Sunday, March 22, 2015

The St. John's River, in Photos

Yesterday, the folks who Pam works for, who have become friends, invited us to go for a ride on the St. John's River on their pontoon "boat".  We haven't been on the water much since selling Drift Away, and so leapt at the chance.

Captain John.

Lots of fishermen on the St. Johns.  He's wearing a life jacket for a reason.

This is the reason.  People who don't understand wakes.

Another friggin' pelican.

A no wake Manatee zone.  No wake.  As in sloooooow dooooown.

More fishermen.  Imagine a wake hitting them?

More friggin' pelicans.

Sloooow dooooown.

A 73 footer.

I love palm trees.  They feel so... tropical, and not anything like snow and freezing rain.

Slow down!!!

My honey back at the helm.

Turkey vulture.

Nope.  No idea.  Apparently, this Austin-Healy Sprite was turned into the helm station of a pontoon boat.

I just love friggin' pelicans...

and turtles...

and big ol' alligators.

And then this imbecile came roaring around the bend in the river, throwing up a monster wake.  Pam tried quartering it, but the huge vertical wall of water crashed against the bow of the "boat" and rammed the bow's door open, and we had a three foot wall of water pouring into the boat.  The bow dove under water!  We were going  down, and going quickly!  "Quick!  Everyone to the stern!" I hollered, while wondering if I had time to swap out my 300mm zoom lens for my kit lens to take photos.   Nope.  I watched as my camera bag floated to the top of the bow rail, ready to go overboard.  We were about 20 feet from that alligator.  Should we jump ship?  Nope.

The bow slowly rose above the waterline, and the hundreds of gallons of water rolled back towards the stern.

"Everyone, to the middle of the boat!".

Pam started bailing with an ice chest after dumping out our Bud Lites without so much of a does-anyone-want-a-beer-before-I-dump-these-out?

Since when do boats not have scuppers to discharge green water?  Since when do pontoon boats exclude themselves from needing scuppers?   

Well, I took this pic after all the excitement was over, with my zoom lens.  My kit lens was soaking wet after almost floating off the "boat".

No one died, and the only casualty was possibly my kit lens, which is sitting in a bowl of rice to absorb all the moisture.  But if it is history, I have this jerk's registration number.

I swear to Gawd, I have NEVER seen so many people without a clue of what they're doing on the water.  They go flying through no wake Manatee zones, past docks and other boats throwing up gigantic wakes, completely oblivious to the damage and destruction they cause.  And you all know me.  If my kit lens is history, I will be like a pitbull on this guy.  I will find out who he is, and he will be buying me a new one.

Cripe, we could have all been swimming with that alligator.  Without my kit lens to photograph him slipping off that log and coming our way, I'd have been very angry.

1 comment:

  1. It really like the picture of Pam.
    We just returned from SW FLorida; birding the Everglades and Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary. Our guide was Old Florida..and knew her stuff. She sings about swamps too. In just over four days we spotted 100 species of birds, mostly endemic species.

    we also warmed our bones. It's nice now but 9 degrees this morning, with 12-18" of snow still.