Last year we stayed at a cheap motel and it wasn't that great - the hardest part was that we had no way to cook any scallops we caught. This year we decided to rent a house and we ended up a little farther south than last year based on where we could find a rental house. The house we rented is in Hernando Beach, FL and has 3 bedrooms plus a loft and a library so we have 3 actual beds, one futon, two full size air mattresses and one person on a couch (we brought an air mattress but there are a lot of couches here).
If you saw my post last year, we had a great day of scalloping but at the end of the day, Ryan's boat starter died and we had a heck of a drive back being towed by a tiny boat. This year, we had a bunch of maintenance work we needed the dealer to do so we had taken it in the week before our trip and picked it up right before we left. Before we even left for the scalloping trip we already saw some things that they claimed to have repaired or replaced but they obviously hadn't. When we got out on the water we were in for a BIG disappointment...when we bought the boat they didn't have the right propeller in stainless steel so they gave us an aluminum propeller and promised to install a stainless steel version when we came back for service. Well they said they had the right prop in and they installed it for us. But as soon as we started trying to accelerate, it was immediately clear that the prop wasn't going to work out - the fastest we could go was only around 15 - 20 miles per hour, and that was nearly maxing out the rpms on the boat. With the old prop we could go almost 40mph without too high rpms on the engine. Yikes! so we motored out VERY slowly and did eventually get to do some scalloping. Unfortunately we didn't really find any good spots so we only caught a few scallops per person. Plus we got stuck in a pretty bad thunderstorm and couldn't outrun it.
Ryan was pretty upset about the boat so he vowed to call the dealer first thing in the morning (Fri 7/5) to get them to pay for a local shop to put a correct prop on the boat for us. He ended up spending all morning talking on the phone, waiting for calls/emails and trying to get it figured out. We told Charlie to go ahead and take half the group out on his boat (his boat only holds 5) so that at least some people could go scalloping. We also volunteered to watch their baby so Mary C could have a chance to scallop since we couldn't go out anyways. I guess Charlie found a few better spots than the day before because they came back with a couple gallons of scallops.
Finally on Saturday, we went out early in the morning and stayed out most of the day. It was a gorgeous day out and we caught our limit! We caught 15 gallons of scallops, wahoo!
Originally we planned to do some more scalloping on Sunday but we had to "check out" of our rental house by 11am and Ryan didn't want us getting in his truck all wet. So instead we went to the Weeki Wachee state park. they have a mermaid show, a boat ride and a small waterpark but everything is based on the natural springs (no concrete water tanks or anything). It was pretty neat for how cheap it was! Click the picture to go to their website:
Overall, this was a pretty awesome trip even though we only had one day of good scalloping. I can't wait for next year's trip. For anyone interested, do you think you would like to go over 4th of July (very beginning of the season) or Labor Day (end of the season)?
Last but certainly not least, Matt took a video of us scalloping with his GoPro camera! It's on Facebook so I can't embed it but I think he made it a public video so you should be able to view the video at the link below. I'm the one with the long dark hair, heehee.