I REMEMBER GETTING CAUGHT in a heavy Florida rainstorm on Day One of the 2011 St. John’s River Cruise. We were on board Paul & Karen Harrison’s 1965 24′ Chris-Craft Sea Skiff “Kabot’s Habit” and I can’t remember ever seeing rainfall so intense in Florida for that long. But it was relatively warm and we safely made it to our destination in Sanford just before dark. Looking back on that day now – just brings back fond memories, no regrets.
So although the weather may not have been perfect for classic boaters on Day One of the 2015 St. John’s River Cruise South, I’m sure it will (eventually) be a great, memorable day for the participants. Here’s an update on “Stormy Monday” from fellow Woody Boaters Chris & Julie Bullen. – Texx
Live-ish From Day One of the St. John’s River Cruise
Story and Photos by Chris & Julie Bullen
It was a dark and stormy… not night but day. This sums up our first day on the annual St. John’s River cruise.
For some of us we have been waiting 20 years to take this trip and for others they have been doing it for 20 or more years, so a little rain is not going to dampen our spirits.
One gentleman by the name of Norman Blackley (now at the young age of 90) has not missed a river cruise since the beginning – until this year. A special mention was made at our opening dinner on Sunday evening. Even though Norman couldn’t make it this year, his boat ”Jr.” is once again cruising up the St. John’s River with Anthony Davison as her Captain. We hope to see Norman back on the river next year.
Captain’s and crew eagerly headed off on the bus from the hotel – as we drove to the boats all we could see ahead were dark clouds, very dark clouds, very very dark clouds – a bus full of boaters with different ideas of the weather forecast and radar readings – and then a huge downpour, not even at the water’s edge yet.
Oh Boy! The problem with a 4 day trip that moves along is – you go as planned. Up goes the roof (if you have it), slickers of all colours on and in some cases umbrellas open. After the cannon sounded the official start of the 2015 river cruise was on its way.
Classic boaters are a hardy bunch so we all cruised down to the Crab Shack for a yummy lunch, an annual stop for a seafood extravaganza.
Great lunch, brighter skies, things were looking up. Let’s go boating – looking forward to a warm sun filled afternoon…
Ah crap – only lasted about 5 minutes and out came the roofs again – not so nice after all. By the time we hit Palatka it was a torrential downpour.
Carman and Ted made it all the way to Palatka on battery power. Their generator blew up yesterday but they carried on with 2 batteries.
Everyone made it back at the hotel wet as a drowned cat.
Tomorrow looks to be a sunnier day, fingers crossed.
Our water is in liquid state – from the sky as we glide across the river so we aren’t complaining – as we know most are still shovelling off the snow in the northern areas of the country.
Stay tuned from what he hope is a sunnier, warmer and drier Florida cruise tomorrow.
Chris & Julie Bullen
Thanks for the update from Florida today – the official forecast (as of 1:00 AM EST) for Palatka, FLA for Tuesday and the rest of the week looks great, so hopefully those dark skies are gone and you will have a chance to dry out your boats. For a more accurate forecast, you can also ask Jim Staib – be doubles as a Florida weatherman.
Matt also noted yesterday that two of the four Chris-Craft Cobras from Katz’s Marina have now arrived in Tavares for the big Sunnyland ACBS Boat Festival starting later this week.
The show kicks off on Thursday night at The Antique Boat Center at Rejuvenation Boat Works BBQ – sponsored by the good folks at the Antique Boat Center, Hagerty Marine Insurance, Sunnyland Chapter ACBS, Chris-Craft Antique Boat Club and Woody Boater.