January 12, 2013

1.9.13 Heading S to Butcher’s Bend G109

Sure hate to leave. We really enjoy it here.

Salt River Springs is more peaceful than Silver Springs.  There are a lot of boaters coming and going…mainly fishing boats but the area is much bigger and you can anchor off by yourself. When it is hot there are a lot of pontoon boats near the entrance to the spring head, where the water is shallow and everyone will be swimming and enjoying themselves.

Jim was taking the motor off the dingy and I was stowing gear in the bow when I spotted these Manatees. Guess they were interested in what Jim was doing. The squeaking of the dingy against “Meander” must have attracted them.

Our trip across Lake George was easy……. light breeze and small swells.

We decided to take a side trip up Blue Creek. So glad we did. Look at the size of this one.


That is just his body….his tail is in the water.

Nice white teeth….


We watched him awhile…..then he watched us….

A common sight on the river.


Looks like he’s flying. Getting all the sun he can.


Someone along the creek builds and puts out bird houses.


Our next side trip was up Hontoon Creek.

Today was a good day for spotting gators. This one looks like it has a huge tail, but after looking closer…I think  there might be a second gator. The scoots on it’s tail and the angle, don’t match with the tail in the water….


Handsome guy….or gal…..


We dropped anchor just past Blue Springs, but it was so early in the day we just had lunch and hauled it up and headed to G109 for the night.

A few small showers during the trip but nice weather after that.

At Butcher’s Bend we dropped anchor for the night. A gator cruised us just as it was getting dark…..too dark for pictures.

We’ll be pulling out in the morning. It’s been a good week on the water. We found out we had stuff aboard we wouldn’t need and would need some stuff we didn’t have aboard….isn’t that always the way?

The outboard didn’t run as well as we’d have liked. Our next launch will be on the Harris Chain of Lakes. We can have the motor looked at and look for more gators.

1.8.13 Salt Springs, FL

Another nice night on the water.

We took the dingy ashore. Raisin gets a little walk. At 15 (or there about), she’s not much for long walks but she did have fun tracking the flock of wild turkeys around the parking lot. There must have been a dozen crossing thru.

There is a camp ground in the pines just beyond our boat on the far side, with a launch ramp. It’s mainly for small boats, canoes and kayaks. Several of the campers carry inflatable kayaks so they can enjoy the water.


Jim brought 3 empty jugs along. There is a free flowing spring that makes it easy for us to add water to our tank for dishes and showers.

After getting water and the dog walked, we headed back to the boat, but spotted the Manatees playing in the water. Sometimes you don’t even realize they are there and at other times they get pretty frisky, as you saw in the video yesterday.

The Anhinga spend the night in the trees behind the boat. The white on the low bushes is from their droppings. You can see several in the tree now but at night it is full, and fun to watch them jockeying for a spot. They have webbed feet and are not the most agile birds when landing.


We spent a lazy day on the water…..just cruising around in the dingy, sitting aboard reading and generally enjoying the beautiful day.

Tomorrow we’ll head back up the river (S).

1.7.13 Salt River Springs, FL

Our screened porch worked out pretty good. The weather has warmed up a little and we were able to sit out back with a glass of wine and watch the boaters pulling out at the launch ramp. Most of it went smoothly, but we could tell which pair had worked together often and those for the first time. It made us stop and think how we might sound to others……we’ll be more cautious next time.

This morning I spotted a gentleman in a kayak taking pictures of the wildlife in the springs. A few minutes later a couple of Manatees took interest in the red kayak.

I was so envious of him being out there with them.


They kept coming up close to the kayak……and then…….

Here is a series of pictures I took from the video:

snapshot_001 snapshot_002

That is the Manatee’s tail.


Manatees can be 10-12 ft long and weigh as much as 1500 lbs.

Jim and I saw this behavior once on the river. We shut the motor down when we saw them coming our way, and drifted. There were 2 big ones and a calf. They swam around, under and along side us, looking us over. Stayed with us for about 15 minutes, then with a big splash like this one…..they continued on their way. We took it as a “good bye”.

snapshot_003 snapshot_005

Wow!!   What a way to take your morning shower.


and what a way for us to start the day. It just doesn’t get any better than this..

Manatees at Silver Glen Springs

The water is so clean and clear. So very different from the river and lake waters which are a “tea” color from the tannin in leaves.

We really enjoyed watching them. The video was taken from our inflatable dingy as I floated past them. We never use the outboard motor when they are near. Look closely….the light colored marks on their bodies are “prop scars” where they weren’t able to get out of the way quick enough.

We were amazed at how many boats came in and out and never even noticed the Manatees.