Saturday, August 22, 2009

St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge, St. Marks Florida

We took our little boat over to St Marks last week-end. We packed our lunch, loaded the boat and were ready to go by about 8:30am. We always intend to start real early but it never seems to happen.


We just got this little boat last summer and only have used it 3 times. We sold our big boat and Al whined and complained until he found a small boat. :) We are supposed to be downsizing in preparation to going fulltime in our motorhome!

I am not real comfortable in the Gulf in such a small boat and I don’t intend to go far offshore. Our many years of scuba diving in the Gulf of Mexico taught me that things happen. Things happened to us when we first started diving and before we learned some valuable lessons (the hard way).

Weather changes quickly, seas pick up and boats don’t always run as they should. We used to take our 25 foot boat 30 miles offshore and not think anything of it. Of course, we had “Sea Tow”, 2 radios, 2 bilge pumps, and kept it in good running condition. We also watched the weather carefully. It was also very seaworthy.

Our little 16 foot boat is not a gulf boat but it’s ok close in, on calm days. There were a lot of other smaller boats out heading offshore, but not me.

Anyway, we took it out, put it in at the boat ramp at St Marks and almost immediately started seeing dolphins. We have seen a lot of dolphins over the years, but these were very aggressive. They were hot on the trail of some poor fish. They put on quite a show and it was very enjoyable.

The boat motor wasn’t idling well so of course that made me nervous. At first it ran well when we were going but after a little while it started running rough. I wasn’t going any farther than we could walk it back in or use our little electric motor. We just anchored right by the jetty in 3 feet of water and watched the dolphin show and read our books. With the new bimini top we had nice shade and a good breeze. It was a nice day. It felt good to be back on the gulf.



The above picture shows a dolphin fin.


Here is St Marks lighthouse.

St Marks is a real nice park, right on the Gulf of Mexico on the panhandle of Florida in the big bend area of Apalachee Bay. It’s pretty much straight south of Tallahassee Florida, and 65+ miles from our house. There is no campground for some reason. It is a large park with plenty of room for a nice campground. There is a nice boat ramp, picnic area, trails, gift shop/nature center. They see the occasional black bear there and of course there are a lot of gators.

In October there is a Monarch Butterfly festival. There are thousands of Monarch Butterfly’s there getting ready to migrate over the Gulf of Mexico to Mexico. Who would of thought a butterfly could make it that far. It’s quite a nice time to visit the park and do a little hiking.

We got home and worked on the boat motor. We found a clogged fuel filter. We adjusted the idle a little and are hoping we have fixed the problems with the motor.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please feel free to leave comments. We love to read them! To contact me directly you can send e-mail to