April 17, 2014

St Johns River…heading south 4.17.14

The wind never let up during the night and was kicking back up this morning so decided to bypass a trip across Lake George. Very shallow lake and gets it’s back up very easily. We’ve crossed it in bad weather several times, but had the Albin 27….a very seaworthy boat.

Our little Yukon Delta has an open bow and any water coming over it flows under the floor and is picked up by the bilge pumps and put overboard. Not a problem if only small amounts but lots of water could cause a problem, especially if it is raining hard too.

We’ll save that trip for another time.

The last few times anchored by “Bubba’s” island, we didn’t see Bubba. We’ve been worried that gator hunters may have gotten him.


This morning while having coffee…a rather large gator cruised by. This is just his head.

102_2506 cs

It is hard to tell how large it is…but this shot of the back of it’s head shows how wide it it. We’re pretty sure it’s “Bubba”, as he’s fondly called by the locals.


It’s island was underwater for awhile so perhaps there is a new sunning spot.

A Cormorant…they swim underwater like an Anhinga, with just their necks and heads out.

You can see it’s webbed feet. Want a good laugh? Anchor near a nesting tree and watch them come in to roost. You can imagine the difficulty of grabbing a limb with those feet.


Just a baby…


One more step and this Blue Heron was in flight.


These channel markers make perfect nesting spots for Osprey. They get most of their food from the water….fish….though you do see one with a snake every now and again.


She flew off as we passed…but came right back so she must be sitting on eggs or little ones.


We decided to knock off early….anchored near “Revolving Bend” marker R30…boating is hard work…so we each took a short nap….had and early supper…weather was perfect for wine on the rear deck.

I think we have nesting Sand Hill Cranes near us. Hope to see them in the morning.

Sun is going down…batteries are charging and we’ve both got books waiting to be read. It’s amazing…we never have TV on the boat or when traveling with the camper…and we never seem to miss it. Enjoy the wildlife too much on the river and company of other campers when on the road.

St Johns River, FL 3.16.14

Launched yesterday….Jim’s brother, Carl, went out with us for a few hours.  Anchored behind the island at Butcher’s Bend..marker G109. Had a pretty good afternoon storm blow through and pelt us with a bunch of rain. Once it passed it was time to take Carl back to the dock. The gates are locked at sunset.

We headed down river (north) until we got to the canal at marker R 80 that took us over to the Hontoon River. Should have had my camera out…there was a tree that had come down and almost blocked the canal but Jim got us through. A few leafy branches dragged down both sides of the boat but no scratches. Sure missed a photo op.

Once through the canal we turned L and anchored for the night.


We picked this spot because there was a big gator that cruised out to greet us, so this morning we took a very short dingy ride for pictures. When they come towards a boat it is a good sign they are showing aggression either because they are getting into breeding season or want to defend their territory….since our dingy is an inflatable we don’t argue with them.

A couple quick shots of “Meander” and we were back aboard and underway.


This Blue Heron was working on catching breakfast.102_2462cs

Sunny this morning but a very cool wind.


This gator was getting some sun but stayed below the grasses to block the wind. Good sized…and you can see he has his eye on us.


Another sheltered area….guess no one told the turtle that a gator’s jaws can crack turtle shells.


Another one…


I never realized they had such long tails or nails.


All those bumps (skates) along it’s back absorb heat from the sun.






Same gator…another view…look at the teeth and the nails.


This small one gives you an idea just how big they can get. Most of the pictures I have of big ones don’t include all of the tail…and it is as long as the rest of the body….if not a bit longer. This one is only about 5-6’ long.


These are Cyprus “knees”…roots. I was told they grow so they are above the water. The tall one is about 5’ tall…if I understood correctly…the water level was that high for sometime.


These are about 3’ tall.


A very unique boat…


Are my eyes deceiving me…or is that a satellite dish on the pole?


We are anchored for the night in Blue Creek. If the wind lets up when the sun goes down…we may cross Lake George tonight.   Have to wait and see.