Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Our "3-hour tour"

Our little boat completed it's maiden voyage to Bahama Breeze, one of our fave waterfront restaurants in Tampa. We were nervous to go out on the open bay in our electric-pedal boat. First, we super-charged J's cell phone, placed it in a water-tight case and packed a cooler with emergency rations (sunblock and gatorade). Next, we threw the solar-panel on the back of the boat to supplement the charge on the marine battery. Finally, we asked ourselves if we were really doing this, and launched off the seawall. We began crossing a large stretch of open waters, and I was beginning to wonder would we see anything interesting, when M. began yelling "FIN! FIN!" I looked in the direction of his pointed finger and saw...nothing. Suddenly, I saw it too - a large grey curved dorsal fin in front of us! M. assured me that this was indeed a dolphin and not a shark since he had gotten a clear view of the blowhole above the head. My first thought was PHEW!; my second thought was WHOA! The dolphin was at least the size of our boat (9 ft long).

I'm kicking myself for not having my camera with me at that moment, although at other times, we've been lucky enough to photograph the Tursiops truncatus, aka. bottlenose dolphin. If you're wondering how close dolphins will actually get to boats in open water - it's closer than you think. Here's a pic from a dolphin tour we did at Clearwater Beach, FL:

We arrived at the restaurant's private dock in just over an hour total time and proceeded to celebrate with frosty beverages and live music. The ride home was less eventful and it even rained on us a while, but nothing could dampen our mood. At some point on the way home, I remembered I could take a picture with my cell phone. Sorry for the bad pic quality, but at least you can see our high-tech navigation system (wink-wink).

Arriving home, we calculated our trip had taken just over three hours. Yup, that's right: a 3-hour tour. Help! I still can't stop humming the Gilligan's theme song. Oh, and in case you forgot, here's a refresher of the famous first three verses:

Just sit right back
And you'll hear a tale
A tale of a fateful trip,
That started from this tropic port,
Aboard this tiny ship.
The mate was a mighty sailin' man,
The Skipper brave and sure,
Five passengers set sail that day,
For a three hour tour, A three hour tour.

The weather started getting rough,
The tiny ship was tossed.
If not for the courage of the fearless crew
The Minnow would be lost.
The Minnow would be lost.

The ship set ground on the shore
Of this uncharted desert isle
With Gilligan, The Skipper too.
The millionaire, And his wife,
The movie star, The professor and Mary Ann,
Here on Gilligan's Isle. (Source: www.lyricsmode.com)


Linda at Lime in the Coconut! said...

Looks like a blast! Now what kind of boat was it?

Gilligans Island. That was a mainstay in my life as a kid!!

J - Pacha Mama said...

Howdy there! Yup, totally fun. Our boat is a "Pelican Energy DLX." It's a small molded boat for up to 5 adults. It has two power sources: an electric motor powered by a marine battery OR front seat pedals powered by two sets of legs ;) We have more info about our boat here: http://pachamamahouse.blogspot.com/2009/05/week-42-43im-on-boat.html

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