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Florida casualties

April 27, 2010

(Note: this was a note originally published to my Facebook page. I realize that it actually fits better as a blog entry. The original date of publication is preserved here. — Eric)

My Florida trip wasn’t all sun, sand, and Shiny Cowbirds. I did actually have some losses and damage. Here’s a quick summary.

1) Sunglasses. Unconfirmed, but probably went overboard on the trip back from Dry Tortugas last Friday. One minute I had them inside the cabin of the catamaran, the next, I was outside in very blustery winds and they were gone. Probably being submerged by sand at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico now. Damn.

2) SLR Camera lens cap. Could have been somewhere in the rental car or left in the Florida City hotel room. I looked both places repeatedly but never found it. Damn again.

3) Head pillow. Definitely left in the Florida City hotel room. I brought it mostly to help pack my enormous checked bag, to secure the contents inside, which included my heavy tripod. I left it on the unmade bed when I departed, which explains how I overlooked it so easily.

4) Spotting Scope! Actually, I didn’t lose it, but I thought I almost did at Dry Tortugas. I was observing the Sooty Tern breeding colony from atop the Fort wall, when I got distracted by a pair of Indigo Buntings that landed right near my feet. I began to take pictures, but then a gust of wind picked up and nearly blew my entire scope/tripod apparatus off the Fort wall. You can imagine how my heart sank, and many expletives immediately followed. Fortunately it fell only about 7 feet and only suffered slight dents to 2 of the tripod legs. When visiting my Dad in Avon Park, his neighbor turns out to be a skilled metal worker and even managed to smooth out the dents so I could collapse the legs of the tripod back to normal again. I definitely caught a break there.

5) Lost an important button on my shorts. As long as I wear a belt it’s OK, but it does pretty much rule them out for wearing to the airport. If I have to take my belt off going through security, it might cause a ruckus.

That pretty much covers it.

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