October 17, 2013

A little remodel for “Meander”

Last trip out we forgot our folding chairs….(among other things).

We made do with float cushions on the battery box and storage box. There is  a lot more room on the rear deck without the chairs so Jim decided to make the boxes a little bigger/taller and more comfortable.

The floor also needed a new coat of paint. So he took everything out and gave it 2 coats.


The new battery box will hold 3 house batteries instead of two. Maybe we can run the generator less.

We had 4 house batteries on the camper but we normally only need them for travel…since we stay in campgrounds or someone’s yard…with electric hookup. We now have 4 batteries in the boat…all deep cycle.

The one under the seat on the starboard side could easily be removed and put in the camper box if we felt 2 would not be enough on a long camping trip.

This will be Jim’s seat…room for a cushion behind him too.

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The box on the starboard side will hold one battery and have a storage box for small stuff. That will be my seat. We need these to step over the side when at a dock or to get into the dingy. Everything has double duty.

The generator sits on the platform above the small fuel tank.

Neither of us smoke so sitting out back with our wine or coffee isn’t a problem.


We’ve been using these boat cushions in our folding chairs in the camper. Jim thought we’d be much more comfortable if we used them on the boat. I tried it and he was right. They can also be used in the bow.


If we forget the seats we can still use the float cushions…but I have a feeling these will be aboard until we go camping again.


When he changed the boxes he made a new layout for the gas tanks. This is the new look…much more foot room. One less 5 gallon tank…but before.. we had to carry two on the front bench seats …which meant lugging them  through the cabin to the back. The 4 stroke Honda gets pretty good fuel mileage and there are plenty of fuel stops on the St John’s River.

We’ll also have a 2 1/2 gallon tank under the generator….and a 1 gallon can for the generator.


Everything is back together….now we can plan our next trip. The weather is getting nice for boating. Warm days and cool nights.

Jim’s next boat project? Figuring out a way to catch rain water to refill the fresh water tank.

October 3, 2013

We’re home 10.2.13

We did 3 things we haven’t done in several years:  trip into DeLeon Springs, FL….trip across Lake Harney and then across Lake Jessup…and the highlight was the trip down Hontoon River and out the canal. Had never done that.

The weather had been perfect most nights and had minor rain one day.

We have a carshow mid Oct in Tampa….then we can start packing and planning the next river trip..I know it will include the canal to the Hontoon River.



October 1, 2013

Lake Jessup 10.1.13

After coffee we headed for Lake Jessup. We’ve not been on this lake for several years. At that time we had our Adventure Craft and Larry and Diane had their Nimble Nomad. When we got to the fish camp, we dropped a stern anchor as we were going in and nosed up to the land…then put the bow anchor in the ground. Spent the night. Next morning I hauled the anchor aboard and we headed out…but we didn’t get far….we’d forgotten the stern anchor. Larry kept looking back to see why we were not following. It’s those little things that make a trip memorable.

The lake is finally up enough for us to try it again.

At the entrance there is a gauge….don’t know what it means….but do know that if it reads 3.40 we can cross the lake.


There is a nice little boat ramp with plenty of parking…We don’t use it because we leave the truck and trailer for a week or so. Lake Monroe Park has secure parking.


The lake was flat….we did cross an area that read 1’ but had no problem. Our depth gauge is in the lower part of the center hull. That would mean 1’ below the bottom of the boat. If the motor is tilted a bit it doesn’t hit. On our way out we changed our route a bit and bypassed that shallow spot.

In the distance is the 417 bridge. “The Greenway”. We crossed under it and checked out the other end of the lake. We’ve never been to that end.  After a cruise around we came back to the Black Hammock Fish Camp and had lunch.


As we were nearing the fish camp, I noticed this little rain cloud. Looked like it might be dropping some water on our place so called my friend, Debbie, but she said no.


We anchored and took the dingy in. (no stern anchor this time)


View of “Meander” from the parking lot, with a map of the lake. They have a “biker” bar….airboat rides and good food. Lake Jessup has a large population of gators. You can sit out on the peninsula and generally see several swimming nearby. They have a gator they bring around for you to see, in the restaurant. You can even hold it and have your picture taken. It is just a small one, but gives you a chance to really get a good look and feel of one.


We saw a couple White Pelicans.


I don’t do very well “on the wing” pictures but I was so happy to capture these I just had to post them.


We are anchored just outside the entrance of Lake Monroe on Woodruff Creek. Nice breeze…doing a bit of swinging on the anchor. Sure hope this isn’t a short cut to the lake for the fast boats with the big wakes.

Tomorrow we’ll cross Lake Monroe…load “Meander” on the trailer and head home. Our week on the water over.

The highlight of this trip was the run down Hontoon River and the canal that cut through to the St Johns River. I much prefer the river to lake running….so much more to see.