September 17, 2015

Two Nights on the St Johns River, FL 9-14 to 9-16-15

When things sit for any length of time, down here,  they get a little dirty…so Jim is cleaning up for the trip.


We decided to go to Lake Monroe and launch…it’s not expensive and the truck and trailer are secure.

Finally!!  we’re on the water!


Beautiful day…this is one of the side creeks we take…we enjoy the skinny waters and fewer  boats.


This is the entrance to the canal that takes you from the St Johns River to the Hontoon River.



If you plan to take a trip on the St Johns River…be sure to get Tom Krantz’s Guide to the St Johns River….You’ll end up going places you never thought you would.

My red line is a bit squiggly but that is the trip through the canal (dotted lines) and the Hontoon River …it eventually brings you back to the St Johns…I love this part of the trip.


We had planned to anchor back here for the night but got there so early we decided to head up to Drigger Island.

There is a very deep hole at the entrance …depth gauge read 60’…very popular fishing spot.

We nosed up to the weeds ..still near the entrance so we could catch a breeze. I sewed Velcro down both sides of the screen for the front door…now it is secure from mosquitos. With that open ..and the screened side windows and the screened back door ( I didn’t put full Velcro on that because the rear deck is also screened)…… it wasn’t too bad sleeping.015c

Tuesday morning we got up…had our coffee and donuts on the  rear deck….sent Larry & Diane a text that we were having “cop” food…then headed to the Norris Dead River…another little side trip… it takes you to Lake Woodruff.



Once we got to Lake Woodruff we turned around and started south…pulling out tomorrow…this was just to check out the boat…it hadn’t been on the water since May.

This is what it looked like when we got back on the river…you can see the rain on the right. It POURED!!!!!


Then it just rained steady….so we headed back down the Butcher’s Bend for the night.

We tend to forget the seasons here…but the trees are thinning out and the Red Maples are turning.


Back through the canal…


A tour boat travels this…but because of the rain we did not expect to meet it. Normally we wait until early morning to go through from this direction or early evening. You can see it would be hard to pass a big pontoon tour boat.


Still misty rain when we got to Butcher’s bend but had a nice breeze…by evening it had quit and we could have the doors and windows open…another nice night on the water with lots of frogs singing us to sleep.

Not much wildlife…Jim did spot 3 gators but they were in the water and too far away for pictures. Didn’t even see our cruiser at Butcher’s Bend. They’ll be out to sun themselves when the weather cools down. That is why boating during the winter is so much more fun…We do have nights in the mid 30s..but by mid morning it is usually in the 60s or 70s….and if you travel slow and watch the shore…there are gators everywhere.


Boat ran well…bilge pumps came on automatically when it was raining…got to the bridge..gave the bridge tender a call for an opening…had to circle around for about 10 minutes till the train passed…radio went dead..tack went dead…engine ran but skipped a bit…made it to the dock..shut down and couldn’t raise the motor for travel…it took awhile but Jim found a fuse in the motor that was bad…replaced it…everything powered up …motor up and we were able to load it on the trailer and head home.

Jim has a few repairs to make to the roof over the rear deck…then we’ll be ready for another trip.