Tuesday, January 29, 2013

kayaking/brown pelicans/Sarasota Fl

9 Days Until Tom Comes Home!!!
Single digits Now!!!! 

Today we got up and readied ourselves for a day of kayaking on the Gulf of MexicoWe put in in the Sarasota Bay and kayaked under the bridge into the Gulf of Mexico.  What a workout.  The current there was a lot for us old kayakers who have not been out for a whileSo we had quite a workout.  As we were putting in I saw a dolphin/porpoise animal in the water straight out from us, but of course I had not gotten my camera out yet and he was long gone when I did.  I did get some great pix of brown pelicans.  I was entertained by them for quite a long time and took soooo many pix of them.  223  pix and I must say most of them were of the bird.  LOL

Unique among the world's seven species of pelicans, the Brown Pelican is found along the ocean shores and on only a few inland lakes in the southwestern U.S. It is the only dark pelican, and also the only one that plunges from the air into the water to catch its food.

The brown pelican is about four feet in length. It has a brown and gray body and a white head with a light brown crown. Its neck is dark brown during breeding season. Young pelicans are all brown. The brown pelican has a very long gray bill with a large pouch of skin. Its pouch holds two or three times more than its stomach can hold -- close to three gallons of fish and water! Males and females look the same.

Coast Guard plane.
Rog in the bay.
We are headed into the Gulf of Mexico.  It is just on the other side of this bridge.  The current is starting to get pretty strong in here.

A siren blows, the bridge is closed to traffic and the span goes up and a boat goes through into the Gulf of Mexico.  It did it a couple of times while we were out there.  One time there was a group of sailboats that went out.  They did not have to raise it for us.  LOL

We are now in the Gulf of Mexico. 
The current is really strong here and it is a lot of work to get out much farther and we are already pooped just getting this farWe can not stop paddling to get some rest then go on because of the current here.  So we decided  us out of shape old heads have no business out here any longer.  The trip back into the bay is a bit easier, but we do need to worry and work so we do not run into the bridge on the way back into the bay.
The pelicans are in the bay floating along so we think they have the right idea.

The brown pelican is a plunge diver. It drops from the air with its wings partly folded and dives into the water to catch its prey. It is the only species of pelican that does this! It uses its bill and pouch like a net. It scoops up fish and water. It strains out the water from the sides of its bill, tips back its head and swallows the fish it caught. It doesn't carry fish in its pouch; it only uses the pouch to scoop up fish. Sometimes gulls will try to steal fish from the pelican's pouch. In fact, they will even perch on the pelican's head and wait for just the right moment to grab a fish! The brown pelican eats menhaden. herring, mullet, sheepshead, silversides and other fish. It also eats crustaceans.
You can see the light colored water in the distance it is very shallow out there.  It is maybe only a foot to a foot and a half deep. 

Brown Pelican Range Map

 View of Sarasota beachfront on the Gulf of Mexico, in the foreground is the Florida Mainland,  with a view of  Sarasota Bay to the right.

In 1885, Sarasota was promoted in Scotland. Many families sailed to America expecting fields of vegetables, housing, and citrus groves. They found only a stump-filled Main Street and most of the colonists left. John Hamilton Gillespie, a Scottish aristocrat, lawyer and member of the Royal Company of Archers, Queen's Bodyguard for Scotland, built what is believed to be America's first golf course in Sarasota.  Attention David our grandson who loves golf and golfing.

 The Ringling Brothers Circus' winter quarters were moved to Sarasota in 1927, thus creating a new identity for Sarasota as a "circus town." Now Sarasota is known as the "Circus Capitol of the World" and is home to many circuses. In 1949, the gymnastics program at Sarasota High School was expanded to include circus acts and the Sarasota Sailor Circus was born. Sarasota County is the only public school system in the United States that sponsors an after school youth circus program known as the Sailor Circus and is also home to Ringling's Clown College.

At the end of WWII, photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt snapped a now famous photo of a sailor kissing a young nurse in New York’s Times Square. In 2005, when artist J. Seward Johnson was invited to participate in the annual exhibition of large scale sculptures displayed along the Bayfront in Sarasota, Florida, he decided to recreate the photo in a 26-foot high Styrofoam sculpture. The piece, named “Unconditional Surrender” by Seward, was so popular that local residents attempted to keep it in Sarasota permanently, but they were unable to find enough donors to pay for the sculpture. Recently, a new aluminum version returned to Sarasota, where it is scheduled to remain until March 2009. However this time Sarasota Season of Sculpture, the non-profit group that sponsors the event, is determined to keep the sculpture in Sarasota.
To do so, the organization will need to raise $675,000. The hundreds of people who stop every day to see the sculpture and have their photo taken in front of it may have given SSoS the germ of an idea; they are inviting  couples to renew their wedding vows at 10 a.m. on Valentine’s Day 2009. Billed as “A Monumental Valentine’s Kiss,” every participating couple will receive a certificate of remarriage and be photographed sharing their own kiss under the sculpture. The $100 tax deductible cost per couple will be used toward the purchase of the monument.

Apr 26, 2012
 Sarasota, Florida -- One person was injured after a car crashed into a giant statue of two people kissing in Sarasota. 
The other night we watched Undercover Boss.  We rarely if ever watch this particular show, but this night nothing else was any good so why not watch.  The company was Mo's Southwestern Grill.  We had never been to one and wanted to try it so Rog looked on the GPS and found one we could go to for lunch after our kayak trip.  It was quite good and the employees were great fun.

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