Sunday, November 12, 2006

Saturday At Cedar Key

Do you think they know?

Yesterday, I went clam farming with Kelly and crew. Our mission was to pull 30 bags of juvenile clams (300,000 baby bivalves) off of the sea bottom and return them to HQ where they would be subdivided out into more bags to give them room to grow.
Then, today, they will be returned to the shallow seafloor to spend about 10 months growing fat and sassy.

I could only help out with phase one, but I imagine Kelly and crew are out in the Gulf right now (tide's right) replanting those clams.

We wore wetsuits, because we are Floridians, and if the water temp is lower than 85 degrees, we describe it as "freezing, cold as a ..." well, you know. The day was spectacular, just perfect cool sunny weather. Old Mr. B. flew us out over the shallow water at the speed of light ... ("He only knows one speed") and once again I marvelled at his ability to read the water and fly the boat just inches from sandbars without running aground.

We worked really hard at the clam lease site. The huge bags were deep in the mud and each one was full of the sticky stuff. Once released from the bottom, the heavy bags had to be swished back and forth to remove the mud, before being lifted up on to the boat.

I didn't take any pics of the clam work, because we were so wet and so busy, but you can go here or here to get the idea.

After the work was done, I rode through Cedar Key for a few scenics before going home to a hot shower.

Above: Wayne of Niches might appreciate the Cedar Key firehouse.

The sign above says it all. There's a difference between a Cedar Key hardware store and a "regular" hardware store.

The Island Hotel is a local icon.

Today, the temps are in the 50's, winds are 13 knots out of the Northeast, and the sky is grey.

I definitely picked the right day to help the clam farmers.Posted by Picasa


robin andrea said...

Sounds like a great day out there, FC. 85 degree water temps and wetsuits! If the water was ever that warm in Santa Cruz, we probably would have skinny-dipped! When we would go boogie-boarding, we always wore wetsuits. I can still remember each first plunge into the 60 degree ocean, and the water rushing in between the wetsuit and skin.

swamp4me said...

Again, I must point out that there are things in the gulf and ocean that will eat you...scares me silly :)

Floridacracker said...

We are spoiled rotten when it comes to ocean temps. There's a harvest of clams scheduled in Dec or Jan, THAT really will be cold water.

Well, there were 3 of us in the water so I figure there was a 2/3 chance someone else would get nibbled on.

Juli said...

Cedar Key is a nice motorcycling lunch destination. Several years ago my husband & I rode over for a weekend and stayed at the Cedar Key B&B. I got all star-struck when I learned that Tom Cruise stayed in our room with an unidentified woman. His stay was during the filming of Days of Thunder so his companion is believed to be Nicole Kidman, pre-marriage. *gasp!*

I love the bar at the Island Hotel. :)

Floridacracker said...

Who knew?

Deb said...

Cedar Key looks like a nice place to hang out.

Wonder what those canoeists were thinking?

Floridacracker said...

In reality, the guy was rigging one of the fishing poles, but they did sit there chatting the whole time I was around. The incoming tide WOULD reach them in about 4 hours. I don't know if that was their plan :)

SophieMae said...

Dern! I headed for Cedar Key a couple weeks ago, but detoured through Keaton and Dekle Beaches, and Steinhatchee and never made it.

I'm also jealous, thanks to your mud snuffler pics, of your camera! Mine has a lot of great features, but is pretty useless in low light. And it thinks anything after 4PM is low light. >8\

Floridacracker said...

Yeah, but those are great detours.
I am really pleased with my camera so far.

Hick said...

I don't think I have ever even swam in a pool that was 85 degrees. When Lake Tahoe gets in the 60's we think it's warm.

Snow chains required 20 miles up the hill from me today.

Missourimadness said...

Saturday I gave the leaves a break; went for a nice walk with my dog; got groceries for a friend in a bad way; watched some tributes to the veterans-my husband is a vietnam vet- and got new oriental-design bowls at the thrift store for my indoor bamboo plants. It was a good day.

Floridacracker said...

The Gulf peaks out at about 85 during the summer and then slowly cools in the "winter".

That was a good day. Full too.

doubleknot said...

Are these the same clam beds that you went through the storm to put the bags down in? I am a true Floridian - sitting here freezing with the heat on and it is 57%.
Pics of Cedar Key are nice. Like that type of hardware store.
The canoe was cute.

Floridacracker said...

Yes they are the same clam beds.

Abandoned in Pasadena said...

My grandson cannot pass a firestation in other cities without stopping to talk. He's currently a volunteer with 400 hours of training waiting for hire. He's too young (19) for most firestations. He'd love your picture. He currently working as an EMT for our county's ambulance service.

Are the canoe-ers waiting for high tide?

Clam farming is work, but I bet it's a lot of fun to go out and help.