Corrections: Yesterday I told you we went up Black River and that there was a paper mill up there. It was Black Creek and there was no paper mill. Today on Rice Creek there was a paper mill.
Yes readers, today I was abandoned at the dock. Remember we were at a former naval base with docks unsuited for our size boat. As a result when we were trying to leave this morning it was very difficult to untie lines and scrambled down the ladder and jump on the boat before the current pushed it away from the dock. I was down to one line and as I untied it and started down I knew we were in trouble. Cbay was moving away and I was not aboard. All I had was a 5/8 inch rope with a 20,000 pound boat on the other end! This was not good.
Jan was at the helm and knew I was not on but she could not see how close or far I was from getting on. I would shout for her to back up but try not to hit the dock and she would get almost to me and as I stepped out the boat would move and only air remained. At least three times we played this game until I finally climbed down the wood facing on the dock and held on with one hand like a monkey and waited. As she moved back again I threw the rope making it mandatory that this time I get on, I jumped down about 3 feet and landed on the swim platform. I shouted go and we shot forward with me hanging onto a dinghy davit. That gets the blood pumping early.
Take a close look at this shot of me loading the folding bikes on the boat this morning and you will have some idea of the problem I had getting on the boat later because this is a picture of the ladder taken from the cockpit. I was hanging not on the ladder but on the wood below it when I made the leap. Remember folks, we are not two old people sitting on the front porch here. This is an adventure.
The water on the river was like glass as we left today. This photo was taken shortly after we began. Unfortunately it would not last all day.
You have all heard the joke about trying to hire someone to clean your house and the first thing they say is I don’t do windows. Well aboard Cbay we do not tolerate such talk. Here Jan is doing windows as we move along. Now do not start saying that I am another Captain Bly until you see the next photo. We believe in equal opportunity here.
We passed a number of large power plants today but not any businesses that would use all this power. I guess Disney World must be adding more rides.
Our side trip today was up Rice Creek where it was reported that huge gators lurked. They must have heard that the world famous alligator wrestling judge was coming because we saw not a one. What we did see were vultures waiting for us to hit a stump and sink. It was beautiful up there though.
Naturally when we arrived in Palatka the wind had picked up and was really blowing when we tried to tie up at the town park. There were fine new floating docks and no-one was there. Of course that meant no-one to catch a line to tie us up. Our first attempt was a miserable failure but quickly we adapted and moved to the other side where the wind would blow us into the dock and hold us against it. Of course this meant there would be no controlling how hard we would hit the dock. So I put out multiple fenders and Jan eased her in. We slammed the dock but it was like a pillow and no harm done. We started the generator, took out the bikes and headed to lunch.
It is getting late and I am afraid you will have to wait for the rest in part two tomorrow. Wait till you meet Gary Lee, Captain Kiki and the guys eating one pound burgers at Angel’s Diner. Goodnight all.