Crystal River-Summer 2021 1.0

Finally! Got to plan a short trip to Crystal River. We knew it might be a dicey trip as there was a tropical storm/depression/wave/thunderstorm (really, seems like every cloud has a name – just saying) in the Gulf but all indications let us believe it would go further north than our spot. Leaving that morning, this was our forecast.

Nothing is ever easy…………especially with a boat. Eric had been washing and waxing the boat earlier in the week. The night prior to leaving he discovered the boat trailer had……………….a flat tire – of course it did. One more thing that had to be done to get ready – exchange the tire for his spare. Nope, the spare was fine, not flat. Bet you were expecting another tale. Ha!

Going to our home-away-from-home spot, King’s Bay Lodge.

Surprisingly, we were assigned to a room we had never stayed in – #2. Even better, as we were driving over that morning, we got a call the room was ready immediately, mid-morning.

Interior was fairly typical of other rooms, same style but each individual owner gets to pick their specific furniture. Would I stay on the room again – sure. Didn’t necessarily love the room’s location in the overall scheme of things. It was fairly close to the road and just about as far away from the boat as you could get.

Take a look at the first photo in this blog and see that phrase “River Flood Warning”? Yep, we noticed. Getting to the boat at the KBL dock required wading – yikes.

Naturally we had to stop at Pete’s Pier……..

………and saw more flooding. This is the walkway from the parking lot to the store & bait shop.

We did notice they’ve done some work on the place, repairing recent hurricane damage. Guess the gas pumps haven’t made the list for replacement – yet. The photo doesn’t show, but 2 feet to the right, the boardwalk is under 5″ of water.

The trip was for naught. HOWEVER, loved being on the water…….

The weather was adversely affecting the fishing so after time on the water, we headed in for an afternoon snack. Found a new place – St. John’s Tavern – very nice.

Perfect for an afternoon snack was a beer, a pretzel and a cup of chili – loaded with onions and jalapenos (yes, that was Eric’s selection).

We didn’t want to fill up too much. After watching the sun set, Eric was cooking steaks on the grill. Man! It was nice just sitting, relaxing, drinking a beer and watching the sun go down. 🙂

The radar looked MUCH better the next morning. This is doable. Should be plenty of time for a little fishing and a little scalloping.

Scalloping – LOVE to eat them (raw) but don’t love searching for them in the water. Eric did pretty well. That will be a post in itself, scalloping. We (and by that I mean Eric) caught enough seafood for our dinner: one trout and quite a few scallops.

Once again he used the grill for the fish, leaving the skin on when cooking.

Put that together with some dirty rice and a salad (tomatoes from our home garden!) and you have a mighty tasty meal.

Our second day of fishing was MUCH better – code for I caught some fish – with the photo below showing our haul. In addition to these fish Eric find plenty of scallops for the two of us. I’m holding that photo for the next post

Three grunts, left, sand perch in the middle, a grunt, porgie and blue runner on the right with a seatrout at the bottom.

Our last day of fishing yielded one of my favorite fish – spanish mackarel – the bigger fish at the bottom of the photo. We also caught this small porgie which gave us two small fillets for another meal.

Why do I r.e.a.l.l.y like mackarel…………….sushi! Add in an avocado, tuna, edamame, bok choy, followed by the mack and you have an awesome meal.

Having the sushi was a great end to several days on the water on Florida’s Gulf coast. Next up is a post dedicated to scalloping.

Ginny

Crystal River – 1st 2021 trip!

Ahhhhhhhhh finally back to one of my favorite spots in Florida. It’s been so long, Eric had a lot of work to do on the boat, getting it up to (my) boating standards. Don’t kid yourself – he LOVES working, cleaning, waxing, cleaning, waxing the boat.

Weather had the potential to be dicey, but it looks like any storms will have passed by the time we arrive. Driving through them with the boat on the trailer wasn’t a lot of fun – just saying.

Yeah!!!! I’m back on the water.

We usually pack lunching items while on the boat and today was no different. Our choice of lunch was not the norm………tuna salad – yes, crackers – yes, fruit of some sort – yes, oysters – not usually. Don’t forget the cookies in the upper left corner of the photo. Sit them on top of the deck for a few minutes and YUM, they taste like they just came out of the oven with ooey gooey chocolate chips.

Eric has been keeping some on ice these past weeks from a local purveyor and thought they would be the (perfect) thing for our lunch on the boat. Perfect for who??????

There were enough leftover for a mid-afternoon snack once we returned to King’s Bay Lodge.

Seafood Sellers continues to be our restaurant of choice and dinner that evening had some of the usual items ordered.

Fried tomato chips and grouper sandwich – yum!

If you’ve read any of my earlier Crystal River posts – there’s only one thing on the menu that Eric will order, if available………………..crayfish.

All washed down with a locally brewed beer.

It was a bit chillier the next morning.

Saw this eagle in one of the slow zones we pass through. My photo isn’t the greatest, but if I had the latest I-phone………………think how much better it would have been.

We got a quick photo of me with my first snook – not a keeper.

Before hooking this puffer. LOVE their puffiness.

Each of these keepers were hard-earned: 3 trout and 1 mackerel.

This white egret was very persistent as Eric was filleting out catch. He/she was bound and determined to steal one of our fish – he was not successful.

Always a great day on the water when you catch (keeper) fish and are with good friends.

Eric and I were able to extend our stay for one more day. This enabled us to (1) have one more meal at Seafood Sellers and (2) catch a few more fish – black sea bass (top) and a grunt.

Always LOVE coming to this area and catching fish makes it sweeter.

Ginny