Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Barefoot Landing Marina - Greg Norman's Steakhouse for dinner

Notice how the mother dock is carefully looking over her flock now - the 7th duckling is still on its way
This morning we saw a duck with seven new ducklings following her around, it was the cutest thing. She would quack and they would chirp and run after her. Well, this afternoon we saw the duck act rather frantic. She was up on land (about six feet above the docks) calling out for her ducklings they were nowhere to be found. We then saw two down in the water by our boat. They started swimming upstream (there's a one knot or so current at times in the ICW here) but the docks are about 1000 ft long and they can only go around the docks by swimming all the way to either end. So the duck is flying back and forth between her two ducks in the water and land to look for the rest. Pretty soon we see another duckling between the dock and the bulkhead - no way to get to land! Somehow she started gathering them in and was up to four when we left for dinner. Coming back to the boat, she was still by Fleetwing calling to her flock which had grown to six (how??) but then we saw the lone duckling swimming south, away from the mother with a cross over about 500 ft away! After taking Hoolie for a walk, we finally saw all seven ducklings circled around their mother, whew! I never would have guessed that they would have found each other but somehow they did.

Glorious meal!
When in Barefoot Landing we always eat once at Greg Norman's Australian Grill and Shark Pub. They have outstanding steaks, the best on the ICW and the service is excellent, highly recommended. As an added plus, we're usually docked no more than 100 ft from the restaurant so we can keep an eye on Hoolie too. The rest of the eateries are more of what you would expect on a beach but Greg Norman's is a cut above.  

Today we saw an amazing sight - four barges came through the "rock pile", two abreast at a time! For those that are familiar with the rock pile section of the ICW, it's notorious for being very narrow and unforgiving (rock ledges just below the surface) if you stray off the centerline unlike the rest of the ICW which is soft mud. Yet, here we are watching with amazement at barges side by side exiting the rock pile - wow. I never would have thought that two abreast barges would ever make it through without hitting the ledges on either side. I would say that's proof that the rock pile is not as narrow as it's reputation. 

Our neighbor - with bow and stern thrusters, he went sideways across the ICW for fuel 

We're headed to St James Plantation on Thursday and, of course, transiting the "rock pile" in the process. The procedure is to issue an securite call on channel 16 to announce your intention so any boats coming south can answer in case there's a conflict. I would gladly wait for a clear path north before leaving the dock. Certainly the two abreast barges would have announced their presence but if they hadn't and I met them in the rock pile, I would be backing up rapidly or doing a very quick, small turn. A little excitement is coming up on Thursday.