FLORIDA DESTINATIONS

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MJ Warner
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FLORIDA DESTINATIONS

#1 Post by MJ Warner » Fri Oct 12, 2012 5:12 pm

I'll start this off with
THE SILVER RIVER
SILVER SPRINGS, FL.
This is a seven mile stretch from the put-in to the spring head at Silver Springs. The Ray Wayside park is located three miles east of Silver Springs, on the west side of the Ocklawaha bridge. There are two ramps, both are concrete and well maintained, though rather steep. There is a protected basin, with a tie up dock between the ramps for loading and offloading. There is plenty of space for prepping the boat, as well as lots of trailer parking. The fee if five dollars per vehicle, honor system.

Once on the water, you will proceed down the canal to the main river. Turn right (upstream) to begin your cruise. The current runs swift through much of the river, as the spring at the headwaters pumps some 522 million gallons per day downstream. You will be proceeding at idle speed (it's the law) so there will be much to see and plenty of time to see it all.

There are numerous logs that can be seen passing under your toons, the clear waters make them seem much closer to the surface than most of them are. We have only bumped our prop once, and there was no damage and we have never been able to reproduce that incident again, even though we know where it occurred.

One thing you will notice right away is that there are no homes, no development at all, making the cruise feel like a trip back in time. You are seeing Florida much like the first visitors to our state viewed it; natural, untouched and pure. Watch the water; you will see gar, bluegill and crappy abound.

Somewhere around the halfway point upstream, you will find a small area off to the right of the river where there is a bump-out at the bank just the perfect size for a pontoon full of hungry folks to pull in and have lunch. Alternately, you can parallel up to the bank and tie off to a tree.

Wildlife is the name of the sightseeing game here; gators, birds, fish and yes, Monkeys can be seen on this cruise. Rhesus monkeys were places on the small island near the beginning of Silver Springs land in the 30's by Colonel Tooey, on of the jungle cruise operators, who didn't realize Rhesus monkeys can and will swim.... the rest is local history. Today the bands of monkeys can be found on the north and south sides of the river, but I have found the south side bands to hang out at the banks more often. Don't get too close, they can jump pretty far as well as drop out of trees, and if they get in your boat, they can inflict some nasty bites. Viewed from the safety of the middle of the river, they will be a delight if you see them.

At the spring, you will be in the territory of Silver Springs Nature Park, be aware that their glass bottom boats have the right of way, since they are trying to operate a business here. If we local boaters start going up against them in water-turf wars, they will work to restrict us from entering the spring area. Be considerate please, and don't impede them.

There are three docks that you will see along the river on your trip. Two are part of the Silver River State Park: one is for their canoe rentals launching and the other is a viewing dock for one of the nature walks. There is one private dock with an old pontoon boat attached. One is not allowed to stop or tie up to any of these docks.

The entire trip will take about three to three and one half hours, lunch stop time not included.

Weekdays are always less busy on the river, and during the spring and fall, you may only see one other boat and a few kayak/canoes.
Truly this is a place made for the nature lover and it will not disappoint!
056.jpg
The Silver River
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Martha (MJ) Warner/Al Pendergrass
1989 41' Morgan Classic
1998 Playbuoy 20' Fish-N-Fun
2010 Sea Eagle tandem kayak
http://sv-journey.blogspot.com/p/blogs.html

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MJ Warner
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Re: FLORIDA DESTINATIONS

#2 Post by MJ Warner » Fri Oct 12, 2012 5:27 pm

Silver River, Silver Springs Fl.
https://maps.google.com/maps?q=map+of+s ... s&t=h&z=14
Here is a map showing the area for reference
Martha (MJ) Warner/Al Pendergrass
1989 41' Morgan Classic
1998 Playbuoy 20' Fish-N-Fun
2010 Sea Eagle tandem kayak
http://sv-journey.blogspot.com/p/blogs.html

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Friz
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Re: FLORIDA DESTINATIONS

#3 Post by Friz » Mon Oct 07, 2013 6:47 am

I see MJ's post is almost a year old but I am glad I saw it. We live about 40 miles north of Silver Springs. Last Tuesday we decided to give the Silver River run a try. Absolutely beautiful as described by MJ. We arrived at the Ray Wayside around noon. Excellent ramps (2). Launched our 20' Landau and headed upstream to Silver Springs. We only saw two kayakers on the river up and back. We virtually had the river to ourselves. Crystal clear water. You could clearly see the bottom 20 feet down. No fishing of any kind is allowed on the river and it shows. The river is full if bass and mullet darting everywhere. Saw a few gators and lots of turtles and cormorants. It took a little over an hour to reach the springs. Last week the springs became a state property. It had been a commercial attraction with a zoo and waterpark for decades. Standard Florida tourist attraction. Thankfully those are closed. The state has not entirely decided what to do with Silver Springs but I would expect it to become a state park with camping, hiking, swimming etc. The state did an outstanding job when they took over the Rainbow River tourist attraction in Dunnellon a few years back. I hope to see the same thing happen with Silver Springs. Anyhow, the 40 mile drive was well worth it. Thanks for the tip MJ.

