Happy New Year

11th Jan 2021

Dinner and the stars

We decided to celebrate the new year at Mt. Royal. We parked Kraken by the community hangar and stayed with Tom and Barbara for a couple of nights. New Year's Eve was very pleasant with many from the airpark attending a dinner and champagne at the pavilion. Barbara and June created outstanding dinners on "dualing" Traeger grills! The funny (sad?) part though is that no one made it to midnight! Still, it was a fine way to bring in the new year.


Tom had a concrete pad poured on his hangar property, so he and I found true north and set up my telescope and camera the next evening. Cold but very clear, Tom, Dave, Rosemarie and I sat in the truck and took a tour of my equipment and the heavens. I didn't take any images to be processed later, but the auto stacking feature of the AsiAir Pro worked well. I think we actually stayed up later with the telescope that night than for New Year's.

Will our good luck hold out?

Sunday we hitched up Kraken and went to Palatka for food and supplies and then on to Salt Springs Rec Area. We really enjoyed our stay there 3 or so weeks earlier, and we were very intrigued with the first come, first serve policy. Let's try our luck again. And it worked. We got an excellent site and decided to stay for 9 days. The site we selected had no other sites near our camping side, but a strangely located site very close on the utility side of the trailer. Most of the time we were by ourselves, but a big group of fishermen showed up for the weekend and set up on the site so close to our trailer. They took advantage of every moment while they were there. We enjoyed some warm days and some very cold days. We took several hikes that are available in the area, and of course visited the crabs and manatees down at the springs almost everyday. Saturday, we bought a few things at the local flea market and garage sale, then a trip into Ocala. I played with my solar panel and continued planning for the big electrical system upgrade. The flyboys of Mt. Royal even payed us visit one morning.

Movie Night

Saturday night was forecasted to be especially cold. Candace had noticed that there was a Red Box movie rental kiosk over at the mall (Dollar General store!) across the street from the Rec area. We decide on Mulan and settled in for the evening. With a portable space heater and the built in Chill Chaser keeping us warm inside the coach, the movie was about to begin. But wait! In true Poddins tradition, Candace pulled out the Orville Redenbacher popcorn and Kerrygold irish butter for a fine snack while watching the movie. Kraken did not disappoint! Theater seating courtesy of the Lazy Boy recliner rockers, big screen TV, surround sound, and popcorn. Woo hoo.

Good Eats

Barbara and Candace managed to catch a couple of blue crabs from the St. Johns river while we were at Mt. Royal. Candace brought them along and cleaned them on the tailgate of my truck! This is perfect example of a saying my brother tells me - don't fear the truck bed!


We cooked them up in a Frogmore stew, using the portable induction hot plate and induction ready stock pot with straining lid.



Then a couple of nights later, we had friends join us from Mt. Royal and impressed them with Jambalaya cooked up in that same induction setup. Candace does all the magic, but I get to help. She tells me "Alan, stir fast" or "Alan, stir gently". My cooking skills are limited, but Candace seems to be using them to her advantage. And the meal came out great! 6 hot tasty dishes all from the kitchen in Kraken. I (and our friends) never go hungry while camping - thank you Candace.


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