At her friends insistence Charlotte took me straight to a little seafood restaurant to have “the best fried shrimp in town.” They were some of the best I’ve ever had. Of course as hungry as I’ve been lately I’ve had the “best” of almost every food I’ve ever had. From there we drove just twenty minutes up the coast to Crystal Springs (a route that took me an entire day to paddle) to try to see more manatees near Three Sisters springs. The wind however, was blowing so hard that the choppy water in even that protected water was too rough to see anything. So from there we stopped by to see Matt’s store at Ardvark’s Florida Kayak Company and then went on to Charlotte’s house.
While I organized gear and filled my water bags for a return to the water tomorrow, Charlotte prepared dinner for the two of us and her sister with her friend. Around three heaping plates full of pasta and chicken with cream sauce, I filled my hostess and her guests in on some of the highlights of the trip so far. Their eyes filled with wonder when I told about being robbed and pepper sprayed and about the enormity of the Mississippi River itself.
It was a great day in the company of great people. Once again it felt great to be able to meet local people and share this adventure with them.
After carefully studying the weather predictions tonight it looks like I might actually have a good day on the water tomorrow with a nice tail wind to help me on my way south toward Tampa.