Friday, December 18, 2015

Peaceful, scenic anchorages

We are under way in Lake George (map) after two peaceful nights at anchor along the river. The hour and a half crossing of the lake affords me the chance to type, in contrast to the full-time driving required on the river.

Sunset over Hog Island last night. Despite the forecast, there was an hour when the wind quit and the water became glassy.

This morning found us anchored in Muddy Cove (map), between Hog Island and Black Point and across the river from the community of Georgetown. We arrived early in the afternoon after a very short but scenic cruise from an idyllic anchorage among the Seven Sisters Islands (map). Unfortunate timing had us pushing against a knot of current both days, and this morning we got an early start to catch the last of the short flood before we push against the start of the ebb later this morning.

Last night's anchorage was really the last place to stop before the lake, and with winds forecast out of the south we wanted to defer the crossing to this morning, with more favorable north winds (it turns out they are really out of the west). By contrast, we chose the Seven Sisters anchorage for its wildlife, beauty, and isolation.

Sunset over our glassy anchorage among the Seven Sisters.

We were not disappointed. In addition to myriad birds and plenty of fish, we saw more than one alligator, including our very first blue alligator, which was quite spectacular. The 'gators were distant enough that I could not get a decent picture, but we could see them quite clearly in our binoculars.

This morning's wildlife sighting was a majestic bald eagle perched on a manatee warning sign. I tried to snap a photo but again we were a bit too far. This is the second bald eagle of the cruise, having passed a similarly perched specimen in the river soon after leaving Palatka. We were much closer to that one but I was too busy driving to pick up the camera.

The best my phone could do with this morning's bald eagle.

A cold front is moving through that will have us back in long pants and socks for the next couple of days, in contrast to the temperatures in the 80s that we've enjoyed for the past few. We'd like to take the tender up some of the spring creeks that feed this lake, but we'll save that for the return journey when the weather should be more cooperative.

In the meantime we are continuing upriver. Water levels seem good, so we hope to make it well into the scenic sections south of Astor, and, if we have time and good water, perhaps all the way to Sanford. Our goal is to turn around with enough time for some exploring on our way back, while landing in Jacksonville for Christmas. That appears to be our best option for finding someplace open for the holiday meal.

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