"The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in
its net of wonder forever."—Jacques Cousteau

April 24, 2014

April 23 - Blue Spring State Park

St. John’s River – Anchorage

Our anchorage and the park were too pretty and inviting for us to move on today. We decided to spend another the day at the spring...swimming a little, watching people and relaxing. Relaxing and taking it easy seems to be the theme of our trip this year. We took our picnic blanket and a lawn chair for Stan and stake out a cool spot under a tree near the spring. We enjoyed sandwiches from the camp store for lunch, while we took in the beautiful day.

I snorkeled along the spring run back to the spring and watched a couple of divers going into the boil of the spring, which is actually a cave. The cave is a vertical shaft that angles into a room at a depth of 80 to 90 feet. This is where the water boils (springs) from the ground. It seemed a little small and confining for my liking. I guess I'm a little too claustrophobic for that kind of diving.

In 1856 Louis Thursby, a former gold rush prospector turned orange farmer, bought the land around the spring. Thursby built a family home and a steamboat landing on the St. John’s River. Blue Spring Landing became a hotbed of steamboat activity, shipping tourists and goods to Jacksonville and beyond. The landing remained a busy place until the advent of the railroad in the 1880s and tourism began to move to other parts of Florida. The property remained in the Thursby family until 1972, when it was purchased by the state of Florida and converted into a state park. The Thursby house, built in 1872, still remains on the shores of Blue Spring. We visited the Thursby home overlooking the river and the old riverboat landing site, even sat in the rockers on the porch. What a wonderful spot they had...the beautiful spring just outside their door and the world going by on the river.

Looking into our pretty anchorage.
The Pearl sitting in her beautiful anchorage
A diver going down into the boil of the spring.
The Thursby House sitting on an old Indian midden-mound overlooking the river and spring run.
I know blog readers are probably getting tired of pictures of Great Blue Herons...but they are so fun to photograph.
"Woody Woodpecker" is one of our neighbors...he's a Pileated Woodpecker.

2 comments:

  1. I'm not sure there is such a things as too many bird pictures. I prefer raptors, but I will happily look at herons of any kind.

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  2. Love the pics! Keep'em coming!!!

    ReplyDelete