St. John's River Paddle

Longest running airboat discussion on the internet.
User avatar
Cricket085
Southern Airboat Member
Posts: 13
Joined: Sun Mar 01, 2015 9:53 am
Location: Merritt Island

St. John's River Paddle

Postby Cricket085 » Sun Mar 01, 2015 11:46 am

Howdy all,
I'm Lindsey, a kayakin' river rat. :) Am planning a trip to cover most of the St. John's starting from Three Forks Marsh and ending up near Palatka.
Not as a 'do-it-all-in-one' kinda thing but in legs and on days I'm able to tackle each leg which would be bout 9-18mi each. I signed on here because I had a couple questions and also
to learn from you guys and gals since I'm pretty much going to be in AB country and want to do this right.

But just wanted to clear out a few things too since us yakkers get a bad rep. :)
I ain't no activist/ ego-eco trippin' hippie who thinks she owns the river. No sir. I don't have no Prius and I'm not out to save the world. When I'm not on the river, I'm a hobbyist
mechanic/car enthusiast and been owning/riding horses for nearly 15 yrs. Been kayaking for as long too and heading to places where I can avoid the dang tourists.
Eventually, I would like to get an AB if I can quit buying car parts!
I'm a real down-to-earth, laid back girl who is not afraid to bump a gator on his snout with a ball bat when he tries to steal the bait off my line. Except for bull gators and crazy momma's, I give em
all the clearance they need! :!:

I agree that a kayaker SHOULD BE REQUIRED to have a flag when out in high vegetation. But I don't know how high I need to have one? I hear 6', 10' 12', etc.
Was also thinking on reflective adhesive tape for early/late hours for increased visibility in the lakes though I am NOT looking to go kayaking in the dark. It's not AB's that I'm looking out for then!

Will be sticking to the main waterways and avoiding AB trails at all costs. Also looking to time it right to avoid high traffic at 'Movie Night' or other meets at the Oakhead, NW of the AB jump near Lake Washington.
I've been studying the map and tracing all the bad weather shelters and camps. Been caught in a supercell out at Lake Poinsett heading back to Lake Florence when two squalls met each other (saw it forming but couldn't get back to truck in time) and holy crap, if I had known that a shelter was not so far in the other direction, I wouldn't have had to cuddle in my yak in a gator marsh with lightning all around.
That being said, are there any shelters that are bad to approach? I.e is there a X' Gator that nests there and he/she is more super cranky than most? :roll:

I got a few other questions but still piecing my info together. I do appreciate any responses that I get!
My coworker has offered to take me out on an AB and when I am able to, I would love to go out and see y'all's trails but the right way, on an AB! :wink:
I've never had an issue with any ABer's (they've all been courteous and great people) when I've been kayaking out on the St. John's (Tosohatchee). But this will be covering more distance and I've heard of a small few that are abrasive towards non-AB's because of bad experiences, etc. I don't want to be rude passing through y'all's backyard and I know there is a lot that I need to learn about on how AB's navigate in these parts.

Thank you and Happy Air Boating!
Cricket :D

User avatar
Southern Style
Site Supporter - IV
Site Supporter - IV
Posts: 5239
Joined: Mon Oct 06, 2008 3:34 pm
Location: Sarno marsh

Re: St. John's River Paddle

Postby Southern Style » Sun Mar 01, 2015 12:30 pm

Good morning..... I think that an Airboater gets his/her feathers ruffled only because of a "scare".. meaning, rounding a corner in high sawgrass and having a hair raising scare, when a canoe could hear us coming for 30 minutes and still they don't try to give some sort of clearance.. As far as a flag?? As high as the grass your traveling in.. LOL.... Just kidding.. I have rode 3 Forks Run all the way past Lone Cabbage... The only tight areas that might give you a close encounter is actual 3 Forks Run.. Man, that is a tight run for 2 airboaters travelling in opposite directions.. From there, River Run (which is what we call the St. Johns River) is wide open all the way north til you hit Lake Washington Dam.. Then your back running switchbacks (left, right, left, right turns).. Again, here might be tight.. then once in Lake Winder its wide open again til Lone Cabbage in Lake Pointsett... As far as a suggestion?? If you hear an airboat, try to get to one side (preferably the RIGHT) as we try to run the trails/river as if we are driving a car.. might even be nice to carry a really tall flag but leave it in the boat. When you hear a boat approaching, then just slide to the right and wave the flag as high as you can.. I know I sure would greatly appreciate it of I saw a flag waving above the grass when I was running tight, tall trails and was able to slow down and slowly approach and pass the canoe.. I would probably shake your hand for thinking safety !!!!

