Reunited and it feels so good…

Peaches and Herb said it best. We met our friends Beth, Dean and Ziggy at Georgetown Marina on Tuesday afternoon. Good to catch up and share adventures. Old Ziggy is as cute as ever making noises like a police car.

Sorry we had zero connection last night and could not produce a blog so this one will be two for one and take you from Astor to Palatka. Also I will add photos to “Living under a bridge…” and resend it to all registered readers.

The journey from Astor to Georgetown Marina was totally uneventful. We passed through the hyacinth gate and out onto Lake George which was like glass. Because of this we decided to forego jumping up on plane and just enjoy the cruise across and save fuel.

We beat our friends to the marina but not by much. Took on diesel, about 108 gallons, which had run both engines for over 32 hours and at least 20 hours of generator time. I am still happy with fuel consumption even though the price is going higher. Paid $4.17 per gallon plus tax. Kismet pulled in we had a grand reunion with Ziggy whistling in the background from the flybridge. Beth and Dean looked great and Dean’s hair was really growing out. He had not caved like me and had it cut but I am glad I did.

We tried to call a cab to take us to the River Pub Italian Restaurant but the driver had an out of town run and it would be some time before he would return. This is not NYC after all. But Jan had worked her winning ways on a gentleman from Maine and he offered to take us all. He was unfortunately three sheets in the wind but a ride is a ride. I am not sure how she does it. Notice I forgot the sunscreen on the left side today. Not good with my skin.

The food was fantastic. We have found more great places to eat in such unassuming locations. My Lasagna Classico was classic.

We called the town taxi and it arrived with our driver who had an accent. I thought he was Cajun but he was from Norway. Came here 32 years ago.

Back on the dock we met Nutter Butter who was either an overgrown brown rat or the skinniest Chihuahua we ever saw. He was so hyper that I shot dozens of photos trying to keep him in focus.

Aboard Kismet we had a key lime cheesecake and even Ziggy had some.

We made our plans for Wednesday and retired to Cbay.

Oh, some squatters pulled in after the marina staff had gone home. An older couple in a mastless sailboat with two barking dogs. This seems to be common in this area. They did not hook to any power but had benefit of a safe tieup. They will usually scurry out early before the staff opens up.

Wednesday morning: We were up early and beat the squatters out. The plan was to backtrack with Kismet across most of Lake George and visit Silver Glen Springs, which we later learned is a National Park in the Ocala National Forest. We eased as close to the western shore as possible and Kismet dropped anchor and we rafted to their side. Then all four of us crowded into a dinghy and made our way up to the springs. We walked to the ranger station to pay and the lady ranger told us if we came in by boat and were only going to swim there would be no charge so we saved a bundle since we had left our National Park Pass on the boat not knowing it was a national park.

Beth and I took our masks and snorkels and went in the cold water. It was not bad and the spring is beautiful. The boil where the water comes out is about 25 feet down in a bowl that is silver in appearance due to mica in the sand. There were numerous big fish in there and some would leap way out of the water. I wish we had our underwater camera but all you will see is what Jan took from the shore. She and Dean were the official photographers.

I attempted to dive down to the boil but could only make it within about 5 feet of the exit before the water pressure would blow me back. It was a wonderful experience and I plan to get in the water more. I thought an old heart attack victim being able to dive down 20 feet in ice water was pretty good. I hope my cardiologist reads this.

Back to the boats and we bid goodbye to Beth and Dean. Who knows if we will ever see them again but we sure enjoyed their company.(How ironic as I edit this in 2013, we have just returned from visiting them in Pewaukee, WS.)

Cbay got up on plane and we shot back across the lake to Georgetown and continued our trip toward Palatka. And who did we run into but Richard on the paddle board. We pulled up and I turned on the hailer and asked him if he needed a cold drink. He said what kept you. It is just like the tortoise and the hare. All my readers need to review that story with your kids and grandkids.

He had knocked a hole in his board and needed to make repairs. I offered to provide everything he needed to patch it when he got to Palatka. We gave him a Snapple and moved along. He must have had problems because we never saw him later.

A seaplane buzzed us several times practicing touch and go landings on the water. According to the rules seaplanes are the lowest priority of right of way on the water but I do not know any smart boater that would contest it with them.

Tonight we are in Palatka at the Boathouse Marina just on the edge of town. Dinner at Beef O’Brady’s and we settle in. Tomorrow we try for Jacksonville.