Saturday, February 6, 2016

January 16, 2016 - Apollo Beach & Tampa, FL

It was nice and warm outside and we decided to go to Apollo Beach, FL for manatee viewing.

It took about half an hour of driving from the fairgrounds to Tampa Electric Manatee Viewing Center in Apollo Beach, FL.  The center opens from 10 am til 5 pm daily.  The address is 6900 Dickman Road in Apollo Beach.  There is a free parking lot and the first row was already full when we arrived there around 10:20 am.  

We went straight to the boardwalk and there were already lots of people on the boardwalk.   The reason for manatees gathering here is because the temperature of the bay was 61˚and manatees have thin layer of fat and like to be in the water that is at least 68˚.  Lots of calves (babies) were clinging to their mothers.  

There were a lot of different species of fish in the canal. There were several tarpons jumping out of the water.  At one point there was a tarpon that jumped out and landed in the middle of the area where manatees were resting and they got spooked and went under the second the tarpon hit the water. It was fun to watch their reactions.

We took a walk on the tidal boardwalk to the end. We did not see any shore birds around. Pelicans were few and so far away.  We did not take the trail to the habitual loop trail (1/2 mile each way) because we had other things to do for rest of the day. 

After shopping at Target for some groceries we went back to the fairgrounds to drop off refrigerated goods at "home", then walked to the RV show. Edith had decided she was going to buy Verizon MiFi and get a tablet for free by signing a 2 year contract for MiFi.  She saves $10 and 2 extra GBs of data by switching from prepay plan to contract plan.  We also picked up a small ceramic frypan that does not require oiling prior to searing or panfrying.  We felt like we had walked over 5 miles in one afternoon.  We also checked out more trailers, 5th wheels and motorhomes that were at the far end of the area.

We were so dead tired after the Rally show.  We decided not to go out for supper because Edith wanted to test her new Verizon tablet (Android).  After setting up preferences she tested by checking out some apps.  She was not used to Android set-up, but will get the hang of it after several uses.  While surfing for the news on Fox app we were surprised that the Green Bay Packers lost to the Kansas City Chiefs in overtime.  It made us feel bad for Erwin’s nephew’s wife Deanna.  She is a die-hard Packers fan.

While Edith was working on the laptop she felt the Lil' Home (LH) was swaying a bit, told Erwin about it.  He went outside to check and was surprised that it was windy and raining.  Too late!!!  Patio chairs and patio rug were outside and now they are very wet! There was nothing we could do but put them away. 

We were very worried about the rain. Why? Because tomorrow is the day we check out of the fairgrounds and the ground might be too soggy and we won't be able to get the LH out without any problems.  It is always a mess if it is raining on the day one checks out of the campground. You have to be outside to unhook the electricity, water, etc. We shall wait and see what tomorrow brings.

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