Have you ever wanted to float down a lazy river?
I’ve just come back from such a trip. The St Johns River in Florida is one of the slowest in the country descending only 35 feet from origin to the ocean. Also, it moves North, one of the few in the USA to do so.
My party rented a 53’ houseboat for a four-day adventure. That is roughly the size of a school is and twice as wide. Here is the conversation that I imagined having with the marina:
Have I piloted a boat before?
Do I have boating experience?
Do I have mechanical acumen?
What do I have?
A sense of adventure and a valid credit card.
Besides we had a 20-minute orientation plus a practice run that lasted another 15 minutes.
We pointed our vessel north and were off. Along the way we saw eagles, cormorants, cypress trees and tons of turtles.
Our destination was Silver Glen Springs and all we needed to do to reach it was to navigate in two feet of water avoiding the submerged pilons, sandbars and the wooden shoot and then steer by compass heading across the second largest lake in Florida through a chop that rocked us like a bar of Ivory soap in a tub full of sea otters.
And … we made it.
What a beautiful spot to swim and explore. (Yes, we could have driven—where is the fun in that?)
The water here is a constant 72 degrees. Perfect for snorkeling. And the water is so Caribbean blue and clear that the turtle that crossed my path did not stand a chance.
Sixty-two thousand gallons of fresh water flow per minute and 165 million gallons an hour, according to the kayaking -scientist we met.
“How deep is the hole?” I asked.
“I do my surveying from above the water,” was his reply.
I dive it and had to equalize my ears twice. So…. 20 feet? I did it in one breath which was good because scuba is not allowed so two breaths would have been challenging.
The ride back took longer as we were going uphill (or upstream, as we riverboat captains say.)
There are things you just can see from your computer and even if you can, it is not the same. I need to get out there and touch and taste and listen. Sometimes you need to swim with the ‘gators. It’s worth the trip.
So what’s your next adventure?