WITH ONLY FOUR DAYS TO GO until the official start of the 2015 Sunnyland Boat Festival in Tavares, Florida – classic boaters from around the country are gathering together a few days early for the popular St. John’s River Southbound Cruise.
The Sunnyland ACBS Chapter organizes two cruises through central Florida in conjuction with the Sunnyland Boat Festival. The South Cruise, which begins today in Jacksonville and runs until Thursday and then the North Cruise which takes place immediately after the show. We have had the pleasure of participating in sections of both cruises over the years and they are fantastic. You get to experience areas of central Florida that you can only see (and appreciate) from the water.
Fellow Woody Boaters Chris & Julie Bullen and Rich & Linda Hughes towed their boats from Ontario, Canada to Florida to participate in this year’s Southbound cruise and sent us this report from the launch site near Jacksonville. Today is like a “pre-cruise – launch & test day” – for many, the first time back in their classic boats after being in winter storage. – Texx
Gentlemen – Start Your Bilge Pumps!!
Live-ish From Jacksonville, Florida
Story and Photos by Chris & Julie Bullen
Rich Hughes and I – with our lovely wives – made it down to Jacksonville, Florida on Friday for dinner. We had one stop for a minor repair in Pennsylvania to my trailer, as the axle nut was coming undone – that would have turned into a bad day… Other than that – and the fog, rain and crazy transport trucks on the Interstate – the trip from Canada to Florida was uneventful.
Today (Saturday) we did a shakedown cruise to see if our boats would go. Mike Hagan in his 1929 Chris-Craft triple led the way into downtown Jacksonville for lunch, we were joined by Royce Humphreys in his 1967 Riva Ariston and Rich & Linda Hughes in their 1968 Greavette.
We are looking forward to Monday as by then 27 boats will be ready to head out on the river for some classic cruising under the Florida sunshine.
Chris & Julie Bullen
Thanks for the update Chris & Julie, sounds like the south cruise is shaping up to be another fun event. If possible, they will try to send us an update from the cruise along the way.
From the Sunnyland Chapter ACBS website, here’s a short overview of this year’s St. John’s South Cruise.
Festivities begin Sunday evening (Mar. 22) with dinner at the Florida Yacht Club. Transportation will be provided that evening and Monday morning.
On Monday (March 23) we will cruise to the Outback Crab Shack for a seafood extravaganza before stopping for the night in Palatka. Dinner is on your own. Tuesday (March 24) we cruise Dunn’s Creek to Crescent City. A great B&B, the Sprague House, will host us for lunch. Then back to Palatka. Dinner, again, is on your own.
Wednesday (March 25) we will stop for lunch in Welatka at Shrimp R Us. You raved about it last year! Then on to Silver Glen where we will take a dip in the beautiful clear spring water if you like. That evening we will be in Astor at Astor Bridge Motel or Castaways. Dinner on your own at Blackwater Inn. Thursday (March 26) we will have a nice box brunch as we head out for Sanford stopping briefly at Blue Springs to see the manatees before we pull out in Sanford. Then, grab lunch and head for Tavares and the Sunnyland Boat Festival.
This year’s Sunnyland Boat Festival promises to be a great event, featuring the iconic Chris-Craft Cobra models from 1955. Over 15 Cobras are scheduled to be on hand for the show, including a few freshly restored by Katz’s Marina in New Jersey.
For more information on the Sunnyland Boat Festival you can Click Here to check out the Chapter website. – Texx