On Wednesday the plan was to travel about 45 miles south to Palatka to meet up with former cruising friends from 3 other boats; Nancy formerly on Silver Seas, Marlene & Benno formerly on Diesel Duck, and Allayne & Dennis formerly on Audrey Paige.
Nancy was also heading south, Marlene and Benno coming up from Ocala, and Allayne and Dennis coming inland from St. Augustine, one of the places here in Florida they have been visiting this winter.
We met each other while cruising in the Caribbean around 2006 or so and have stayed in touch over the years via email and social media.
The weather was pretty favorable although a small sprinkle passed by rather quickly. The park, Ravine Gardens State Park, is situated within a ravine, carved out over time by a spring-fed river. The park is well known for it's springtime azalea bloom and it's small formal garden and hiking/biking paths. This is an akward time of year horticulturely, the trees are mostly bare with a few blooms here and there. Lots of spanish moss and leaf litter around too. Personally, I don't find that too terribly appealing, which is probably why I didn't take many photos, but here are a few.
|The group: L to R - Marlene, Me, Nancy, Allayne, Dennis
Back row - Benno, Ed
Harley the dog
|Summer view of the Formal Garden
(Photo courtesy of floridastateparks.org)
I would definitely like to head back there in May after things have leafed out somemore. However, it was a really nice spot for a picnic, and we had a ton of food - it was a potluck after all. It was also a gabfest! So fun catching up with everyone.
All that made me feel a little nostalgic for the Caribbean and Venezuela so I thought I'd put a link in for one of my slideshow videos I made up quite a while ago. The length is about 3:30 so it's not a snoozer (I don't think, lol). The music is nice too.
Here is the link to the youtube video on our channel of s/v Dreamtime and s/v Paradise sailing into Laguna Grande, Venezuela and on up the Rio Carioca where the Scarlet Ibis nest. https://youtu.be/BICkg9FOV6g
|Laguna Grande in the Golfo de Carioca, Venezuela
Thanks for the visit!