Sounds like a very nice scenic run !!! Please be safe, and thank you sooo much for posting and checking on here... Knowledge and courtesy go such a long way !! KUDOS to you for investigating your route !!!!!!!!!
DONT ARGUE WITH STUPIDITY...THEY WILL JUST DRAG YOU DOWN TO THEIR LEVEL, AND BEAT YOU WITH EXPERIENCE.....
KRVSA Member
SJRAA Member
KCCO

User avatar
skinnypockets
Site Supporter - IV
Site Supporter - IV
Posts: 999
Joined: Mon Oct 18, 2010 8:12 am
Location: St Cloud, Fl

Re: St. John's River Paddle

Postby skinnypockets » Sun Mar 01, 2015 1:50 pm

Cricket, Good to see someone with some common sense, airboat or kayak. As for the flag, airboats are required to have them displayed 10 ft. above the floor of the boat and I think that would be reasonable for a kayak also. Newoldglory recently purchased a mudbudy and we used a 10 ft. frog gig pole to mount the flag. We mounted it on the front of the boat so it also serves to clear the spider webs in the trails.

As for your future getting an airboat, here's something to help you get there sooner. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rhXy3eWH3Uo

Have a safe trip and maybe we'll see you on the River someday.

:rebel: :florida: :old_glory:
I'VE DONE SO MUCH WITH SO LITTLE FOR SO LONG, I CAN DO ANYTHING WITH NOTHING!

13.6 Alumitec, 350 Chevy, Rotator Gearbox and 6 Blade Warp Drive

User avatar
Cricket085
Southern Airboat Member
Posts: 13
Joined: Sun Mar 01, 2015 9:53 am
Location: Merritt Island

Re: St. John's River Paddle

Postby Cricket085 » Sun Mar 01, 2015 6:16 pm

Haha, skinnypockets, that airboat canoe looks like a trip! Would like the real deal though! Good idea on having it on the front of the boat for the flag.
Did a paddle adventure in Addison Canal in Titusville awhile back and had to go thru some sawgrass jungle. Went in quietly, came out screamin' like a banshee with my buddy laughing his a$$ off at me! HA! Huge enormous spiders that must've been cousins of the banana spider filled my yak. Dozens! NOPE. Will take snakes or gators any day of the week for this one.

Thanks to both of you for giving me some tips, they've been jotted down in my Notebook. :)
Southernstyle, no worries man, I'll be treating those switchbacks with caution!

If y'all see a Florida Cracker or Pirate flag under the red flag, and some skinny thing with a Snap-On hat, that'll be me.

Thanks too for the well wishes, will see y'all one time or another. :)

User avatar
Waggs
Site Supporter - II
Site Supporter - II
Posts: 899
Joined: Mon Jul 21, 2008 5:50 pm
Location: Clermont, FL

Re: St. John's River Paddle

Postby Waggs » Sun Mar 01, 2015 6:42 pm

I'm sure everyone is curious.... Post up a picture of yourself so we can see who to look out for..
12.5' Predator, O320H2AD, 72" Whisper Tip Narrow

Liberty Mechanical Services
Performing all commercial and residential HVAC services
321-689-7709
Making America Cool Again!

KCCO

User avatar
Cricket085
Southern Airboat Member
Posts: 13
Joined: Sun Mar 01, 2015 9:53 am
Location: Merritt Island

Re: St. John's River Paddle

Postby Cricket085 » Sun Mar 01, 2015 9:12 pm

Photo? Oh dear, haha. Sure thing.
Attachments
AB_Toso.jpg
Here's somebody at Tosohatchee area. :)
Addison_Canal.jpg
Addison Canal - before the spider ambush.
This is the kayak I'm in all the time. Necky, she cuts through the water quick and very reliable.
KDI.jpg
Actual face in case I go missing. :)

User avatar
pontoon outlaw
Site Supporter - IV
Site Supporter - IV
Posts: 1664
Joined: Fri Dec 04, 2009 7:56 pm
Location: palm bay, ride in Cocoa

Re: St. John's River Paddle

Postby pontoon outlaw » Mon Mar 02, 2015 5:09 pm

:cheers: hell yeah come on and ride on the pontoonoutlaw cad 507 if ya get tired of paddling :lol:

ffcracker
Site Supporter - I
Site Supporter - I
Posts: 970
Joined: Wed Dec 24, 2008 11:37 am
Location: That liberal county

