|the beignets never made it to the table|
|Judi brushes off her sugar coating|
After all the goodies were devoured and the mess cleaned up, we headed to City Island for our afternoon cruise on the Mote Boat.
I call it the Mote Boat because it is run by the Mote Marine Laboratory here in Sarasota. The correct name for the boat ride is Sea Life Encounter. We boarded the 35 (ish) foot covered pontoon boat for our 2 hour tour around Sarasota Bay. The on board Naturalist talked about the marine and bird life to be seen, the ecology of the shallow bay and its creeks and streams. The tour included a brief hike on Roberts Island, and a close up look at a seabird rookery, then headed back out int Sarasota Bay to drag a net along the bottom. They collected the contents of the net, put what they found into individual salt water containers and then passed them around for us to see. The naturalist talked about what we were looking at, their habits, habitat, etc. We saw a HUGE whelk, a sea horse, lots of different types of crabs and shrimp, a sea hare, a sea star, a tiny urchin, small fish, sponges and other things that I can't remember. I didn't take any pictures of the creatures, there were too many people waiting to look and touch, sorry.
|not a very good shot of brown pelicans nesting|
(the boat was moving and people kept getting in front of me!)
|part of the Sarasota skyline|
|this egret was so busy trying to attract a girlfriend he didn't even notice us watching.....|
|a stubborn Osprey keeps trying to make a nest on top of the fire boat.|
The firemen remove it every day, but the persistent bird won't be deterred.
|Jesse and Erin listen|
It was a good day. After cocktails and sunset we had a really really good dinner at Rick's, a tiny French restaurant in a boring strip mall in Sarasota. A hidden gem.