December 29, 2014

Christmas on the Water 12.28.14 a spider day

Jim is usually up first in the morning….I sleep in till he has the generator running to charge the batteries and make coffee.


We are used to working with each other in small spaces. Once he has everything running and can sit out of the way..I get the bed made up.

I roll the sheet, blankets and pillows up in the beach towels. They make good back rests under way. The one hanging over the front door is to keep mosquitos from coming in. The door is not very tight and facing into the wind you get a pretty good draft through it…so it does double duty. All ship shape and ready for coffee on the rear deck.



While I was getting the bed made …Jim bailed the dingy and put some air in it. Need to get some work done on it. It has a water leak and an air leak.


When we got the boat there was no provision for the anchor. Jim cut the bow rail and built an anchor roller for it. When he did that he had to remove the running lights. He put them on a plate that can be bolted into the rail when we need it. Today it was foggy and we wanted to get through the canal before the tour boats started had to run in the fog with lights.


It has to be removed for anchoring but we hardly ever need it anyways so it’s not a problem. It is well worth it. Now we have an anchor roller and much easier to haul the anchor up.


Nope that is not snow….it is spider webs. The woods looked like it had little tuffs of snow all through it.


Years ago in NY I used to do a lot of coon hunting. I ran through the fields at night following the dogs….never realized how many spiders there were till I looked out one foggy morning.


This houseboat was tucked back in a little waterway along the river.


One day several years ago Jim and I beached on an island under a bunch of walk the dog…when we looked up it was like the Navy Seals rappelling down lines from a helicopter. There were spiders everywhere…it didn’t take us long to got off of there. Have not beached or tied up under a tree since.


Cant say spiders are my favorite insect but as you can tell…the webs fascinate me. So many of these are small flat circular webs. I’m used to the orb weavers and their big webs.


We made it to the entrance to the canal…and with the fog and the early hour we didn’t think we’d meet any other boats….we didn’t.


The canal was loaded with spider webs too..


We’ve been through here several times and it was nice to see it in the fog.



Back on the river we spotted this canoe…it was loaded for an extended camping trip. Don’t know if they were coming or going…


We cruised down to G 109 and anchored…Jim bailed and aired up the dingy and we went for a ride. I had noticed a Blue Heron nesting on the way in.


I always find it hard to believe those big birds would be nesting in tree tops.


The river was busy…boats going every which way and most at a high rate of speed. One put out a big wake and we rode it in with the dingy.


When we got back to the boat we decided we might as well pull out. Took all the screens down, closed and covered the Bimini and stowed everything we could so there would be less to do at the ramp. We try not to tie it up during holidays or weekends but didn’t figure tomorrow would be any better.

We weren’t very long at the dock . Jim had to deflate the dingy. We keep a small vacuum aboard just for that reason. Inflate or deflate. It also works good for sucking mosquitos off the ceiling if we forget to close a window screen. Turn off all the lights…aim one at the ceiling and they all head for it…except the ones trying to bite you.


While Jim went to get the trailer, I spotted this boat waiting for the bridge to open….Would love to know what it is. Looks like a stretched Albin. Set up the same as ours…but much longer with a lot more room.  If anyone knows what it is…let me know. I could live there.


Once Meander is on the trailer we get out of the way and finish tying her down and stowing gear for travel.


All in all it was a great trip. Motor wouldn’t idle very well at first but towards the end when Jim started using high grade marine gas it did better. Weather was perfect the first and last days and was good in between. We got to do some swimming and lots of cruising. We had fair weather for crossing Lake George and the river was up enough for us to get into Salt Springs.

If the river is still up when we come out next time…we will try Lake Dexter, Lake Woodruff and a trip into  DeLeon Springs. They have a neat restaurant there. The Old Mill. There are grills in the tables and you can cook your own eggs and pancakes. I used to go there every afternoon when training Harness Horses at Spring Garden Ranch.


December 28, 2014

Christmas on the Water 12.27.14 a gator day

Last night we saw a couple sailboats cruise up the river. We were surprised to see one of them had anchored just down the river from us when we got up this morning.


Looked like there might be another fishing contest today…there were a lot of boats heading up the river a  hurry.102_0321cs

We did see a few people on the island but no one was camping. This used to be a favorite spot for beaching and camping out.102_0319csAfter coffee,we worked our way down to Hontoon Island and took Hontoon River. It runs behind the island and takes you to a channel that brings you back to the St Johns River.

This Bald Eagle watched us leave the island.


A group of about 11 jet skis passed us. Looked like they were having a great time…and a beautiful day for it.


Once we got on the Hontoon River we started spotting gators.


This is a beautiful ride. Not a lot of wind and plenty of sunshine…great for gator sunning.


A little cutie…


I thought these turtles made a good picture with that curly log.



Jim really liked this one….it is so relaxed…


This is probably the biggest one we saw….sorry I couldn’t get all of him.


This is the back entrance to Hontoon Island. No longer are we able to beach and go ashore.


We’ve always liked this river because it is so secluded….at least when it isn’t a holiday.



This is our anchorage for the night….we were surprised to see at least 20 or more pontoon boats run this river while we were anchored.


It is a nice warm night…even when the sun went down. We took our wine out on the rear deck and enjoyed the sunset.


It kept getting prettier and prettier…


While we were out there we saw a bat dart past us. We’ve had a bat get aboard this boat last year and 2 get aboard Slow Motion. They are drawn to the flying insects that are flying around our anchor light.

We went to bed and watched them from the side windows. Jim was sure there were at least 3. I was hoping to find a few inside the screen on the rear deck waiting to go home with us…but no luck.

Another great day on the water….and the night was even better. Loved the flying bat show.

December 27, 2014

Christmas on the Water 12.26.14

Enjoyed a nice sunset with our wine last night. Still a bit cool but  with sweatshirts we managed.102_0215cs

When it gets cold and you are sitting in a spring that is 72 degrees year around…you get fog in the morning.

Did not know there was a fishing contest scheduled so when we woke up there were several boats unloading and idling around.


Pictures in the fog do not come out well but here are a few more.


We had our generator running for charging batteries but shut it down before 7am. Figured that was when they were going to start. Jim heard them count down as they turned them loose…24.


Once all the boats had been turned loose we stowed our gear….hauled the anchor and headed for the lake. Lake George can get pretty rough at times and we wanted to be across it before it kicked up too bad.

Some of the boats stayed on the small lake…


You can see why the Cormorants are sometimes called “snake” birds. Here’s two.




We had the rising sun in our eyes all the way to the lake.


It’s a beautiful ride…the scenery changes as you go….





Lake George is just beyond the little island.

It was a bit windy out there and kicking up a little but the good part was it was at our back and helped push us across.


We saw this pontoon boat in the springs and here they are setting up camp. They had a tent just out of sight in the background.


Not a bad ride across the lake. You have to enter and exit the lake through these gates because it is pretty shallow in places.


Once on the south end of Lake George we took a ride through Blue Creek. This used to be an island where a very big gator hung out. The locals called him “Bubba”. Heard he got too friendly and they removed him.



Another view….if I can’t find gators….I take pictures of turtles.


Don’t know how they manage to stay on the log when all feet are in the air…great balance..



After Blue Creek we were back in the St Johns River and went to G3..Lungun Island or Shell Island to the locals and anchored behind it for the night. Another great day on the water.