|Hello, we are starting a new journal to cover our travels in 2009. We plan to leave Florida tomorrow and head north to Tennessee to visit family. We have been here in Florida staying with Mom since the first week of December. We were able to complete some things around Mom's house and visit with alot of family and friends. Gene was able to visit some of his old shipmates at the Florida Institute of Oceanography and visit the FIO's/USF's new oceanographic research vessel, WEATHERBIRD II. She is replacing the SUNCOASTER and plans to make her maiden research cruise for the State of Florida in March. The WEATHERBIRD II was a oil field supply vessel that was converted to a research vessel for Bermuda and has since been replaced with a new vessel. We have been able to visit some with David and meet his girlfriend Nadia, a very nice young lady. We took a day and drove up to Homosassa springs, rented a pontoon boat and headed up to the springs at the head of the river. Once anchored Cyndy and several others jumped into the 72F water with mask and snorkle to swim with alot of manatee. They were very gentle, some were curious, and others just went about their business, and one had a baby following. We had one that stayed at our anchor line rolling around as if scratching his back on the line. Cyndy enjoyed running her hand down the manatee's backs. See ya later, vaya con dios.