The St. Johns River flows north from near Orlando all the way to Jacksonville. Its unique beauty remains reminiscent of all that is beautiful, exotic and primordial about subtropical Florida. Accordingly, a trip up the St. John’s is high on my list of places to cruise before I die.
It has been called the river of lakes by its original inhabitants. As a choice cruising destination, it is without par. I view a trip up the St John’s as a leisurely, idyllic passage, best taken in an unhurried fashion with plenty of reading and research undertaken beforehand so as to appreciate the total range of possibilities for this pleasurable journey.
My cruising dream is now shared by my life partner Karen Prescott. Her research and investigation has done a lot to flesh out the details for exploration. For our research, we have primarily focused our attention on the two most well know works: The St. Johns River Guidebook by Kevin M McCarthy, and A Journey on Florida’s St. Johns River by, Bill Belleville. These books provide a lot of background history as well as geological and ecological information that helps one to appreciate the culture and biodiversity of the the river basin. Further research on the web as well as chart copies for the appropriate river sections will round out our preparation.
We will be leaving October 20, 2009 pulling our motoring and sailing home away from home, the lovely vessel, Belle. Our initial plans were to travel the full navigable length of the St. Johns starting in St. Marys, Georgia. After some thought and a cursory review of the points of attraction, it became clear that our efforts for this trip should be concentrated in more intimate sections of the river starting approximately at Patatka and extending through Lake Georgia, and Lake Monroe. We will be putting in, therefore at Palatka, trying to enjoy an unhurried and leisurely sail exploring the parks rivers and springs along the way. We will try to keep the website up and current each day with pictures as well on Picasa.
Our dingy will be the newly acquired and as yet nameless 12 foot Porta Bote obtained recently from our friend Addison, alias, Padlevan. With the 6 hp Nissan short shaft it is a synch to be a great river explorer. Also we will be taking the inflatable Innova Sunny 2 person kayak. It nicely meets the needs for paddling in the small creeks and shallows along the way.
Belle is mostly packed with food for two weeks and nearly 50 gallons of water. We’re two weeks out. Wish us luck!