As owners of a forty foot motor home towing a car, one can argue that we have room to bring plenty of stuff with us. The "basement" can store the golf clubs, tennis rackets, and snorkeling equipment. The closet is big enough to hold clothing for all occasions and weather conditions. We have three computers, a printer, three GPS's , four TV's - almost enough technology to keep Ken happy. But as we traveled along the sea shore, passing one ideal beach after another, we have jokingly said to one another, "We need friends with a boat." Well, here in Big Pine we have some.
George and Carol picked us up from the canal running past the back of our motor home. We sped through azure waters to a swimming reef that had a number of similar boats anchored along side. The ocean is still a bit cool this time of year, but we couldn't resist. Because so many tours bring folks to these reefs, the fish were well trained and schools circled the boat, hopeful for a handout. It is thrilling to swim within a school of fish. They turn and change directions on a dime and you can't tell what caused the direction shift. The water was clear and the coral looked healthy. Fish were everywhere.
Then we boated to Picnic Island and had a picnic, of course. Many other boats were there as well. Because the water is so shallow, it is easy to get off the boat and stroll to the shore. We couldn't tell who enjoyed the place more - us or the dogs. Some were swimming in large circles around their boats and others were being given ride on floats. One poor canine had a bathing suit and sun shades. No self respecting cat would have put up with such garb.
As we sat in the sunshine and the cool breeze, watching the dogs and the children play in the waves, we all wondered how we had ever made it through winter in Illinois.