Thursday, April 21, 2011

Back (almost) to back to back to back

We have been back in Athens, Georgia taking care of family and getting a house ready for rental since returning to Jacksonville in January.

In March we headed to Jacksonville to meet our friend Joan Elliott and make a run aboard SEASEA.  We drove to St. Augustine to attend the Seafood festival and had a great time roaming around town.  We headed up the St. John's, anchored in Julington Creek and dinghied to Clark's Fish Camp for dinner.

Clark's is a great spot and the place is filled with stuffed animals of all types from all over the world.

We headed down to Green Cove Springs for the night and visited the historic Episcopal church and the spring head where they have the spring running through a swimming pool.

After returning to Athens for two weeks we headed back down to entertain back to back to back guests.  The logistics worked out perfectly.  We had Chuck & Chris Hewitson from Washington State drive their RV to Jacksonville and then Ken & Darcy Searl from Buford, GA drive down to Sanford so Chuck & Chris could take their car back to Jacksonville and then Bill & Birute Fleck from Charlevoix, Michigan drove to Jacksonville to see us.

Chuck & Chris came with their grandson Noah and we drove to Clark's so Noah could see all of the animals.  He certainly proved to be adventurous by eating gator tail, crawfish, and whatever else during the week with us.

Noah proved to be a good helmsman in the dinghy and drove Nana and Papa around anytime we were at anchor.

We did, however, have to keep our eyes open for the many gators we saw on the river.  I think Noah said we saw 50+ alligators on our trip.

We traveled the entire navigable waters of the St. John's down to Sanford, Florida.  Along the way we had many opportunities to catch up.

We stopped in Welaka and had a great lunch at "Shrimp R Us" and then visited the Maritime Museum.

This particular Chris Craft was there and was the only one of its kind.  The boat's name is Apparition as it is not shown in any of the Chris Craft guide books but it is in fact a production boat.  However, only one was produced.

While we were docked in Welaka we saw a guy launch a PWC and it didn't seem to run well.  It suddenly cleared up and accelerated rapidly.  The rider fell off and then couldn't get back on .  We went out and towed the sinking PWC and rider back to the launch ramp.  Apparently something was left out and the craft took on water.

While traveling across Lake George we stopped halfway and dinghied in to Silver Glen Springs for lunch.  Chuck and Noah swam in the spring and we continued on south of the lake for the night.

During our travel, Chris and Noah played double solitaire when Noah wasn't fishing or playing "Angry Birds" on his iTouch.

We stopped at Blue Springs and the Hewitson clan floated the spring run.  This is a great stop and is very busy on summer weekends.

When we got to Lake Monroe we contacted Buddy and Mary on Puffin and they directed us in to the marina where we would change crew. 

 Ken & Darcy Searl showed up and Chuck, Chris and Noah left.  We ended up having a dock party when the power on the dock went out. 

Numerous couples stopped by and we talked until well after dark.

On the way back to Jacksonville we stopped at the top of Lake George and took the dinghy up Salt Spring Run.  We had never explored this spring and it was a good run for a few miles.

We spent some of our evenings playing Mexican Train.  I believe Stacy won every time.

When we got back to Jacksonville Ken & Darcy headed back to Lake Lanier and Bill & Birute Fleck came by to visit.  They are making a road trip from Michigan and we were glad that they made time to stop by to see us.  We originally met them on the Great Loop and we made a trip with them up the Rideau Canal on their boat a couple of years ago.  We took SEASEA out and anchored but the winds were increasing ahead of a new front and we elected to come back in rather than try to sleep with the slapping on the hull.  We drove to the Landing in downtown Jacksonville and had dinner.  We spent a couple of days in our slip solving world problems and enjoying our time together.

When Bill & Birute left on Sunday morning we decided to stay on the boat another day before heading back to Athens.  We took SEASEA out for a sunset cruise and watched the full moon rise before heading back in to Lamb's. 

We are back in Athens now taking care of family and trying to get a house rented.  I will be heading back to SEASEA in a few weeks to perform maintenance chores while Stacy chauffeurs her parents to Indiana for a family visit.