October 23, 2015

First road test with camper 10.22.15

Jim checked out the new brake system…worked great….so we hooked up the camper for a short road test.


Went out for brunch (Jim had breakfast and I had lunch) then we went to Lowe’s and picked up a piece of Plexiglas for the screen door where the kitty door is. We need to winterize  it for before cold weather. It’s on the screen porch and that is where the wood stove is and we use it for heating.….stopped for gas…Jim likes ethanol free.

Most of driving was around town so lots of stopping.  One short trip down the toll road to check sway..towed great.


We are going to Eustis for a car show this weekend. We’ll take the camper and set it up with the awning etc. After the show we’ll go spend the night at Jim’s brother’s. I think we are going to help him launch his sailboat and pull some cattails out of the lake by his dock.

That will be our first bit of distance with the car and trailer. Maybe 100 miles round trip.

Want to be ready for a Tin Can Tourist meet in Dec.

The Chevy looks good in front of the Scamp….but I prefer the Hudson….they have the same smooth lines.


October 21, 2015

New Brake system and new sneakers. 10.21.15

It looks like Jim spends his time lying around….and for this job he did a lot of it…up and down…up and down….


He replaced all the brake lines….and rubber hoses in the brake lines, as well as the wheel cylinders and brake shoes.


This is the old master cylinder. It only had one reservoir. If something happened to a brake line you lost all your brakes.


Jim put a dual master cylinder in it, with a proportioning valve.


This one has 2 reservoirs….one for the front and one for the back….something happens and you still have brakes even if only on 2 wheels. We plan to tow the little Scamp with the Chevy for a couple of Tin Can Tourist meets and a car show or two. Our main car will still be the ‘49 Hudson….it has AC. So the Chevy will make a good winter car.


I got the easy job….I had to “pump up” the brakes as he bled the air out of the lines. The seat was back for Jim so it was like sitting in a recliner…just didn’t have my coffee.


Once the brakes were done it was time for new “sneakers”….(that is what we used to call them years ago)…I guess because of the white walls and back then most sneakers were white.

Jim took the wheels to Pep Boys (had the tires shipped there) and had them mounted and balanced.


The blue stuff protects the white wall so Jim had them leave it on till he got home. A little cleaning and they were perfect.


This is before…


an after…they really set it off.


Even though the tires on it looked good and had very few miles…we had no idea how old they were and couldn’t trust them for towing. We’ve had several old tires come apart …one time 2 front ones came apart while it was up on jack stands. Jim was working on it and the tires were not even on the floor. Not worth taking a chance…and the white walls were the thing back in the day.

Once Jim knows the brakes are working right…we’ll hook up the Scamp and take a little spin to see how it handles. The ‘49 Hudson has towed it over 11,000 miles….and did it in MI, NY,VT,NH and states in between them and FL.

If you go to the index at the top and click on 2014…then click on May you can see our trip.


October 19, 2015

St Johns River 10.14.15 pulling out today

Sun is coming up so we had our coffee on the rear deck…munched a few donuts. Looks like the sun is rising from the water.


After coffee we took the screens down…pulled up the anchor and headed out. Another beautiful sunrise.


I had seen a white rooster on the island the last time we were here…so we were looking for him. The island is almost under water but this end still has a nice ridge. We didn’t see anything so Jim did a “cockle doodle do” and got an answer…you cant believe how surprised we were… so we turned around and went back. Looks like a yellow suitcase back there. Maybe he has people company.


I had seen this spot and mentioned that it looked like someone was feeding him. I tossed it several little white donuts.


After we fed the rooster we headed towards Lake Monroe landing to pull out. We just got an opening on the RR Bridge. We only need a few feet to make it through.


Got the boat loaded on the trailer and headed home. Jim backed it down the road to our place…not much turn around room in here.

Then we jumped in the ‘49 Hudson and headed for Titusville and the Chevy parts place…. Ecklers. When we got home we unloaded the fridge and food stuffs along with our clothes and laundry. The rest can wait till tomorrow.

It was probably the best weather we’ve had on the river….60s at night…windows open ..light blanket ..and warm days…just not enough of them. Oh well….we’ll be back out again when the Chevy is finished.

