Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Cruising the Ocklawaha River with Earl

I think this blog is having an identity problem, and I'm not sure what, if anything, to do about it.  It is not only about life in Bleecker any longer, obviously.  But I can just start another blog called "Florida No Mountains Life".   That would be too many blogs.  And, I suppose, getting out of Bleecker in the winter is part of living in Bleecker.  So I guess I'm simply going to continue doing this until  I come up with a better answer.

Earl and I took his boat for a ride on the Ocklawaha River yesterday.  Its a 74 mile long river that runs north through central Florida, eventually coming out on the St. John's River at Palatka.  It was to be part of the Cross Florida Barge Canal, an ambitious project to shorten the boating distance between the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean.  Construction began in 1961 but environmentalists raised a ruckus and it was halted in 1971 by Richard Nixon.

It is eerie to be motoring along on this small river on this flat as a pancake part of Florida and see tall bridges with 75 feet of clearance under them and abandoned locks large enough to accommodate huge barges.

Here is a smattering of photos for you.

A bridge designed for freighters to pass beneath.

I thought this was a Great Blue Heron, but looking at it closely, I don't think it is.

pilings built for barges that never came.

This is a huge lock.


Florida's Red-Belly Turtles were out in abundance.

Sunning turtles here lift their heads and legs.

I'm undecided whether this is a HUGE alligator or a log.

The river is beautiful.

A small alligator.


Earl's river boat.

Earl's ingenious trailer-hitch-in-the-trunk, patent pending.


  1. Great pics Dave! Joining you in Florida tomorrow. Too bad I'll be in Miami and you a loooong ways away! Gotta check out this boating/cruising thing. Can't wait!!! Been dreamin of this.....