently on hiatis from Christa
I rendevous with Janina who resides in central Florida, not far from my parents house. Janina had several options well researched for a day of fun in the sun in the sunshine state. Being nautical types, we opted for an inland water adventure. We Kayaked about twelve miles down the Weeki Wachee river, somewhere in Florida. It was a really cool experience. We started out at the Weeki Wachee Springs Park and rented the kayaks. Once on the river, we flowed along in the 3 mph current that twists and turns, with shadows cast from the gigantic Cypress trees providing some relief from the sun. The river is spring feed, cool and as crystal clear as the Bahamas. Carp and other critters were scurring throughout. Wow it was a wonderful day. And equally wonderful to catch up with Janina!
I penned an article about my sailing adventure and submitted it to a couple of different publications. Latitude38, a legendary sailing rag from San Francisco published the article in the June and July edition of the mag. They did some minor edits, but used the photos I submitted. I am thrilled they published it. I've published several times with them, and while on active duty the Coast Guard would publish a Search and Rescue monthly column in Latitude. I was one of the folks who researched and put the article together before the boss put his stamp on it and submitted. During this time I went to some Latitude38 Crew List parties and other functions, really gaining an appreciation for the magazines dedication to all things nautical. So surf on over to www.latitude38.com and check it out. For readers who are not familiar, don't waste your time with mags like Cruising World, you'll learn more and feel much more engaged by reading Latitude. plus the mag is free!
Sorry folks I have taken so long to update said blog. I departed Grenada aboard an American Airlines plane on July 6th and safely made it to Tampa, where Dad picked me up for further transport to Summerfield. It truly is wonderful to be back in the United States, home of the brave. I have lots of irons in the fire, as the saying goes. I've been pretty busy visiting my parents and 86 year old grandfather who has been pretty ill in Vero Beach.
Culture shock is real. I've missed the ease of gathering supplies and taking care of the daily choirs. St Maartin was the last place I'd been that really had any kind of westernized grocery stores. Even then they were small, expensive and limited. Then the other day I entered a Publix and was bewildered at its scope. I would have not done well on the Prices Right as I totally had lost contact with what was a reasonable price. For example, I am a coffee snob and want good coffee. The best coffee I could find in Grenada was Dunkin Donuts original blend, 12 OZ. Price? $26.95 USD. I was lockin up. I did have a clue that $26.95 was a bit pricey, but didn't know I could get the same coffee and size for about $5.00. On the flip side of that coin, I dined on some beautiful red American "organic" tomatoes that were ok, but compared to tomatoes in the island tasted poorly. Fruits and vegies in the islands look mangled, likely are filled with seeds and stalks, but the taste is rich and full of flavor. This tells me that food in the US is being engineered in some fashion to look good at the expense of taste. I always side with function over fashion; then again I am a male.
Another bummer is all the traffic signs and stop lights. In the bannana republics, to the in experienced eye, things looks quite chaotic, with all the horns and cars stopping where they like. But really an organized ebb and flow is occruing. Personal responsibility dictating society? How shocking. American driving is regulated in every aspect.