Sunday, 19 May 2013

Florida paddling on the Fort George River

 On a gloriously warm morning I met up with eight work colleagues and we set off to the St Johns River ferry.  This was a fairly early sailing and at first we thought we were the only passengers....

But as sailing time approached the vehicle deck filled up with people out to enjoy a sunny weekend in all sorts of transport.  We were headed to Fort George Island State Park, just to the north of Jacksonville's St Johns River to meet up with Joe from First Coast Outfitters

The meeting point was at a boat launch adjacent to the very impressive colonial style Ribault Club, a playground for the wealthy citizens of Jacksonville in the 1920's. 

 A useful small beach with a parking area gives access to a section of the Fort George River.  We met up with our fellow paddlers and with Joe and Hennessy, our guides for the trip, for a safety brief and stretching session....

Before getting fitted comfortably into our boats.

Off to the side of the boat launch, a muddy bank was home to large numbers of Fiddler Crabs (Uca spp), the males have one claw much larger than the other which they use to signal to females by elaborate waving and acoustic drumming displays.  These fascinating creatures can also regenerate missing limbs!

Sun cream applied and boats sorted, we got set to launch....

And headed out on sparkling water to the Fort George River


  1. Hi Ian just in case you are pining for home, after falling to a year low of 6C in the first two weeks of April the sea temperature here has at last hit the dizzy heights of 10C today!


  2. Heh Heh! Pining for home alright Douglas, but I have to admit that warm water was a pleasant change! The Sea of the HEbrides should be nicely warmed up by the time I get home.... :o)