March 14. Last night (March 13) we anchored on Murphy Creek off of the St. Johns River. It was a nicely protected anchorage and very quiet. A few small fishing skiffs came through and waved. Artie wanted to take a swim off the back of the boat; oh no… he no sooner said that when a 6 ft. alligator swam by. After that he agreed to stay in the boat. Good decision!! — We sat on the back of the boat and watched mother nature in her glory as the sun set; a quiet night on the river. We got up early this morning (6:30am) to cruise 50 miles to River Forest Loop where we will anchor again. – It’s a beautiful but a chilly morning. – Shortly after our setting under way we came to a railroad bridge (Buffalo Bluff Bridge). Try saying that first thing in the morning on the radio to request an opening so that we could pass through. — This river is the longest in Florida and has springs that you can get to from there ( Alexander Springs, Salt Springs, Blue Springs to name a few). Cruised across Lake George (the largest lake off of the St. Johns River). The depths varied and caution is needed. — Are we on a jungle cruise?? That’s what it seems like with all the moss hanging from the trees, dense forest, alligators, and yes, we saw a snake, too. Mmmmmm, sort of feels like “Deliverance”, there goes my imagination…. – We anchored 4:30pm, so it’s been a long day. Snakes or no, we’ll sleep tonight.
March 15. We pulled the anchor up from River Forest Loop at 7:30pm and cruised a short distance to Snake Creek Cutoff just outside of Blue Springs Park (the largest spring in Florida). After “mediterranean” anchoring (our first time anchoring this style), we put the dinghy in the water and went to the spring. We spotted a group of some interesting looking fish (Florida Gar fish) along with several manatees. The water was beautifully clear with trees hanging over dripping with moss. Very scenic. The water was 72 degrees, a little chilly but refreshing.
March 16. We pulled anchor up at 8:30am and we’re on our way again (Good bye Snake Creek). We are returning to Jacksonville to meet with Kyle. We have two days to get back, so “getty up Magoo.” – We anchored at 5:13pm (Murphy’s Creek again, it’s familiar and familiar is good after a long day). Time to relax.
March 17. Rise and shine at 7am sharp, pulled the anchor up and we’re on our way again. Weather was good with little wind. We made good time and we pulled into Jacksonville at 5pm just in time for the St. Patrick’s Day festivities at downtown’s Landings. The celebration is taking place just steps from the boat.
March 18. Cleaning and reprovisioning the boat for “the rest” of the trip. Kyle will be boarding tomorrow to see us through the rest of Florida, Georgia, and into South Carolina. Georgia will be tricky with the 8 ft. tides, so Kyle is an especially welcomed addition to our crew of 2.