Local Weather Conditions
MarshBunny Notes
The St. Johns River The Intracoastal and Beyond
High Water
High water on the river
With deep water below and buzzards circling above, we went for a ride after the hurricanes.

In 1999 we had two hurricanes go through within a few weeks of each other, dumping huge amounts of rain. Judy and I took the boat out to see how the marsh had weathered the storms. Except for a couple of small Maples toppled and some deadwood down, the only noticeable change in the marsh was that the water level was up very, very high.

Normally we stay off the airboat trails - for a couple of very good reasons. First of all, they are usually only a couple of inches deep - some spots with no water at all. This works very well for airboats, but motorboats and even canoes require a bit more water.

Splashing through murky water infested with snakes and alligators while dragging a fully loaded boat over shallow trails is not my idea of fun.

Another good reason to stay off airboat trails is, well, airboats. A lot of trails are pretty much just tunnels through vegetation taller than the airboat. They are just barely wide enough for an airboat to squeeze through, with no room at all to turn around or even to pull off the trail. An oncoming airboat cannot see or hear a small boat in the trail, and, lacking brakes, can't stop when the driver does see it. Having a fast-moving airboat run me down is another thing I do not consider fun.

We found a deep airboat trail leading off from the river. This trail led across a wide open grassy plain (where we could be easily seen by airboats) and the water was at least a foot deep (plenty deep enough for my little boat) so we got adventurous and decided to go explore.

Motoring slowly along to avoid tangling the prop in submerged grasses or hitting an unseen sandbar, we followed the trail across the plain. (I can change out a broken shear pin, but this did not seem like the very best place to have to do it.)

Airboat trail
Airboat trail

The line of trees on the far horizon is on the old Union Cypress Railway embankment. If you follow the embankment to the west you can walk as far as Mosquito Island at the river crossing.

Airboat trail
Airboat trail

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