Re: St. John's River Paddle

Postby ffcracker » Mon Mar 02, 2015 6:03 pm

Welcome to the site cricket, post up your area your from as well but be aware if its Alachua county or Gainesville the welcome mat may be snatched back and doors locked. I frequently ride the upper St. Johns as well. :old_glory:
A RESENTFULL CITIZEN OF A DICTATORSHIP CALLED alachua county

scrambletown
Southern Airboat Member
Posts: 4448
Joined: Sun Aug 23, 2009 6:16 pm
Location: SCRAMBLETOWN, FL

Re: St. John's River Paddle

Postby scrambletown » Mon Mar 02, 2015 6:20 pm

CRICKET,
if ya go missing they can just look on my boat..
:toothy7: :toothy7: :toothy7: :toothy7: :toothy7:
read for life
philippians 4-13
john 3-16
deuteronomy 22-5
leviticus 20-13
luke 6-37

User avatar
Cricket085
Southern Airboat Member
Posts: 13
Joined: Sun Mar 01, 2015 9:53 am
Location: Merritt Island

Re: St. John's River Paddle

Postby Cricket085 » Mon Mar 02, 2015 8:21 pm

pontoon outlaw wrote::cheers: hell yeah come on and ride on the pontoonoutlaw cad 507 if ya get tired of paddling :lol:

:cheers: :) Sure will pontoon outlaw! Would be different seeing things above sawgrass level.

ffcracker wrote:Welcome to the site cricket, post up your area your from as well but be aware if its Alachua county or Gainesville the welcome mat may be snatched back and doors locked. I frequently ride the upper St. Johns as well. :old_glory:

All updated. :) Warning heeded. Curious though..... is that door double bolted and welded shut or would they take a case of beer as a peace offering? :)

scrambletown wrote:CRICKET,
if ya go missing they can just look on my boat..
:toothy7: :toothy7: :toothy7: :toothy7: :toothy7:

:lol: :lol: (so long as ya got my kayak in tow, haha)

User avatar
Southern Style
Site Supporter - IV
Site Supporter - IV
Posts: 5239
Joined: Mon Oct 06, 2008 3:34 pm
Location: Sarno marsh

Re: St. John's River Paddle

Postby Southern Style » Mon Mar 02, 2015 8:22 pm

Just be safe, and hope your ride is an awesome experience!!!! Holler if we can be on any help... Enjoy the outdoors !!!
DONT ARGUE WITH STUPIDITY...THEY WILL JUST DRAG YOU DOWN TO THEIR LEVEL, AND BEAT YOU WITH EXPERIENCE.....
KRVSA Member
SJRAA Member
KCCO

terrible ted
Southern Airboat Member
Posts: 2824
Joined: Tue Aug 12, 2008 8:07 pm
Location: orlando

Re: St. John's River Paddle

Postby terrible ted » Mon Mar 02, 2015 8:34 pm

well I have an air boat and when I have the money I like to buy a kayak. Oh wait it that another thousand I need to break out. But really I do want one.

We don't hate kayakers most of my friend have one but like said above theres a scare factor when you meet one on an airboat trail. Also watch out for the 90 mile an hour bass boats in the middle river.

User avatar
Cricket085
Southern Airboat Member
Posts: 13
Joined: Sun Mar 01, 2015 9:53 am
Location: Merritt Island

Re: St. John's River Paddle

Postby Cricket085 » Mon Mar 02, 2015 9:32 pm

Thanks Southern Style, I've been looking at industrial 10'H waterproof lit whips. Whatever I can do to increase my visibility to others, I'm all over it. I also keep a whistle. a heavy duty flash light, mirror, first aid kit (and water with that kit), spot light, bungee cords, rope, utility knife and of course the life jacket but i keep it in the well. Also got a dry bag but thinking of upgrading to those waterproof, lightweight cases cause a $900 camera won't stay dry in a dry bag for too long once dumped. lol.

terrible ted wrote:well I have an air boat and when I have the money I like to buy a kayak. Oh wait it that another thousand I need to break out. But really I do want one.

We don't hate kayakers most of my friend have one but like said above theres a scare factor when you meet one on an airboat trail. Also watch out for the 90 mile an hour bass boats in the middle river.

