During our last trip on the boat..on the St Johns River, FL, we had to tie up to the city dock in Palatka, Fl to make engine repairs. Our alternator had quit and Jim was going to replace it with a new one.

We didn’t realize the shrimp were running and how busy the dock would be at night with folks trying to catch as many as they could. It was a lot of fun.

Everyone was using cast nets and their catch was dumped on the dock…shrimp went into a pail and small fish tossed back into the water.

The next morning the Herons flew in. 003cs

The were all over the dock looking for fish or shrimp that may have been missed.005cs

They were so beautiful against the sunrise.010cs

There were several squabbles over the choicest pieces found..008cs

Even though they chased each other off…they kept coming back…..007cs

Our engine problem turned out to have a good side ….we spent the evening with a nice bunch of “Shrimpers” and watched the start of a Bass Tournament this morning ..and then the Herons flew in. There is always good in most everything….if you just look for it.  Of course, I wasn’t the one leaning over a hot engine trying to figure out what was wrong….so Jim may not completely agree with me.


We spent 2 weeks on the St Johns River aboard our “little” trawler…Slow Motion. And that is just what we do…cruise in slow motion…normally around 5-6 mph. At this speed ..you wouldn’t think we’d miss many gators…but ..surprisingly we do. So you can imagine how many the rest of the boaters see while cruising at 20 mph or faster.

We took a side trip down Dunn’s Creek. It’s a very narrow..twisting and turning creek, with hairpin corners. The water on these turns is much deeper than the rest of the creek. In one spot it is 50ft….now…that is deep when you realize most of the lakes are 10-12 ft deep…and shallower. Lake George and Lake Monroe have marked channels because they are so shallow.

Jim spotted this cute little gator so we looked for it on our way back up the river.


I was so intent on getting pictures of it…..watch as we move on by. There are 4 turtles sunning with him.


But then we get a bit farther down stream…..the angle of the picture has changed….you can still see one of the turtles….but look at the logs behind him. 2 gators….to the L of them is the tail of a much larger alligator. As you can see….the tail is larger than any of the others ….and on another log behind it….is a smaller gator.  There are at least 4 other alligators in this photo…we never saw any of them until I downloaded this to the computer. 022cs

We still can’t believe we missed the big one. Jim was busy getting in as close as he could without getting into limbs etc under the water…and I was zoomed in on this cute little smiling one.

Manatee “twin” update

When I took this photo of a female Manatee and her “twins”…. 033cs

we were thrilled….thinking we had found something rarely seen, so I sent the photos on to Georgia Zern
Manatee Protection Program Manager
Marine Mammal Stranding Team Manager
Estuarine Restoration Program Manager
Volusia County Environmental Management

They were put into their data base. Luckily I had 3 photos…which is a requirement.

She forwarded them to Ranger Hartley of Blue Springs. This is his response to her….she, in turn, forwarded it to me: 

“The mother is H. Granger; her calf is to her left.  The calf on the right is
Kee (female).  I can make out the R brand on Kee's shoulders.  Kee was
adopted by Della at Lowery Park Zoo while Della was recovering from a boat
strike.  Della, Pal (her calf while in captivity) and Kee were released this
summer at Palatka.  Della and Pal came in on 29 Nov.  So did H. Granger and
calf.  Kee was first seen with Park and calf on 2 Dec. Kee left Park and went
over to nurse on Cheryl (with calf), Cheryl was in on 18 Nov.  Since arrival
Kee has nursed on several different mothers.”   032cs

Note the “prop” scars and look for them on the next Manatee you see….perhaps it will be H Granger….it will be like seeing an old friend.

Common Moorhen

These little wadding birds are very prettily colored and fun to watch. They look like they have yellow lipstick.




I guess I was getting a bit close..they are slowly sneaking back into the vegetation where I can’t see them anymore.


Here they are swimming with American Coots.

Common Moorhen & American Coots