Saturday, January 7, 2012

A Great Boat Trip on the Dora Canal in Florida

Here is our 15' Gheenoe which we will be taking in the Dora Canal. This fiberglass boat is popular with the local fishermen because it is surprisingly stable, takes very little water to float, and is comfortable to use. This is Orinda's first trip in the boat, so we will see how she likes it.

Orinda and I took advantage of a beautiful day to launch our Gheenoe boat into Lake Eustis at the Tavares boat ramp -- which is a large, very nice public ramp. The Gheenoe looked a bit small compared to the 22' Bass Boats being launched and our 2.5hp outboard was a bit smaller than the 250hp motors they used, but we were ready to go!

A short boat ride from the ramp is the entrance, under this bridge, to the Dora Canal which connects Lake Eustis with Lake Dora. The Canal dates back over 100 years and was dug by hand to connect the lakes. Today, it is well know for its beauty and wildlife.

 After passing under the HWY441 bridge, you immediately enter the canal and feel as if you have been transported back in time to the wilds. There are huge cypress trees growing along the banks with countless birds flying in the woods.

 The Canal is about 1.25 miles long and about 5 feet deep, although that can change quickly. It is hard to believe that you are near any kind of civilization given the wilds next to the water, but in fact, we are only a mile or so from the town of Tavares.

Rick enjoys running the powerful 2.5 hp outboard, which excels in this shallow water. Our little boat is quiet and stable; perfect for observing the birdlife.

Even though it was cool a few days ago, the 75 degree weather today has brought the birds out. This great blue heron did not seem very concerned about our passage as he watched from this log.

Orinda had a hard time seeing the birds, but enjoyed the scenic boat ride. As you can see, the water was mirror smooth which made for a nice run.

This heron was fishing and did not seem happy to see us. In fact, right after this shot was taken, he flew off in somewhat an indignant fashion.

Success! Orinda's reward for braving the wilds of the Dora Canal is a cup of coffee and a small sundae from McDonalds! We had a nice time traveling the waterways of the Dora Canal and Lake Eustis.


squawmama said...

Sounds like a perfectly wonderful day... Glad you had fun!!!
Have fun & Travel safe

Chuck and Anneke's RV travels said...

That boat will take you a lot of places a bigger boat won't.

Looks like the first trip was a big success:)