Terrible Ted, depending on what type you're into (sit-in, sit-on, angler, touring, recreational, etc) - not all of em are a grand! Granted, I wouldn't get those cheap ones from Sam's or BJ's (no offense to those that got one) but there's quite a few good ones that have popped up on Craigslist lately, falling in the $500 - $750 range, are polyethylene and a good hull. The Necky that I got years ago was $800 (may as well be a thousand I guess, lol!) but the only thing I wish it had was a cup holder. So many near spills. :(
Keeping eyes and ears out for all things that sound like they're haulin' butt, and again, looking to stick to the main waterway. There's definitely a lot of planning taking place here with "Oh sh*t" scenarios though. lol :salute:

FLA BOY
Southern Airboat Member
Posts: 271
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2013 10:42 am
Location: Vero Beach, FL

Re: St. John's River Paddle

Postby FLA BOY » Mon Mar 02, 2015 11:53 pm

Welcome Cricket. It sounds like you have a great head on your shoulders. I dont know if it was already mentioned, but I would try to stay out of narrow trails as much as possible. If there is a bend it makes it very difficult to see one another and very difficult for both you and th AB to get out of in a short notice.
GSO480/12' Hammant
GPU/12' Richochet

User avatar
Cricket085
Southern Airboat Member
Posts: 13
Joined: Sun Mar 01, 2015 9:53 am
Location: Merritt Island

Re: St. John's River Paddle

Postby Cricket085 » Tue Mar 03, 2015 12:25 am

FLA BOY wrote:Welcome Cricket. It sounds like you have a great head on your shoulders. I dont know if it was already mentioned, but I would try to stay out of narrow trails as much as possible. If there is a bend it makes it very difficult to see one another and very difficult for both you and th AB to get out of in a short notice.

Thanks Fla Boy for the welcome. The current area that I'm worried about because I'll be tackling it as the 2nd leg, is the switchbacks north of Lake Washington after the dam. But I'm making a flag tall enough to be seen by well, all but the bass boats i guess. lol. Back to the part I'm concerned about, I see a lot of airboat trails that pop out of any which way it seems, into those switchbacks. i think it may wind up being a "play it by ear" (literally) on how much prop noise I hear and whether or not I think i can make it thru that particular section quick enough. If it sounds to me like you guys are having a race day by the Oakhead, I'll gladly paddle somewhere else and try again another day. :)

If it helps assure y'all any, I use the Distance Calculator by Daft Logic for calculating my routes (see below for estimated routes):
http://www.daftlogic.com/projects-googl ... ulator.htm

Pick your map height (small to large), find your Point A and click along til you get to your Point B. It's real simple and an easy tool for calculating things like actual mileage vs nautical shenanigans (i'm mentally lazy at times).
Attached are a couple of my plotted routes. :)
Attachments
LakeWash-Florence_21.772mi.JPG
21.772mi +/- This would be my longest stretch in Brevard. Def will be looking for a halfway point and some pain killers for my arms. haha.
3Forks-192_12miles.JPG
3 Forks to 192
520-528_8.661mi.JPG
520 to 528, Route 1 (I plotted this a couple different ways, trying to avoid the narrow AND the shallow)

rjfjr
Site Supporter - II
Site Supporter - II
Posts: 305
Joined: Fri Jan 21, 2011 9:21 am
Location: floral city

Re: St. John's River Paddle

Postby rjfjr » Tue Mar 03, 2015 8:48 am

Welcome cricket thanks for thinking of us and are safety enjoy your trip

FLA BOY
Southern Airboat Member
Posts: 271
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2013 10:42 am
Location: Vero Beach, FL

Re: St. John's River Paddle

Postby FLA BOY » Tue Mar 03, 2015 9:08 am

That is a LONG way to paddle. I hope you are not doing it alone. If you have any friends w/ Airboats I would put them on notice that you will be out there and may need their assistance. Maybe give them a copy of your "paddle plan", LOL. I have been on a few searches for people who have gotten lost or stranded in the marsh.
GSO480/12' Hammant
GPU/12' Richochet

terrible ted
Southern Airboat Member
Posts: 2824
Joined: Tue Aug 12, 2008 8:07 pm
Location: orlando

Re: St. John's River Paddle

Postby terrible ted » Tue Mar 03, 2015 12:49 pm

Avoid the week end and there be allot less traffic..

User avatar
Cricket085
Southern Airboat Member
Posts: 13
Joined: Sun Mar 01, 2015 9:53 am
Location: Merritt Island

Re: St. John's River Paddle

Postby Cricket085 » Tue Mar 03, 2015 1:39 pm

FLA BOY wrote:That is a LONG way to paddle. I hope you are not doing it alone. If you have any friends w/ Airboats I would put them on notice that you will be out there and may need their assistance. Maybe give them a copy of your "paddle plan", LOL. I have been on a few searches for people who have gotten lost or stranded in the marsh.


