July 15, 2012

A week on the water…over the 4th of July

Larry (A Dollar More), reminded me that I hadn’t updated the blog since we went out on the St Johns River.

Our launch went off without a hitch. Jim has it down pat. Launching the Albin 27 is not a big project at all. Loading it for the trip is another story. When on the trailer you need a big step ladder to get in and out. I get most of my exercise carrying supplies, bedding and clothes aboard.

We put in a couple of days before the 4th. Instead of heading N we decided to spend the day going S to Lake Harney. We’ve never tried to enter Lake Harney with Slow Motion. There is supposed to be a big bar at the entrance and we don’t want to go aground….been there…done that.

A Peacock was strutting along the shore. I love seeing these birds living free. My sister, Joanne, used to have several that lived at her place. They came in and fed with the chickens but other than that they were free to come and go as they pleased. Great watch birds. Nothing sneaks up with them around.


These Ospreys are large birds. How about the fish it caught?


If it’s a bass there are a lot of fishermen wishing they had caught it.


We had a beautiful sunset to end the day.


We picked up Jim’s brother, Carl at the launch ramp on the morning of the 4th….spent the day on the lake and watched the fireworks. HOT is the only way to describe most of the trip. Bearable after the sun goes down but during the day….HOT and MUGGY!!! 

The fireworks were great. Sitting near the middle of the lake we could see them in the towns all around us. Once they were over we headed back to the launch ramp to drop Carl off and we headed to G 109, Butcher’s Bend for the night. It was unbelievable how many boats were on the water for the fireworks….but we travel so slow that there was no problem dropping Carl off. Had the place to our selves. Many of the boaters were waiting to haul out on the opposite side of the river at the free dock.

We had a good night on the water, and the morning wasn’t too bad so we decided to hang out for awhile and maybe spot some gators.

We took the dingy for a ride so I could find something to photograph. No gators about and we know there are several that hang out here. But!!!!   While hanging out in the dingy a Manatee came over to see us. It was a large Manatee.


We spend a lot of time at Butcher’s Bend…one of our favorite anchorages and this only the second time we’ve seen a Manatee in here.


You can see prop scars on it’s back. They look fairly fresh. It was very curious about us and kept coming back to look us over. You can see it’s nostrils as it came up for a peek.


Their hide is kind of bristly like a pig.


We headed off to see what else we could find. Slow Motion looks good on the water.


Normally we can cruise for 4 or 5 hours and have enough charge in the batteries to hold overnight.  Not this time….we wouldn’t be at anchor for more than a few hours and we’d have to start the generator.

Most afternoons it rained and cooled things off…but it was still pretty muggy.

We made it up to Shell Island at G3 in Astor, FL. An 8 hr day of cruising and we still had to run the generator after a few hours at anchor. We definitely have a problem. Since it was so hot and with the battery problem, we decided to head back to Monroe Park and haul out. We did get to see a couple of gators, but only one was willing to sun itself in the heat.


We were surprised to see this barge on the river. It’s the first one we’ve ever seen. It was headed to Lake Monroe.


This Anhinga is sometimes called a snake bird because the long neck is all you see when it is in the water.


Once home, Jim isolated all the batteries and found 2 that were not holding a charge. Guess it was a good thing we came home, might have ruined the other two.  So….now we have 2 new batteries and are ready for another cruise……..in cooler weather.

Sorry I didn’t keep this up as we went along….it was either too hot or raining. When hot I didn’t feel like hauling out the computer….when it was raining, I just wanted to sit in the cockpit and enjoy listening to the frogs and watching the lightening.