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Friz
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Re: FLORIDA DESTINATIONS

#4 Post by Friz » Sun Jan 12, 2014 1:21 pm

Today is a warm, pleasant sunny Sunday here in central Florida and I am reminiscing. God willing boating season starts in a couple of months.
I am thinking about finishing a cruise we started last season. Thought I would tell you about the leg we did this fall. I was speaking with a FWC Officer at the Silver River boat ramp and he suggested something. He told us that about 10 miles upstream (actually south) on the Ocklawaha River is the Moss Bluff Dam. It has a good county boat ramp which is where we launched a couple of weekends later. From the Dam we headed up the Ocklawaha to Lake Griffin maybe ten miles. Fairly straight river and virtually uninhabited. Beautiful, quiet cruising. We saw a few obligatory Florida gators on the way. At the headwaters of the Ocklawaha is Lake Griffin. Clear water, shoreline sparsely inhabited and lots of beach. We cruised about five miles south down Lake Griffin to Haines Creek. Haines creek is about 6 miles long and connects Lake Griffin with Lake Eustis. At the half way point on Haines Creek is the Burrell Lock and Dam. There is a fairly decent restaurant, Gator Bay Marina and Restaurant at the lock. We stopped for a late lunch. That was as far as we got that day. Our destination was probably another 15 miles and it would be "iffy" to make it back to the lock by 1800 which is when the lock operator goes on liberty. Our destination was the town of Mt. Dora which is a lovely, laid back quaint central Florida tourist trap. Actually it is very nice. I have driven there by car several times. Hope to finish the trip in the spring.

Fair winds and following seas, Friz
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Commodore at the helm on Haines Creek
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Last edited by Friz on Sun Jan 12, 2014 3:50 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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Friz
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Re: FLORIDA DESTINATIONS

#5 Post by Friz » Sun Jan 12, 2014 1:32 pm

Opps! a little help please. I have no idea why my last reply and image spreads across 3 screens. I can't find any way to edit it. Anyone know how I can fix it?

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Bamby
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Re: FLORIDA DESTINATIONS

#6 Post by Bamby » Sun Jan 12, 2014 1:46 pm

You need to re-size the picture smaller.... First Re-size a copy of the original in your computer to replace it. Then go into edit on the post in question and remove the one in question and upload the replacement and resubmit and you should be good to go.
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Friz
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Re: FLORIDA DESTINATIONS

#7 Post by Friz » Sun Jan 12, 2014 4:04 pm

Excellent Bamby! Re-sized it to 800X600 and it looks much better. Thank you, suh.

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Friz
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Re: FLORIDA DESTINATIONS

#8 Post by Friz » Sat May 03, 2014 3:37 pm

Haven't made the Mt. Dora cruise I wrote about earlier but here is one we did with our Pastor and wife in April. It was from Salt Springs FL to Astor, FL. and back. We launched at the Salt Springs Marina which is next to the springs. Headed across the lagoon to the Salt Springs Run then 4 miles to Lake George. Huge lake which is actually a widening of the St. Johns River. I am guessing the lake is about 12 x 8 miles. After making the lake we headed south along the shore maybe 6 miles to Silver Glen Springs. This is a magnitude 1 spring which gushes out enough crystal clear 70 degree water to feed a crystal clear half mile run to Lake George. It is a favorite camping area for houseboats which raft in the middle of the run just outside the spring pool. This was a wild party (get high, get naked and get down) rendezvous until about 7 years ago when the Sheriff put a damper on the festivities. It is an absolutely beautiful spot now for all to enjoy in peace and tranquility. After a swim at the springs we headed back to Lake George and south to Volusia Bar which actually is a sand bar which partially blocks the entrance to Lake George where the St. Johns enters. It was then an 8 mile cruise up the St. Johns to the town of Astor and our destination the Blackwater Inn and chow. The return trip was the same minus the Silver Glen Springs side trip. Lake George was a little rough in the afternoon as we had a swell on our starboard beam. That is normal for the lake any time a wind is blowing. It is large but relatively shallow. Great cruise! Highly recommened it to anyone in the area. Fair winds and following seas, Friz
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4. Brian, Janet & Cecille at Silver Glen Springs.JPG
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9. Blackwater Inn.JPG
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Bamaman
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Re: FLORIDA DESTINATIONS

#9 Post by Bamaman » Sat May 03, 2014 4:04 pm

Florida has a bunch of really beautiful freshwater boating as well as salt water boating. I've been deep into some 50,000 acre farms and seen virgin mangrove springs and creeks that look exactly like they looked when DeSoto arrived.

