It’s 68 degrees at 6:20 a.m. CIVIL TWILIGHT begins at 6:51 a.m., SUNRISE at 7:17 a.m., SUNSET at 5:35 p.m. MOONRISE is at 11:56 a.m., a waxing crescent 42% illuminated. HIGH TIDE at 5:20 a.m., LOW at 11:54 a.m., HIGH 6:26 p.m.

At 6:30 a.m. VENUS is still high in the sky. By 7:00 a.m. I’m behind the Cedar Cove Townhouses, where the tide is really high, and there’s a strong wind blowing off the gulf straight into my face. Waves are crashing up against the rocks. Not much beach at all, but the BLACK SKIMMERS are out there looping around and skimming the water right in front of me. Not much color in the sky. Too much wind to stand still waiting for the sun to rise. Maybe I’ll catch it down at the Fishing Pier? By the time I got to the Fishing Pier, it was already up, but I had a great view. The SUN owns the sky this morning, a bright red ball with no clouds anywhere near it.

At Kona Joe’s I met more interesting people this morning. Several days ago I met BOB TREAT and his wife JERI. Bob’s a former Coast Guard pilot who has retired to Cedar Key and now builds boats amongst other hobbies. He was quite taken by my Thoreau T-shirt and told me he had been intending to be an engineer but switched his major to English. I found him very interesting and hope to run into him and Jeri again. This morning I met ROBBIE, a cheerful young cop who fills in for the regular Cedar Key police on weekends and holidays. He’s also a fire fighter, rescue worker, mounted policeman, who works on the horse farm between here and Ocala where he keeps his horse, and plays his guitar at his church on Sundays. He has blond hair and blue eyes and looks about 30, but I learned that he’s actually 52.

I also talked to a guy named DENNIS, who I’ve seen at Kona Joe’s before. He told me he used to run an ecotourism business somewhere up north and said he now leads private bird tours by boat up the WICCASSASA RIVER. He said Bob and I would have to rent one of Captain Fred’s Boats for 3 hours, and he’d work for tips. Somehow I’m not completely comfortable with him. He seems a little down and out. Maybe I need to ask around?

It started raining about the time I started home. Robbie the cop drove by, stopped, and offered me a ride back to my condo. He put me in the back seat, where I was temporarily in police custody, separated from him by bulletproof glass or plastic (but we could talk through it) and locked in from the outside. When we got to Natures Landing, he had to come around and open the door to let me out. It was an interesting experience….

Around 3:00 p.m. Bob and I hiked down to Kona Joe’s for hot chocolate and coffee. It’s really windy out today!