2008 Mini-Vacation YIPPEE
"Way down upon the Suwannee River" was our theme song over this mini-vacation. I took my family on a trip up the old historic Suwannee River on board a houseboat. We had planned this for several months. We planned out all the details to the finest point including food, sleeping on board, etc. We rented a 44 ft. houseboat from Miller's Marina in the town of Suwannee, FL. It weighed 8 tons and had a draft of about 3.5 feet, powered by an inboard gasoline engine. This boat came with all the nice things of home, including beds enough to sleep eight comfortably, a gas grill for cooking, and air-conditioning for a comfortable nights rest.Most of the time I was the pilot and my son, Alan, was the first mate and chief cook. He did us proud with some superbly grilled steaks one evening and chicken another evening. As a side dish with the steaks he cooked some potatoes and yellow squash wrapped in foil over the grill.Between my daughter, Kim, and daughter in law, Tywonn, we were able to keep the place clean.We traveled about 5 hrs north up the river (about 20 miles) to our first stop near a place called Manatee Springs State Park. While docked at the springs we walked the long board walk into the park and met some other visitors. As the day grew late we undocked and moved upstream a bit further to get away from the noise of the boat traffic and anchored in the middle of the river. We had to keep our "at anchor" lights on all night to make certain no one hit our boat. About 10 pm all our interior lights went out and we all got a good night's rest. The morning sun woke us about 7 am and we spent the morning back at the Manatee Springs.Our plans took us back toward the river mouth about 3 hrs and anchor for the second night. Near the mouth of a tributary/branch called Munden Creek we anchored for the second night. It is so peaceful along the river. The only thing which made us know other civilization was around was an occasional boater passing our houseboat and the boat would rock gentle in their wake.The last morning we awoke at 7 am and after weighing anchor we moved back to the town of Suwannee and radioed for the river pilot to come to our boat and guide us to the dock/slip.What a weekend..I will be getting some pictures of the journey as soon as my son tosses them to me. The only one that I am attaching to this blog is my mug at the pilot wheel.