I’M JUST CURIOUS: Wandering Nanas on the river

by Debbie Walker

The weekend of September 8 and 9 was a busy one for the Wandering Nanas; the eighth was Nana Dee’s 80th birthday! In my way of thinking the 80th should be celebrated, I call it a significant number.

Nana Dee has a Bucket List of activities to enjoy. One of those things was to have an air boat ride. Even though she grew up in Florida she was never in the right place at the right time to have one. Well, Saturday she was in just the right spot.

Saturday afternoon we arrived at River Safaris, in Homosassa, for a Gulf Airboat Ride and Dolphin Quest. The cruise is a 90-minute ride. The river on the Central West Coast of Florida, puts us about one hour south of Gainesville and about one hour north of Tampa.

Captain “Irish” Dave was our guide. He has been running the river for 10 years and definitely knew his way around. He zoomed us through backwaters, estuaries and passed some historic Indian islands. We zoomed through saltwater marshes leading to clear, shallow waters. We saw fish, corals and sponges, birds and ducks.

This cruise was also a Dolphin Quest and it did not fail us! We were able to watch a pod of six dolphins frolic alongside and around us. I even managed to get a few pictures of them as they broke the water’s surface. Did I mention how shallow the gulf is off our coast?

I didn’t think so. The way I have always heard it told is this part of the gulf is not the best for deep sea fishing. The story is that we get deeper by about a foot a mile. So, you would have to go out about 30 miles to get the right depth. What’s always been funny to me is you can go out on a boat, get to a point where you see no land on any horizon. The funny part is you can get off the boat and very possibly walk on the bottom! I have been out a few times scalloping, and the first time was a real shock to me when I got off the boat and stood up. I loved it. I figured if we had boat trouble we could always walk to the shore, except…… I really didn’t want to walk with a shark swimming along side of me! (No sharks sighted this trip.)

We continued to celebrate Dee’s birthday by going out to a sea food dinner that night, five of us ladies. If I told you we were quiet and dignified I would be lying. But we did have fun!

The next day we talked Dee into giving up her afternoon of NASCAR racing on TV, something she rarely misses. We made up some story about needing this or that and we stole her away. While we were gone, family arrived to put together her surprise birthday party. We were all surprised she hadn’t figured anything out, but she truly had not even thought of a party for her. She thought her birthday was over on the eighth. You just never know what is up with this group of family and friends.

I’m just curious if you have ever swam with dolphins. That’s on my bucket list!

Contact me at dwdaffy@yahoo.com with any comments or questions. Have a great week!


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