Exploring the southern portion of the St. Johns River in Florida – crossing Lake George with stops at Silver Glen Springs, Astor, Hontoon Island and Butchers Bend. And then the final push into Sanford, Florida.
It’s a magical cruise through unspoiled nature and full of wildlife.
For the full blog version:
‘Straight Up’ by Shakiban –
Camera Gear Used:
iPhone X & iPhone XS Max
Mavic 2 Pro Drone:
Rode Video Micro Microphone:
Cherie & Chris have been full time technomads since 2006. In the winter we explore land in our 1961 GM 4106 bus conversion. In the spring/summer we move aboard our 1999 Bayliner 4788 slowly exploring America’s waterways along the Great Loop.
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I was very literally a floating island we put a floating island in the middle of the channel bobbing in the lead on a pair of chosen Street up come my way and I'll see you at the top now cuz I'm maybe a pound and it's making me frown so this is our last night on the southbound journey to Stanford along the st. Johns River and we are floating and butchers Bend we are basically almost within sight of Stanford I had the drone up and I could look right I guess he's Hanford in the distance we are so close but we are still completely surrounded by amazing nature we just had manatees alligators birds all just around us just a few minutes ago it was almost like being in a nature documentary yeah so once we did cost like George obviously stuff to add silver Glen springs and took the dinghy up and saw those amazing to watch the water go from like this root beer of colored water that's out in the lake if the transition was almost instantaneous is like one second is root beer the next second it is crystal-clear that'll Pepsi clear that's good but yeah and then you go up this little spring and there's all these uh boats tied up some of them actually pretty big size we probably could have gotten up there with my knot but then we would have been crowded in we didn't quite feel called the swimming and stuff like there maybe maybe it's about future time but it was this really beautiful place I can see why it is such a draw and such apparently a party spot on weekends floating down a silver Glen springs to the major category one spring here so it came from an ancient ocean it's the article a sauna so this is a slightly salty water because it came from an ancient ocean and this and the nearby salt springs are bubbling out of the ground in Florida here and such a massive flow this curves as Perry Gus is just spring water and it is crystal clear and actually pretty comfortably temperature this is a swimming party go to on your boat place and apparently on the weekends in summer there can be hundreds of boats lined up and down the springs here be too crowded for us but I can totally see the appeal jackets and so we decided not to spend the night out on the lake and continued on across Lake George and anchored just on the other side kind of near the town of aster so we found a nice little Anchorage couple houses around within sight but pretty much a nice little protected Cove and then we took the dinghy up the river a bit and it was a black watering yeah black water in it's a kind of a classic waterfront restaurant and asked for right by the drawbridge is this gonna be no the the one bridge that no that wasn't the only news open it was the next one yes okay so we had that bridge we did not need to open that bridge apparently hardly ever opens there's somebody who's paid to sit there 24/7 for the rare chance that the Pope needs that I've been opened they get this bird free so fed up an enjoyable evening and then we decided to go ahead and just do a slow putter because once you get out of a stir and heading south the River narrows to kind of the width of some of these creeks that we've been exploring it is twisty and you're yeah you're going to all these dudes all these little sand s turns through just wild remote nature some time-lapse photography from that as well as some 4k live video real-time video so hopefully that video came out to any will have some to produce a if you're looking for some relaxing and some non relaxing is that one five-second clip where the wind blows the tripod over and the camera distance this close my iPhone comes that close to going over the side while filming part stills but it was other than that few seconds it was an incredibly tranquil incredibly beautiful career we just put it on like six knots and hardly any way can just just enjoyed cuz hardly any other boats out even on a weekend it was just like going on this private nature tour it's so fun just beautiful and we yeah we saw so much wildlife right off the side of our boat and then we stopped at hooting Island Adventure and the human dead river behind Keaton Island hunting Island Houdini something like that it's a state park it's a state park only accessible by water there's actually a tiny little electric ferry that takes people across to the island or you can show up by dinghy or and actually have a um Rana there you bring your boat and stay the night for 20 something dollars $20 night include water an electric we actually saw a lot people ask us is do we have the concept of work like you do in RVing where you can get a free site in exchange for volunteering for a few hours a week and we actually saw a sign for get a free slip for volunteering 20 hours a week in the park it does exist yep and then you could live right there in the park right there and if you actually have some civilization by just a crossing the river there's Lisa deli waterfront boat up deli with apparently good sandwiches we couldn't do it we didn't get a chance so we ended up anchored it was about a two mile mile and a half fish dinky but ride back to the State Park Landing but it was just so other than every saw like twice a day a tour boat would go by because people are paying you to go on a tour and see this tranquility whitey was they go buy a couple Fisher fishing boats would