FLA BOY, I got someone that I will be checking in with via "Virtual" checkpoints, and having somebody to pick me up. Also got a handheld, waterproof GPS. I got a buddy in the area that can reach me pretty quick for the Palm Bay/Melbourne and Cocoa area.
I won't be attempting the labyrinth (north of Lone Cabbage thru to 50) without a paddle buddy. Currently I'm able to paddle 10.5 miles comfortably in 4.5 hours, give or take depending on fallen trees/debri/obstacles, weight load, wind, current & tide, weather, wildlife, etc etc. Not looking to do anymore than 12-14mi a day. I have covered a lot more than that in a day but am not looking to make any records or beat the crap out of myself. On my initial post, I mentioned I could do 9-18mi. I should have explained that it sometimes involves camping out overnight. Sorry If I'm confusing people. lol.
The Lake Washington to Lake Florence would have to be an over nighter but NOT by myself. A friend has offered to pick me up midway with his boat and drop me back off in the same spot-ish for the next go around if I can't camp out. It's all up in the air regarding what's practical and who I got to go with me or if they flake out of it. lol.
Numerous people will have my paddle routes and am open to anybody coming along at any point in time. :)
Really appreciate y'all's input. :)

terrible ted
Southern Airboat Member
Posts: 2824
Joined: Tue Aug 12, 2008 8:07 pm
Location: orlando

Re: St. John's River Paddle

Postby terrible ted » Tue Mar 03, 2015 5:48 pm

Just meet your friend at one of the camps in winder. Have him set up camp fire meal. The palms would probably a good one. Thats at the north end of lake winder. South end is persimmon mound just past the oak head. The camp start right after the oak head you can find the camps on the fwc map for the upper st john wma. Middle of the lake is lake Poinsett camp- aka Kicker Boat,Indian Mound or the Burial Grounds. That were i usually camp.

ffcracker
Site Supporter - I
Site Supporter - I
Posts: 970
Joined: Wed Dec 24, 2008 11:37 am
Location: That liberal county

Re: St. John's River Paddle

Postby ffcracker » Tue Mar 03, 2015 6:11 pm

No need for a peace offering, just lots of us up here have had some bad dealings with the yakers in our area.
A RESENTFULL CITIZEN OF A DICTATORSHIP CALLED alachua county

User avatar
Cricket085
Southern Airboat Member
Posts: 13
Joined: Sun Mar 01, 2015 9:53 am
Location: Merritt Island

Re: St. John's River Paddle

Postby Cricket085 » Tue Mar 03, 2015 6:57 pm

terrible ted wrote:Just meet your friend at one of the camps in winder. Have him set up camp fire meal. The palms would probably a good one. Thats at the north end of lake winder. South end is persimmon mound just past the oak head. The camp start right after the oak head you can find the camps on the fwc map for the upper st john wma. Middle of the lake is lake Poinsett camp- aka Kicker Boat,Indian Mound or the Burial Grounds. That were i usually camp.

Good points, thanks TT, means a lot.

ffcracker wrote:No need for a peace offering, just lots of us up here have had some bad dealings with the yakers in our area.

That's understandable. I don't get people's attitude or ignorance sometimes when out on the water... :dontknow:

CarMotorBarge
Site Supporter - I
Site Supporter - I
Posts: 940
Joined: Thu Jul 14, 2011 8:32 pm
Location: Lake Harney Woods

Re: St. John's River Paddle

Postby CarMotorBarge » Wed Mar 04, 2015 5:54 am

Lindsey,

Have you went kayaking on the Little Econ from Oviedo to the St. Johns River? It is very scenic and is a really nice ride.
14x7.5 Al David hull with 14 inch transom
419 CI Horsepower Barn LS3 with 2.88 Ox Box swinging 4 blade 83.5" R
GTO Rigging and B&S Tilt Trailer

User avatar
Cricket085
Southern Airboat Member
Posts: 13
Joined: Sun Mar 01, 2015 9:53 am
Location: Merritt Island

Re: St. John's River Paddle

Postby Cricket085 » Wed Mar 04, 2015 10:13 am

CarMotorBarge wrote:Lindsey,

Have you went kayaking on the Little Econ from Oviedo to the St. Johns River? It is very scenic and is a really nice ride.

I've been on the Econ a couple times. Really scenic. Love having to under/over/thru the fallen trees and palms. Usually launch out from Snowhill Rd. Funny you mention that though, few friends and I were planning to paddle out from Snowhill to the St. John's and end up at the Jolly Gator Fish camp off 46. :)

terrible ted
Southern Airboat Member
Posts: 2824
Joined: Tue Aug 12, 2008 8:07 pm
Location: orlando

Re: St. John's River Paddle

Postby terrible ted » Wed Mar 04, 2015 7:24 pm

My friends do that trip in there yaks but have a hard time carrying enough beer.


Return to “Airboat Talk”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Majestic-12 [Bot] and 32 guests