Total Pageviews

Friday, March 4, 2011

Blue Springs - St. John River

Put in / Take Out at Blue Springs State Park
  It is Friday and time to go back to the water. We were not sure where to go. Haulover Canal was ruled out because the windy conditions. Sliver River was on my mind but it is not the kind of place we want to go with time constrains, like today. Lower Wekiva River was a real option but we were there not too long ago. Did not want to go to a place too far and have wind issues like this past weekend. So to Blue Springs we went. St. John River is wide and  if the wind is a problem you can always leave the waters of the river and kayak Snake Creek or the other canal south of it. I did not count on the weather man being wrong again when he said there was no rain in the forecast. Thank you very much.

Put in/ take out: Blue Spring State Park is one of the jewels of Central Florida. The Blue Spring dumps over 100 million gallons of water into the St. Johns River every day. To more information click on this link: Blue Springs State Park The previous pic shows the put in/take out place. My photographer took a walk to the boardwalk near the Blue Springs Run to check if there were manatees. On our previous visit hundreds of manatees were gathered in the run. This time she came back dissapointed since there were not. We put in around 8:50 AM. Wifey wanted to explore the small lagoon next to the put in so we did that.
High Flying Eagle
We had not too many pics chances at the lagoon. An anhinga was in a branch and also many vultures. Saw a Great Blue Heron but flew away as we approached. Decided to go somewhere else but heard a hawk and looked for it. A red shouldered hawk came flying high and screaming like crazy. Another hawk answered the call but we did not see it. It was then when an eagle came into the scene high in the sky. It was like the sheriff arrived. Vultures gave the eagle some room while the hawk decided to go to another place.  We spent several minutes admiring the eagle flying in circles over the lagoon until it flew North and disappeared.

Great Blue Heron's Nest
We headed south with the wind on our back looking for the canals south and west of the put in. The wind was blowing hard and wanted to find to cover from it in the waters of Snake Creek. But some gray clouds showed up and we decide to wait and see what was going to happen so did explore the west side of a small island near where Snake Creek joins the St. John. Two kayakers were right behind us when I spotted Great Blue Heron in a nest. After the pics session we continued our paddle and then realized that the Sun was not there anymore. My wife looked up and said “It is going to rain”. She convinced me to return to the put in just in case.
Coast Guard Patrol Boat
As we headed back and the dark clouds completely covered the area and I had some thoughts about the weather forecast. Not sure if I can repeat them here. A Coast Guard boat patrol was in the river. A pic is included because I am a Coast Guard wannabee; wanted to join them when I was young. Another boat came heading north behind the Coast Guard's. When we finally arrived to the area of the State Park, now our take out place, there was a glimpse of the Sun and we continued to another small island west of the end of French Avenue. We have seen manatees in that area before and were just hoping, but not this time.
St. John River Scene

Exploring the area we saw a great egret, a sandhill crane, coots, moorhens, and a snowy egret. We wanted to keep going but it started to drizzle and it looked really bad this time. Back to Blue Spring State Park we went, this time for good. Lady good luck was with us and we had time to run and take cover as the rain came down hard. It was barely 11:00AM so it was just a two hour paddle.  Instead of waiting it was our decision to live and paddle another day. Looking back it was not that bad after all. The show of the eagle flying was really cool. It was a bummer that we had to cut it short.

Here are more pics of what we saw today:

Anhinga (female)

Anhinga (male)
Great Egret

Little Blue Heron

Cormorant...and kayakers

Sandhill Crane

Snowy Egret

Great Blue Heron

Gator ahead...

Same gator swims near us...

And the same gator's ckose up


Hoping for a longer paddle next time. See you next week.

Here is a link for more pics from this trip and from past trips: Blue Springs


  1. A short, rainy paddle, and you still saw more wildlife than most people see in a month. That's why we love kayaking.

  2. I so enjoy the stories of your adventures. Good reading.