September 10, 2010

Welaka to Palatka, FL

As we were entering the Old Ocklawaha River, yesterday afternoon, Jim realized the alternator had quit working….no broken belt or loose bolts…guess we need a new one. We can either head back to the boat ramp on Lake George…haul out and fix it at home….or we can go to Palatka…Jim can walk to the auto parts store and pick up a new one and install it at the Palatka City dock….where we could plug into electric. He opted for the trip to Palatka…so we started up the generator and headed to the restaurant in Welaka for biscuits and gravy.
The trip to Palatka was pleasant…but still HOT….we see a lot of fishing boats…but most are throwing cast nets….the shrimp must be running.
Jim thought it might be a shorter walk if we tied to a launch ramp before getting to Corkey Bell’s dock.  He walked to the auto part store from there….It turned out to be longer but someone picked him up on his way back and gave him a ride to the boat…
We headed to Corkey Bell’s for lunch…they have a pretty good menu and not too pricey…we had baby back ribs and shrimp for about $10 each.
We planned to tie up to the Palatka City dock…plug into the electric and charge the batteries…let the engine cool overnight and install the alternator in the morning.  You know how those best laid plans go…no power at the we have to run the generator…
By late afternoon the dock started filling up…with shrimpers and their cast nets, blankets, chairs, coolers, generators and spot lights.
Evidently there were so many plugged in the night before that the main fuse had blown..that’s why there was no power when we got there. We were the only boat at the dock. We heard later, the locals that tie up here were asked not to so the shrimpers could use the dock.
Here is what it was like after dark….
I walked down to the hotdog stand and back up the dock….
At the tail end of the video there is a spot light shining the water…the main fuse blew again so we had them plug into our generator…what a nice family they were….very small children and all seemed to be enjoying the evening.
A second person asked if he could plug in also…our 1000 watt Honda was maxed out…around 2:30 am the bulb in the spot light blew and they packed up and left….We could hear a sigh of relief when we shut it down.
We had a great time. Everyone had their own style of casting and it was fun watching them. I will have a net for next year!