Wednesday, February 20, 2013

38 DEGREES ON THE WATER



They look very cold huddled together there on that peninsula.  It's 38 degrees on Cherokee Lake and there isn't a lot of people out here.  Actually, I'm the only one but, that's alright.
The boat ramp parking lot was vacant.
So, how do I get that big ole boat in the water alone?  Look below and I'll explain it to ya.
First, I align the boat trailer with the boat ramp and back down to the water.
Once down at the water line, I unhook the safety straps from the rear of the boat - walk to the front and remove the safety chain and bow strap.  A bow line is attached to the bow eye on the boat and the other end is hooked over the bow stop on the trailer. Then the trailer and boat are backed into the water until the boat floats off the trailer.  
There she goes out to sea.  If the rope breaks she keeps on going.  Note the rope tethering the boat to the trailer.
I then pull the trailer up away from the water, get out and grab the rope to pull the boat to the dock or shore.
Then, I simply pull the rope that is attached to the boat and she comes right back to me.  Simple and easy.  All that's left is to tie the boat off to the dock and park the truck and trailer.
There she is - ready to go.  I unload the Gheenoe the same way.  At some later date we'll show how this thing is loaded back on the trailer.  We'll make that a movie because things happen a lot faster with the load operation and there isn't time to snap photographs.
It's a very bright, pretty day and I'm surprised there are no fishermen out here.  The water is really smooth too.  Oh well.  A rock pile came up on my left and reminded me where I was - in the stone quarry.
I glassed the shoreline for bald eagles from time to time while cruising along and could see none in the area.  I did get a fix on a bald eagle nest, however.  I don't know if it is active or not but I'll document it's location and report it.

I saw a red tail hawk in a tree on the right shoreline.  I'd be driving right past him.  These hawks will not tolerate any intrusion whatsoever and this one was no different.  He flew almost as soon as I saw him.  I took a few shots of him but they were very far away.



One of these days I'll make a special trip to the mountains for the sole purpose of photographing these fantastic birds.  I have an idea how to do it.

About two hours after I saw the hawk, a familiar outline on a tree limb came into view, again, very far away.  The sun was behind him and would ruin any attempts to get good pictures and I didn't even attempt to get good shots.  I thought I'd leave them overexposed creating a simple outline of the bird.  He is a juvenile bald eagle.





Even this eagle was impatient to take to the sky.  No luck on the photography.  There will be other opportunities.  I still can't understand why the bald eagles do not gravitate to Cherokee Lake.  The habitat is great up here and the water clean and full of fish yet, they all seem to go to Douglas Lake which is just a few miles south of here. I guess they know what they're doing.

I have a doctor appointment back west of here tomorrow morning and I may take the canoe if the weather cooperates.  I haven't been eating meat since before Thanksgiving and I've lost a lot of weight, which isn't bad.  I feel great.  The only thing is I've pulled the belt up three whole notches and that's due to not eating meat of any kind, and no pizza.  I just want to get a recommendation on what vitamins to take and that will require a blood test.  May as well do it right.  Got my fingers crossed on the weather.  We'll see.