I went to Silver Springs in 1964--the only vacation we ever took. I remember taking the glass bottom boat and how clear those waters were. It still looks like a beautiful place. I take it that the river is a no wake zone. I'd sure like to run my Waverunner down that river--at about 55 mph. I've got a pristine 2 mile creek down on Pickwick that is about 100' wide, and it's a real thrill to run it fast--chasing a blue heron.
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Re: FLORIDA DESTINATIONS

#10 Post by redbeard » Mon May 05, 2014 5:32 pm

Thanks for the pics sounds like you had a great time.
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Re: FLORIDA DESTINATIONS

#11 Post by margaritaman » Tue May 06, 2014 7:01 am

I was wondering why they have an MGB on a pontoon?
Cruising the salt waters of East Florida.

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Friz
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Re: FLORIDA DESTINATIONS

#12 Post by Friz » Tue May 06, 2014 7:29 am

All of us had the same question. The home is a mile or two north of Astor on the east bank of the St. Johns River. I'll guess a retired gentleman with too much time and too much money. Anyhow, rather unique. The following image is closer and shows more detail. I see cabling to the car. It is also is mounted off the deck a couple of inches. There is a post visible in the rear passenger side. It looks as if it permanently mounted. Fair winds and following seas, Friz
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Re: FLORIDA DESTINATIONS

#13 Post by lulupalooza06 » Fri Feb 12, 2016 10:00 am

Marco Island and Keewaydin Island Florida is absolutely beautiful! This is a pic of my youngest son and hubby attempting to fish. We were on Keewaydin Island and had the entire thing to ourselves. It was GLORIOUS!
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[b][color=#0000BF]Laura & Mike
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Re: FLORIDA DESTINATIONS

#14 Post by MattGent » Tue Oct 04, 2016 10:24 am

This is a bit of a cross-post from The Hull Truth, but fits in with this forum well I think.

A friend and I were looking for a weekend adventure by boat, and considering a long trip on the St. Johns. But we wanted to make it a loop, and the Oklawaha river let us do that nicely. Here's the map of our trip:

[img]http://i259.photobucket.com/albums/hh29 ... tx2gi9.jpg[/img]

We dropped a car in Sanford, then launched at Lake Eustis in Tavares. From there it was 3 days on the boat, camping in tents. North across the chain and through the two locks mentioned above. A side trip up Silver River. Back on the Oklawaha, camping in an oxbow overnight. Then down to Lake Oklawaha, through the barge canal and the Buckman lock. Turn right (south, upriver) on the St. Johns. We camped again near DeLand, and finished up around lunch time on the 3rd day. The group was me, a friend from work, and my dad. The boat is an older 16' Stardust with a 2015 30hp Suzuki, I rebuilt the boat a few years ago, there is a post on here somewhere covering that.

Along the way we saw all kinds of birds (many kingfishers and herons), a lot of mullet, gar, alligators, and turtles. Long stretches of the Oklawaha were completely empty and quiet. It is also tough boating, with a lot of trees fallen across the river to bump over or around. We did take a pretty good ding on the prop.

[img]http://i259.photobucket.com/albums/hh29 ... xdkx0m.jpg[/img]

[img]http://i259.photobucket.com/albums/hh29 ... nbpgcg.jpg[/img]

[img]http://i259.photobucket.com/albums/hh29 ... rn64yc.jpg[/img]

[img]http://i259.photobucket.com/albums/hh29 ... aibunt.jpg[/img]

[img]http://i259.photobucket.com/albums/hh29 ... xf6tat.jpg[/img]

All told the trip was 48 hrs over 3 days, 22hrs on the engine, around 180 miles, and 26 gallons of fuel. We saw a few different types of ecosystem (both natural and man-made), and had a grand boating adventure. We were really lucky with weather, as it was mostly clear and a bit cool at night.

I would do this again, but I'd bring a chainsaw and a spare prop next time.

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Re: FLORIDA DESTINATIONS

#15 Post by MattGent » Tue Oct 04, 2016 10:38 am

Image test, I only see the IMG tags above

[img]http://i259.photobucket.com/albums/hh29 ... weqgpg.jpg[/img]

[IMG]http://i259.photobucket.com/albums/hh29 ... weqgpg.jpg[/IMG]

OK not sure what is going on, I've posted images from photobucket on here before with no trouble.

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