With June 21st being the first full day of summer, we decided to make the most of it and spend the day on the boat.
Dropping it in the water at the Cedar Key Boat Ramp, our plans were to float up to Manatee Springs which is a First Magnitude Spring that flows into the Suwannee River and cool off in the fresh spring water. The 36 mile drive up to the springs went by quick. We left the throttle open and had the warm summer breeze blowing over us the entire way. We did see two huge manatee’s on our ride up but the Suwannee is pretty dark, tanic water, so I wouldn’t get in to try and get photos of them.
Once at the springs, we tied up to the floating dock and walked up the long boardwalk to where the springs are. The scene is as picturesque as it gets and something straight out of a movie set. I suited up with my snorkeling gear and jumped right in, but it was all I could do to talk Cindy into getting into the water. She sat on the steps using the excuses of “there is snakes”, “what about alligators”, “it is too cold”….blaa, blaa, blaa. Finally I whined enough that she got in just so I’d shut up. She thanked me later on for making her get in.
The ride back down we made a pitstop at Treasure Camp Restaurant for some lunch/dinner after working up our appetites with all the swimming. It’s so cool to be able to pull up to a restaurant with the boat, walk in and eat and just float away.
The ride home was a little bumpy as the tide was getting low, so I went out into open water of the Gulf. Our boat is made to run in really shallow water, but big choppy water is not all that fun. No biggie, we both just held on and bounced along. It was a 39 mile ride back down as the detour of open water added a few miles to trip. Got back to Cedar Key just as the sun was setting and still had a half tank of fuel. That’s amazing since we’ve added the new gas tank. We used to run out of fuel or have to carry extra 5 gallon cans. With the new tank, and 4stroke motor, we get better fuel economy and can longer distances due to the added capacity. No more running out and being left stranded!
The only good thing about working in the Hospitality industry is that we have our days off mid-week. We work every weekend when all the visitors are in town. But Mondays and Tuesdays are our weekends. What this means is we get to play mid-week when most are at work. This means when we visit the springs, there are only a few other people there. The entire day on the boat and some 70 miles of travel we only waved as we passed 4 other boats. We basically had the entire river to ourselves and loved every second of it.
The day wasn’t over yet. We watched the sun set as we washed down the boat and with the big Strawberry moon rising on the horizon, we loaded the camera gear out of the boat and into the truck and went and sat down on the shoreline to watch the moon rise. It was over 70 years ago that the summer solstice coincided with the full moon. So needless to say, it was the perfect way to end an already epic day spent welcoming in Summer.