October 18, 2015

St Johns River day 3 10.14.15

We wanted to get an early start across Lake George so Jim got the coffee going while I tidied up.


It was still kind of dark so Jim put the bow lights on. He made this to put in the rail for night running or foul weather running but it has to be removed to raise or lower the anchor.


Trip down the run was pretty while the sun was coming up. Water was like glass.


The Spanish Moss looks pretty in the morning.


Sun is almost over the trees.


I guess you can tell I love sunsets and sunrises….look how beautiful these trees are.



There is a saying: Red at night ..sailors delight..red in the morning sailors take warning. I think this qualifies as red.


Once we were away from the trees and the sun came up this is what it looked like. It was a lumpy ride but not bad because we were not heading directly into the waves…not quite broadside ..just enough to make it easy.


There are a lot of crab pot buoys in the shallower spots…when we got near the gates at the S end they were all decorated with birds.



Bubba’s Island again…


You can see Jim has removed the running lights.


Blue Creek.


This guy looks like he has found a nice soft bed…


I’m ahead of Jim in gator spotting…but he found this one.


Tom Krantz calls this the “Elusive Limpkin”….you do not see many of them and they are hard to spot because they fit right into the background. Just as I was taking pictures a tour boat came toward us. So we moved on to let them see it. They stopped and took pictures. After they left we turned around and came back for another look.


This is Diane’s favorite bird on the river….so this one is for you Diane.


I found another one.


Jim wants to go to Titusville for parts for the ‘57 Chevy so we are heading to Butcher’s Bend at G109 for the night. Back through the canal. This is the pretty end.


Almost missed this little guy..Jim thinks it’s about 3’ long. All the others were over 8’.


I made supper while underway. Not many boats out so no big wakes. We were able to get to Butcher’s Bend before dark.

Had our wine on the rear deck. Went to bed and just as we were dozing off something bumped our boat and made a big splash. We looked out but couldn’t see anything…might have been a manatee or a gator.

The rest of the night was quiet…too quiet..no frogs singing us to sleep.

October 17, 2015

St Johns River , FL day 2 10.13.15

We wanted to get across Lake George before the wind picked up so we were up early. Jim started the generator and made coffee while I made the bed back into a couch and we hauled up the anchor and headed out.


As we approached Astor, FL we spotted buoys in the water that said slow speed…no wake…they were not there the last time we were here. Looks like they put plywood across the front of this building to keep wakes out.


We traveled slowly so we didn’t put water where it shouldn’t be.

Our trip up Blue Creek was beautiful. Lots of trees with color.


Nice view with your morning coffee..


We call this “Bubba’s Island”. It is at the N end of Blue Creek. Bubba was a big gator that sunned there. It is under water now.


You can just see the gates to Lake George…nice and flat…


The gates are the entrance to the marked channel across.


The birds had fun flying around us…guess they were hoping we’d get the fish moving.


Here are a couple pages from Tom Krants “Boating and Cruising Guide to the St Johns River”.  If you plan to spend any time here you should have one…ours was from 1995 and is still pretty accurate. Page on R is Lake George..diagonal line from bottom to top is channel. Page on L is above Lake George.


Because the lake was flat it took us a little less than 2 hrs. to cross. This can be a bad ride if the wind kicks it up..

Welaka has a city dock that you can tie up to…it’s a short walk to Shrimp R Us. After a nice shrimp lunch we headed back to the boat and are planning to anchor at Salt Springs. On the L page above you can see the Salt River Run to the L of Salt Cove.


We spotted this marker on the channel of the lake…don’t remember seeing it before..looks like a weather station. Birds like it.


While we had lunch the wind started roughing up the lake. Trip down Little Lake George was a bit lumpy. But when we turned into the wind heading to Salt Cove and Salt River Springs it got rougher since we were heading into the waves.


This link will show you part of the ride.   https://youtu.be/502iQaWDj8A   I don’t know why I cannot post the video like I used to.

The entrance to Salt River Run…it’s about 4 miles to the springs where we’ll anchor.


Once out of the wind it was pretty smooth going.

074 c

There were only 2 fishing boats at the springs…we anchored near the main spring out of the wind. Nice night at anchor.