March 28, 2015

Trip is over….we haul out today. 3.26.15

This morning Cammy continued his cruise. Isn’t that a beautiful root system? I love the Cyprus Trees and their knees. You can see why they hold the island together.102_1356c


Look how close it swam to this houseboat….I don’t think either person saw it. I’ll bet he’s longer than that little fishing boat they tow.


Here he goes again…I never tire of watching these guys…you can see his tail is as long as his body.



We took down the screens …put everything away that needed it for travel and headed for Lake Monroe Park and the boat ramp.

This pair of Ospreys were getting ready to mate. She has her wings folded down around her body.

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Normally we can squeeze under this railroad bridge but the river is up and they have to raise it for us.

After we pass under it the ramp where we launch is to the left. There is one on the right but we wouldn’t leave the truck and trailer there over night or for a week….might not have batteries or tires when you come back. Great for day use.

Lake Monroe is just beyond the I 4 bridge in the distance.


It’s been a great week. Weather has been the best. Cool nights and warm days. It seems like we always manage to be out when it is too hot or too cold…we got lucky.

Next outing will be with the big camper for a swap meet at the Sumter County Fairgrounds. We’d like to sell the camper.

A Gator Day 3.25.15

Got up this morning to fog….


We saw a gator swimming along the river. Judging from the size of the eyes, nose and back…I’d say it was a pretty big one.


This is the prettiest part of the canal between the St Johns River and Hontoon River.



Every time we come past this boat they have added something to it.


It’s called the “Floatin’ Hippie”…We don’t remember ever seeing it out cruising but it may be a weekender and we are usually anchored on a back water somewhere.


Second gator….cant see it’s head.


Number 3….didn’t even mind when we circled back. Usually one this size dives as soon as someone does that….they are probably used to being hunted.


This one definitely has some size to it. The scates on it’s back look worn down…could be a female.


and it has a friend. When you see 2 gators sunning together …it is a good sign it’s breeding season. They also get more aggressive towards boats….swimming towards them to warn them away. We never go dinking when we see that behavior…so didn’t miss anything by deflating it and stowing it aboard.


Same two …different angle.


This was our best day yet for gators.

As we pulled into our anchorage for the night….”Cammy” greeted us. We nicknamed him this because his body and head have a lot of lighter spots…kind of like camouflage. You can see it if you look close at his eye and back.


Isn’t this beautiful?


Cammy spent most of the afternoon cruising around. Jim spotted 2 others but too far away for pictures.

Another perfect day.

We pull out tomorrow.

March 27, 2015

Unique boat day….3.24.15

This must be a good fishing spot…we had company while we charged batteries and made coffee. With the Yamaha 2000 being so quiet they probably didn’t even notice it down there.


Traveling the Norris Dead River.


These smaller rivers can be so beautiful.


We decided to check out this old abandoned boat on the Zeigler Dead River….you must remember this one, Larry.




After checking the wreck we decided to go as far as the Marina and see what this is…..


Someone has built a neat little house on pontoons. Even has solar panels. Shame no one was home..would love to have talked to them. I really enjoy hearing how people come up with the ideas they have and how they make them happen.


I like the hurricane lantern…hope it is anchored down.

A nice little getaway….102_1245bb

On the same river tucked back in the woods is another work in progress….


That little red line is part of our travel…..


These are pictures of the pages in our Boating and Cruising Guide to the St Johns River by Tom Kranz. If you are going to spend time on the St Johns this is a good guide to have. There are so many side trips that you might not dare to take without it.


You can just see the top of this Osprey’s head…she is well camouflaged on her nest.


They must have been taking lessons on how to get back aboard one of these sculling boats…the person in the water jumped out of the training boat and swam over to these two.


This is the same spot I mentioned about the White Herons and Egrets only there are more today.


I have no idea what this bird is….it maintained that stance as we cruised by….did a U turn and came back for pictures…then U turned back again. All it did was turn it’s head. Might be on a nest.

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Here comes my favorite boat of the day…we passed in a narrow part of the river and didn’t have a chance to visit….


There has to be a few great stories on the build….just look at all the stuff on it…turtle shell, skull, even has red and green running lights and a solar panel. The cartoon on the side sure looks like the owner…we’ll be looking for him next time out.


We both wished we had turned around and stopped him for a visit. Even has a canoe on the back.

We anchored near the entrance to the canal….102_1273b

A large group of kayakers came by…


We are anchored here for the night….turned out to be a nice day….light breeze and sunny.

March 25, 2015

Norris Dead River, Lake Woodruff, Lake Dexter, St Johns River 3.23.15

Jim woke me up during the night when he started closing windows….it was raining…a nice light spring rain but splattering in the windows. The kitchen window that Jim put in is the only one that cranks out and can be left open.

Still raining this morning so we decided to head up to Lake Woodruff anyways.


We weren’t the only boat on the water…but at least we had cover. Some people just love to fish.


The entrance to Lake Woodruff. Hope it is not weeded in.


We got across Lake Woodruff ok…got into shallow water (depth gauge showing 1 ft) but we weren’t churning mud. Finally spotted the locals channel markers and got into 4 ft of water.

Going up Tick Island Creek I spotted a place where Jim and I, with our Adventure Craft and Larry and Diane with their Nimble Nomad beached for the night, several years ago. Jim noticed a lot of sideways lightening but we spent the night fairly comfortable. The next morning friends from Oklahoma called Larry and Diane and asked how everyone was….there had been a big tornado in the area. When we got back on the St Johns River there were helicopters flying everywhere. We were told we could travel the river but very slowly and to look for people in the water. We cruised around Lake Beresford and couldn’t believe the destruction and debris in the water. Luckily we didn’t spot anyone in trouble in the water.


Liked this tree…..


Especially the Osprey in the top….


This Pelican flew along in front of us…Lake Dexter was a little choppy …


We stopped at 3 marinas and all were out of gas…we might have enough to get back but Jim decided to take a 6 gallon can and hike to the station in Astor.

The boat on the far side of the river has been there for months….looks like it has been abandoned. Saw one in the same area several years ago and it finally sank and broke apart…looks like this one might do the same. Shame…since it floats it could be offered for a buck…as is…and give someone a chance to fix it up.


And here comes Jim over the hill…with gas and lunch.


He said it was about a mile each way.


We headed south on the river and finally spotted a little gator.


A little farther and we spotted another….it’s a bit bigger…might be a 6 footer.


We are going back across Lake Dexter…..looks a little different now.



Jim put way points on the chart plotter for our next trips…here is one of the “locals” markers for the entrance to Lake Woodruff.


As we were setting our anchor in the spot we were in last night…a big dark cloud and strong wind came up.


Before the anchor set we were blown across the’s not very wide so it didn’t take much. We hauled it in and headed to a more protected area. Sometimes things work out for the best. This gator spent a lot of time looking at us…and not far away.


We never did see it’s tail but judging from the size of it’s head and back it probably is at least 10 feet. We have a guard gator…no one will be swimming over to board us in the night!.



The cloud blew over and out came this rainbow.


Because we were backed into the weeds and close to trees I didn’t think we had a chance of seeing any bats….but I was wrong! Shortly after we turned out the lights I had one fly right up to my window. I watched it for a few minutes then it left. I looked out several times during the night and saw it again. Guess that big black cloud was telling us we needed to be in this spot.

Another nice night on the water.