July 10, 2011

Monday…July 4th

We are meeting Carl at Lake Monroe Park, Debary, FL  where we leave our truck and trailer. It is a busy place today. Even more boats on the water.

On our way there we spotted all these boats nosed up to the shoreline.


I wasn’t able to get them all in the picture.  Normally we only see a few boats here…but the river is low and there is more beach exposed.

Everyone is out today…water skiers…jet skiers….fast boats…slow boats (us) and everything in between. Lots of big houseboats. Most will be anchored in the lake tonight for the fireworks.

We anchored and Jim and Carl took the dingy ashore to pick up a pizza for supper.  Boats coming and going all around us.

As the sun was setting the "River Queen” was heading out for it’s dinner cruise.


They had a big crowd aboard.


One of the nice things about watching the fireworks on Lake Monroe in Sanford, FL is the ability to watch all the fireworks in the towns around the lake.  I counted at least 20 different ones. We couldn’t hear the explosions but some of them on the opposite side were beautiful. Next year we’ll anchor in the middle and get to see them all.

Once the fireworks were over we took Carl back to the dock…dropped him off….took the trash to the dumpster, then  headed back to the anchorage by G109. Butcher’s Bend.

It was a fun evening. Glad we made a plan change so Carl could join us.


Now I know why we didn’t see many boats yesterday…..they all waited until today!!!

It was wonderful….boats of all kinds and sizes.

We don’t usually see much wildlife when there are so many boats on the water but did manage to find a gator sunning itself on one of the side creeks.


Most of the gators we’ve seen…and there have been many….have been in the water. The river is so warm I guess there is no need to sit in the sun. There were lots of Painted turtles.


We decided to anchor for the night behind Hontoon Island. We followed the river back always and find a nice spot near some very tall pine trees on the west side. It was very hot today and we’ll be able to get shade a lot earlier.

BIG MISTAKE!!!    We did get shade earlier than if we’d been someplace else….but forgot that the bugs are worse near the land.  The “no see-ums” were terrible.  We dusted down with baby powder …and that helped…but just before dark we decided to haul anchor and find another spot.  We ended up anchoring on the bend in the river that is near Lake Beresford.  We’ll anchor here again. We didn’t really have a breeze but there was air movement….and no bugs!!!.


We didn’t see many boats on the water yesterday. There were a few more today but not as many as we had expected for a big weekend.

As we were getting underway we spotted a deer swimming across the river. This was within a few hundred feet of where Jim had spotted the big gator. 3 guys on Jet Skis saw it and hung out with us to see if it made it to safety….It did!!   We were amazed because it was in a wide part of the river and we knew about the big gator….perhaps all the action with us and the 3 jet skis kept the gator away.

We don’t meet Jim’s brother, Carl, until Monday so we can take our time on our way back to Lake Monroe.

Our anchorage for the night is on the opposite side of the river of the Highland Park Canal at marker R36. It’s a wide part of the “jug handle” off the river and we’ll get a nice breeze while watching the boats go by.

It also has a nice piece of high ground for walking Raisin. We take her ashore whenever we can find a good spot…but she is trained to use a carpet on the foredeck…so there are no more trips ashore after dark (gator feeding time).   It is much nicer this way….and safer. We had an incident with her a few years ago….it was long after dark….and we were tied up near the lock on the E side of Lake Okeechobee, FL, waiting for good weather for the crossing. On our way ashore we had to row thru some water plants that evidently looked like grass to Raisin and she jumped overboard.  Very scary…luckily I was able to grab her before she could swim very far as she was headed away from us and the weeds were very thick. We decided then that she needed to be trained to the deck. The next morning we spotted a big gator swimming in that area.


It was a nice afternoon and evening on the water.