come by every so often it was probably one of our narrowest Anchorage's yet but our anchor held really well and we we I think I put the scoop out at about four yes it was we had depths that we found a spot to anchor in about eight feet of water which is about the shallowest we could find and I think I had about 30 to 35 feet of chain out and with the bridle so that's at the water level so not sure to scope yet but there was absolutely no breeze and water was so calm the boat barely budged just slightly swing back and forth and it was beautiful particularly in the early mornings and at night when the water would just turn to glass and we did two nights there are three two nights nights felt yeah I was just wonderful we could have done a third night there but we were getting kind of tired of not having land access or yeah want me to change it oh yeah we had easy land access to the State Park we just put around the front when go for a hike every day but it was the same hike on the state park island we tried to do a dinghy adventure to go to Blue Spring State Park and it turns out we didn't quite realize how long the dinghy trip around an island was it turns out is just over nine miles round trip round around the island and we were hoping to break that up with a stop at a Blue Spring State Park but we didn't realize how to land there science on the dock there saying you know doc you know docking tour boats only we've now realized that there was a beach you can beat your dinghy and go ashore but we were son none of the reviews did I had mentioned that they just said you can go but I went back in Wrentham I kept seeing the word beached and tied up and say oh okay that's a cool thing about doing the river that has an ending point is we have to turn around go back so all the springs so we will definitely there's some great anchor just come much closer and without a dime I'll do you right to get there looking forward to that on the way back so oh and yeah here we are at six miles but six miles outside of Sanford enjoying one last night out in nature but you know there's neighborhoods like right over there nothing in eyesight hardly any boats around alligators and manatees and just one more night to enjoy and then we'll have a night to enjoy some civilizations a week to enjoy some civilization Sanford which we are looking forward to so this trip we took two weeks to get down here so we've been two weeks entirely at anchor we have not gone on a dock once us we've been entirely off-grid with just running out the lithium batteries and and the new generator and wishing crystal or every single day but you know what it's been really great because we typically run the generator about three hours a day about three hours a day um matches our load when we haven't needed the air conditioner we've actually ran the air control a little bit today and a little bit the first few days but other than that the temperatures have been perfect particularly at night has been ultra Pleasant so this has been wonderful conditions to to be out on the water so that's been really great to have the power situation under control and back to less of a headache so typically since we've been cruising almost every day is we just friend the generator while we're cruising to top up the battery so what am i listening to engines all three engines at once yes and then once we're at anchor baby we'll cook lunch off emotional appliance and then turn it off and then we're good for 24 hours and actually once you know one upgrade electrode maybe we hadn't finished it is putting in a 24 volt alternator so once that's there running the engines would have charged the batteries so ever these like two or three our cruising days would have been just enough to keep on top of our electrical needs without needing a generator so hopefully won't get that in there soon and yeah yeah finalized the quote with canvas company for over the winter to redo all of this canvas as well as hopefully some mounts to do solar panels up on top so when we start our cruising seas the next spring will be even more energy-efficient hey yeah it's great water tanks have lasted fantastically we're right now we've 50% on our main tank which is 100 gallons we did ferry in about 30 gallons fed about 25 gallons of freshwater when we're in Green Cove Springs so overall we've used maybe 70 gallons of water for two weeks which we hasn't been particularly for goal so there's two hours doing dishes you smell good so that's the great holding tanks are doing pretty well we know we have about two weeks capacity we've already scheduled to go straight to the fuel dock when we get into the Monroe marina they're gonna pump us out just before they put us in our slip so that's how we're good to go but we know two weeks is about our limit for lumford I are always water tank so yes but we did find pump out stations on the way once we got south of Lake George there were several pump out options out that was good cameo time so Kiki so what are the but there's not been a lot of easy places to land especially with a cat she's OK on the dinghy but we don't like to take a very far so she's a little finicky because she's been on the boat now for two weeks straight usually she when we're at dock she takes a walk almost every other day and she's not had that so I've been trying to play with her extra but yeah she is definitely ready for for some land time since she sees the lizards here to hunt and they're a little bit bigger than she thinks she can handle from this distance they look just fine we're gonna go figure out dinner and enjoy our last tranquil night and nature and that's start getting ready for adventurous in Sanford been wonderful thanks for coming along with us and they're not here well document the trip back up yeah well it'll be that much different just be all the same in Reverse yeah maybes different time see different stops it'll be fun looking forward to it been 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