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Saturday, October 1, 2016

Santa Fe River

Avg Speed 2.8 mph, Max Speed 6.1 mph                            9.7 Miles          977 total miles

Today we paddled 9.7 miles on the Santa Fe River, we put in at Highway 27 and took out at Highway 47. This stretch of river has lots and lots of Springs.The first spring we stopped at was Poe Springs. To get there we had to paddle across rocks and it was a big open area enclosed by cement steps. Scotty swam around while I walked up and took some pictures overlooking the springs. We stopped in at Lily Springs where a man named Ed lives and apparently he sometimes walks around without clothes. Unfortunately or fortunately he was not there today. We paddled past Rum Island where there was a small spring. To get to Blue Springs we had to paddle down a long inlet with crystal clear water and it looked blue the whole way down. There is a boardwalk that leads into Blue Springs. If you don't tie your boat or go on land, you do not have to pay the admission price so that is what we did. Once again the water was 72° and really cold. It was beautiful here and we could see down into a large crevice where there were two snorkelers diving down.  We also watched several children jump off the dock over the big blue hole.  We got to Ginny Springs which is a private park in the crowds here were unbelievable. We had seen pictures of Ginny Springs and it definitely looked beautiful, but the crowds kept us away. We passed hundreds of tubes.  We saw campsits on shore for probably about 2 miles and it was packed with tents and people. This river is the tannic brown color made by the roots of the cypress trees, but when there was a spring the water ran clear. We passed many turtles sunning on logs and they didn't seem too afraid of people.   We saw lots of birds and saw two alligators sunning themselves. After paddling we drove an hour north to Valdosta Georgia and ate at Bubba Jax Crab Shack where we had the best onion rings ever. Scotty had a fried fish sandwich and I had grilled fish, the perfect end to a great week.

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