March 30, 2012

3.27.12 Entrance to Murphy’s Creek to G 3 Lungun Island.

I forgot we had these pictures still in the camera….on our way to Corky Bells, we saw this helicopter delivering stuff to workers on the power line.
It made several trips while we were heading N…and was still at it on our way back.
Here we are at Corky Bells’ dock….see the little gator in the foreground?
Here’s a closer look…  might be 5’
They have a nice floating dock, good food at a reasonable price and indoor or outside dining. I believe there is a bass tournament weigh-in on Thursday afternoons.
While we were having our morning coffee at Murphy’s Creek entrance, a train crossed the railroad bridge at Buffalo Bluff.  We figured it would be a good time to head S. Shouldn’t have any problem getting an opening now.
This part of the river is fairly wide so it is hard to get good pictures of the gators…another big one.
Do you think this dog likes to go boating? Sure beats hanging your head out the window.
Looking for the right fishing spot.
Another medium sized one…I think it’s mate is the big one nearby. I guess the turtle didn’t read the post about gators having up to 3000 teeth in a lifetime…from crunching bones and turtle shells.

We are skipping a stop at Silver Glen Springs. We are pulling out on Friday instead of Monday. Our anchorage tonight will be G3, Lungun Island.

3.26.12 Rat Island to Corky Bell’s (Palatka, FL) and back to Murphy’s Creek S Entrance.

We anchored near this sailboat. We’ve seen it anchored here for several months, figured the holding is pretty good. There was a little fog on the water but it lifted quickly. This might become a favorite summer anchorage…as long as nothing big is brewing.

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Coffee cups in hand we headed down the river to Palatka. We’ll tie up at Corky Bells’ dock and walk up for supplies. We usually have lunch at the restaurant but decided to order hot wings and extra celery to go…and eat aboard. After lunch, we headed back S. We were going to anchor near the sailboat but it was so nice out and still early so took the run down Murphy’s Creek. Decided to anchor on the St Johns River, just to the R of the entrance to Murphy’s Creek. 6’ of water and plenty of breeze. This is a very wide part of the river and the channel is on the far side so wakes from large boats shouldn’t be a problem.

These have been new anchorages for us….we passed them up in the past because they offered no place to take Raisin ashore. Believe it or not…there is a tidal range here. So if there is a shore line it is usually mud. Now that Raisin is trained to the carpet on deck…we can anchor where ever we want.

I woke up around midnight and we were fogged in. Couldn’t see anything. Sure glad Jim has the new anchor light installed. Very low current draw and bright. I was still listening for other boats. Glad I didn’t hear any. Nothing was moving.

I can’t remember having so many perfect days and nights. It has been wonderful weather. Most of our boating is done during the winter when it’s so cold we have to have the vinyl side curtains up.  It is pleasant to sit in the cockpit…no lights…and listen to the night critters.

3.25.12 Old Ocklawaha River, FL to Rat Island.

We decided to go to the city dock at Welaka, FL and walk up for breakfast. Great sausage gravy & biscuits.

Jim noticed this cruise ship coming up the river. It seems so strange to see something this big out here.

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We waited for it to pass and followed it. The only people we saw aboard, were the cleanup crew wiping down the rails on the upper decks. It was such a beautiful morning…seemed a shame not to be on deck with a hot cup of coffee.

After breakfast, we went cruising and gator hunting…we headed down Murphy’s Creek and then Dunn’s Creek. Jim spotted a huge one, but it was down before I could get a photo. This one cooperated, though. It was the smaller of the two that were hanging out together.

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Look at the size of this one. That head is massive!

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It slowly moved into the water and did a “stare-down”.

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This time of year they are guarding their territory and pairing up…their behavior is completely different than the rest of the season. They tend to swim towards the boat rather than away…

This big barge was tied along Murphy’s Creek. It has two buses and a camper on it…don’t know what it is used for. The name is Noble Phoenix.

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Dunn’s Creek had a large number of gators.

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We were going to go to the entrance of Crescent Lake but ran aground on a bar in the middle of the river. After getting ourselves off…we decided to head back to Murphy’s Creek and anchor for the night.  Right near Rat Island. It is a big 4 corners and a breeze can hit from any direction. We were comfortable all night.