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Sunday, November 4, 2012

Blue Spring - St. Johns River & Snake Creek

Manatee love

Back to the water. Finally!!!! My wife asked me to go to Blue Spring and the idea was to obtain underwater pics of manatees, if they were on the run. I was ready with my snorkeling gear and a good attitude. The second item went down in a hurry when the lady at the gate told us; "To let you know. You are not allowed to go on the run. You can go up and down the river but the run is closed." Bummer. That defeated the purpose. The Blue Spring Run is officially closed from November 15 to thru March 1st but the folks at the State Park have the power to change that if they think is necessary. Well, 69 manatees at the run is enough to make it necessary and as disappointing as it was, also understand why it is done. So made lemonade from lemons.

Manatee @ Blue Spring

Put In / Take Out: Blue Spring State Park in Orange City, Fl. Check the link for information.


Cannot tell you how disappointed I was when the Ranger told me about the run being close. Since started kayaking swimming with manatees has been a dream I have. Had a couple of chances but one caught me unprepared, the second one was at the Weekie Wachee River and the current was too strong. So today I was hoping for a manatee or two to be at the Blue Spring Run and a chance to swim near them. But I understand the state has to protect the manatees and that it is needed. I have seen so many idiots harassing these mammals and it is true they need all the protection from us. So kudos to the Blue Spring State Park folks for being proactive. We enjoyed the view from the boardwalk this time. The light did not help too much but you really have to see it to understand how impressive is.

Bald Eagle

Did not have enough time to cast your votes for the opening pic so my wife decided that the manatee mom with the calf was the chosen one. She is the boss. After spending a few minutes at the confluence of the run with the St. Johns we headed upriver to the island across the French Avenue's boat ramp, where I was counting to find manatees since have seen them there in the past. It was then when wifey spotted this beauty in a tree top a few meters North of the confluence to our right. After taking some eagle's pics we headed to the island and explored the west side of that area, usually rich in wildlife but not today.

Pileated Woodpecker

Eastern Phoebe
When we were done exploring the area West of the island across French Avenue, headed to Snake Creek. It was a beautiful day. The river was not too busy and the wind was not a problem. Paddling downriver was not an issue at all. We found a group of kayakers on our way to Snake Creek and did our best effort to leave them way behind us. I also wished they were not heading to Snake Creek since the guide was doing his best impersonation of the tour boats Captains at Silver Springs State Park, if you know what I mean. We arrived at the entrance of Snake Creek, in an area South and West of the State Park, and paddled in while the voice faded away. Long story short, pics chances at Snake Creek were only a few, did not paddle all the way to Hontoon Dead River since wifey got bored and asked me to return, and ...there is not and...that was it. Returned to the State Park, took a walk along the boardwalk and returned home.

Red Shouldered Hawk

Here are more pics from this kayaking trip...


Florida Gar

Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle

Juvenile Little Blue Heron
Eastern Phoebe


Tri-Colored Heron and Moorhen


Red Shouldered Hawks

Kayakers and Tour boat

Little Blue Heron

Great Egret
Great Blue Heron

State Park Boardwalk view: Gator and turtles at Blue Spring Run

Cormorant downs a fish


Manatee at Blue Spring Run

And that is it for this one. Thanks for reading and hope you liked this one. Come back for the next one. We will share more Views From Our Kayak.

St.Johns River


  1. I hear there were 40-something manatee in the spring run earlier this week. I was planning on launching from the French Ave. boat ramp today, but decided the boat traffic would be heavy on a weekend. Sounds like I'll have to make a trip over there this week.

    1. The boat traffic was not too bad but I did not stay in the St. Johns too long. The boat parking area outside the State Park was not that busy. I will be back in the middle of the winter. Seeing the run full of manatees is a heck of a show.