January 29, 2012

1.29.12 Silver Glen Springs, FL

It is very dark in the Springs at night. There are no street lights or house lights. You may see an anchor light or lights in the cockpit, but once everyone goes to bed, the only light is the moon and stars. It is beautiful.

That is also when the Bow Fishing crews come out. They have large generators and big spot lights. Even with our curtains up…they lit up the cockpit. I could see at least 2 different boats, but there may have been more, and they came in and out of the anchorage. Most of the time I could see their light closer to the entrance to the lake but they did cruise by us several times. I took this video. It isn’t very clear. My camera had trouble focusing on them. But I did see one catch a fish.

The bows have reels with line on them that is attached to the arrow. They shoot and then reel it in. I watched them for quite awhile. It looks interesting, but I don’t think I want to be out there in the cold, damp fog. I was inside with my heater going.

Jim and I slept in for awhile, waiting for the “solar heater” to warm up the boat. I don’t know how we manage to do it….but we are always behind the tallest tree. At least it didn’t have a lot of leaves and we did get some filtered sun.

After coffee and breakfast..(home fries, sausage & eggs) we went for a dingy ride. Captain Jim waited while I waded ashore with Raisin. It was too shallow even for the dingy. See how clear the water is?


I took a blank DVD over to Larry so he could copy the pictures and movies he took of us on the trip. While there we looked across the water and spotted this 5’ – 6’ alligator in the weeds. We were laughing because the lady with the dog in the dingy said she had been coming here since she was 2 and had never seen a gator in the anchorage.


So now we are on a gator hunt. We moved on down the spring run and spotted this nice one. When it realized we were watching….it slowly slid backwards into the water.


We circled around a small island and this one was sunning.


While we were drifting looking at the one on the stump…another one came swimming towards us.


We decided to run up the side creek and see if there was anything in there. I think this is a nursery. We saw 4 baby gators, only about 1 1/2 ft. long. Here’s 2 of them.


This is the one above in a different position. All the others disappeared right away. Jim doesn’t think this one will last too long. I guess it hasn’t been chased by anything yet and hasn’t learned to hide.


Here’s another look at the bigger one …it had come back out of the water while we were watching the babies.


This video is a collection of the video I took of the swimming gator, the one on the stump and the babies.

I also like turtles …this one was especially nice.


I think this might be the same one but it had moved a little between our run up and back.

147 z

I was taking this picture of a group of turtles. Several disappeared before I snapped the picture, but when I looked at it….I noticed a good sized gator’s tail in the photo.

I marked it with a red arrow.


It has been a great day. Around 2 pm we decided to head across Lake George to the S end and find an anchorage for the night. We are hauling the boats out in Astor, FL tomorrow. Guess it’s time to go home. Jim is already planning a camping trip to the Silver Springs area for a weekend with a couple of car shows.


When we left Murphy’s Creek, it was in a little fog. It had cooled down a bit overnight. Visibility wasn’t bad, but we had our running lights on. You can just see A Dollar More’s port side red light. On the starboard side (R) it is green. If you can see both red and green you know the boat is heading straight at you. There is a white light on top…if all you see is a white light and no green or red…then the boat is going away from you.


Some river pictures. This is near Seven Sisters.


The fog must have something to do with the red tint around the sunlight and reflection. I took several pictures and it is the same in each one.

This is looking up the entrance to the Barge Canal. I think it was started in the 1930’s, then stopped, then started again, stopped, etc. Environmental issues, they say. It would have connected the Gulf of Mexico with the east coast.


We made it to Welaka, FL for a sausage gravy and biscuit breakfast, then continued on to Silver Glenn Springs. Lake George was pretty calm but not flat.

This Pelican followed us all the way to the Springs. It would circle around in front of us ….land next to us and watch us go by….a few minutes later it would be back. Several times it checked out A Dollar More. Like I said…we look like a fishing boat.


It was pretty shallow going into the Springs. A Dollar More was in the lead and we could see bottom being disturbed every now and then.

The lake near the entrance was full of fishing boats. Don’t know if there was a contest or not, but several had been flying at a high rate of speed all morning. Larry saw one flying along…..come to an abrupt stop….toss out a line and pull in a big fish. Must have a high dollar fish finder to be able to do that.

I was on deck as we idled into the Springs. Jim gave a shout..”Raccoon”…it was washing something.


We passed a couple of men bow fishing. It is popular in the clear waters of the Springs.


This is looking back at the entrance. We came in on the L side of the island. You can still see the 2 men with the bows.


A Dollar More working her way into the anchorage area. There were a few boats already here, but not as many as we had expected on a Saturday.


There is a channel that runs around the outside. You anchor or beach in the center. There is a sandbar that runs down the R side, inside the markers, that only had a foot or so of water over it. That is where Jim and I were aground when we were here last. This time we put out a stern anchor so we couldn’t swing into the shallow water.

During the summer weekends, this is so packed with boats that you could literally walk from one deck to another. It is one big raft up.


This Bald Eagle watched everyone coming and going. I don’t think I’ve ever come in here and not seen at least one pair.


Once anchored, we went to work scrubbing all the salt off the boats. Mops, sponges, scrubbies and buckets. Larry is working on A Dollar More. Jim and I gave Slow Motion a good scrub and rinse. Jim worked from the dingy, I got in the water for a swim and walked around the boat getting what Jim couldn’t. Sure beats climbing up and down a ladder in the yard.

Slow Motion after her bath…


and A Dollar More…


After the clean up, we cruised over to see if they wanted to take a dingy cruise. Diane was still napping so Larry followed along in his dingy.


We stopped and visited with a few of the other boaters. One couple had a dog who liked to sit in their dingy.


After our visit, we journeyed on down towards the entrance to the Springs and headed into a side creek. This Anhinga was in the tree tops.

The Anhinga is sometimes called the “snake bird”. When it is in the water, all you see is it’s neck and head.


and one drying it’s wings…


Here’s Larry on his way back out.


Captain Jim trying to figure out just what I am doing staring at him thru the camera…he didn’t dare move….thought I was photographing something over his shoulder.  I can be sneaky at times.


No…..it’s not snow on the bushes….this is a favorite roosting place for Cormorants and Anhingas….the bushes are white with bird droppings.


I believe these are North American Coots. There are thousands of them in the area, up and down the river.

These were standing on a submerged log, preening themselves.


It started cooling off so we headed back to the boats, out of the wind. After supper we read for awhile then went to bed.

This is one of our favorite places to hang out.

It was a nice quiet evening…….then the sun went down and the bow fishers came out. They have big spot lights with a generator to run them. It lights up the Springs.