We left Friday night and got down there about 9:00. It was obviously too late to go fishing, so we just sat out on their boat dock and watched the stars, listened to the Sturgeon jumping in the water, and talking.
The next morning we got up and headed out on the boat. This was the weekend that the hurricane was making it's way up the East coast of the US, so it was crazy windy. The weather was beautiful, but the wind was blowing so hard! This was good because it kept us from getting too hot, but bad because we couldn't go far out into the ocean at all. We literally spent all morning out on the boat until around lunch time.
I think that Matt for sure had the biggest catch of the day. ;)
While Matt was getting one of my fish off of my hook, it started to use the restroom. It started to wiggle and shake, and I ended up with all of it's restroom all over me. Gross.
Right about lunch time, we headed out in the ocean a little ways. As soon as Matt threw the anchor out, guess what we saw?? Manatee!! They were right next to our boat and VERY curious as to what we were! They stayed around for a good bit, and Matt and Clint actually got to touch them! It was SO COOL and the best part of the trip!
After lunch, we came back to the house and rested for just a little bit. Then we traded boats and set out for Manatee Springs. It's a little place off the Suwanee River where manatee go from November-April. It's a spring and the water stays a pretty constant 72 degrees. That's what draws the manatee there during the winter. The water is crystal clear, but that 72 degrees is very chilly during the summer!
Here's the part of the trip where things went down hill a little bit. We traded boats and were using Clint's dad's boat to go down the river. Usually, the ride to Manatee Springs only takes about 20-30 minutes (running about 35 mph on the boat). Well, something was wrong with the boat, so anytime we went over 10 mph, it started beeping like crazy at us and we had to slow down to nothing until it stopped. This dumb thing beeped at us every 5 (or more!) minutes. This made for a looooong trip down the river! It ended up taking us an hour and a half to make it ONE WAY! I was in SUCH a bad mood the last 45 or so minutes on the way there. Luckily we've all been friends long enough that everyone knew that I just needed to pout and be angry and they just left me alone. ;)
We finally made it there was I was dang sure getting in the water after that long trip!
Matt had no hesitations about getting in that really cold water!
Get in? Don't get in? It took Sarah a little longer to decide!
We all got in! It's was so funny - Sarah handed my camera to this Hispanic man and was asking him (very slowly) if he would take our picture (using gestures and all). After she asked, he looked up at her and just said "sure" in plain English. It was SOOOO funny!
After spending about 30 minutes at the Springs, we headed back (on ANOTHER hour and a half trip!) to the house. Luckily, I was in a much better mood on the way home. We all joked about how we took a 3 hour tour - much like Gilligan.
SO HAPPY to finally see our dock!
After we got back, we hung out for a little bit and they boys decided to do some swimming and jumping off of the dock. There was NO WAY that Sarah and I were jumping!
I wanted to get one last picture before he possibly jumped to his death.
Happy to be back and happy to NOT be jumping!
Isn't it a sign of a good trip when your feet look like this afterwards?
Bugs were EVERYWHERE, including ginormous grasshoppers and banana spiders. This is Matt's hand, not mine! Gross!
After the boys jumped for awhile (and after assuring us 1,000 times that there was no wildlife to be scared of), we saw an alligator across the river from us that was very interested in all of the noise and started to head our way! The boys got out of the water (no more jumping!) and we kept taking pictures of it so that we could zoom in and see how big it was. Turned out that it was about 6-7 feet! Um, no thank you!
He's hard to see, but he's there! And too close for my liking!
We went inside, changed clothes, and got ready to go out to dinner. We ended up at some Greek place that also served pizza? It was pretty random, but the food was good!
I guess this is how they roll in Suwanee? We were suuuuper impressed, let me tell you.
When we got back to the house, Clint and Sarah went for a walk and Matt and I headed out to sit on the dock for a little while.
The next morning, we decided to just spend a little bit of time fishing off of the dock before heading home. Clint hooked something HUGE, but it broke his line, and all Matt got was a sting ray. Better than nothing, though, right?
All in all, it was a great trip with great friends! I can't wait to go back next time with a working boat. ;)