The high temps of summer are making way for a pleasant fall. Boat traffic on the Silver and Ocklawaha Rivers are down a bit. On our last Silver River trip with a charming couple from Mississippi, we had the River entirely to ourselves, with a departure from the Ray Wayside Park at 3 in the afternoon. Along the way we saw two seperate troops of Rhesus Monkeys, each troop in close proximity to the Silver Springs Attraction.
Many of our guests who come to see the Silver and Ocklawaha Rivers comment on how pleased they are to still be able to see the real Florida. Both Rivers have few of the trappings of mans development, and have been virtually perseved in their natural state. As many know, it is hard to stop the spread of concrete. The abundant wildlife that inhabitats the environment of the Rivers have remained intact and flourished only as a result of this lack of development. One of the few places left to enjoy the “Old Florida”.
Lately we have been fielding numerous questions about the no wake zones on the Rivers. The entire Silver River and the Ocklawaha Basin are no wake zones.
These no wake zones not only reduce signigicantly the amount of erosion of the River banks which in turn creates snags and obstructions, they additionally make it a much safer place to navigate. Maintaing no wake speed insures you a better chance not to sustain damage to your boat from submerged obstructions such as downed trees in the River.
A boaters responsibility for the wake he or she creates does not end until the wake dissipates. This rule applies no matter what body of water you are on. This responsibility includes damage along the banks, as well as kayakers or canoeists that maybe overturned or upset by the wake you make. Many kayakers/canoeists are amateurs, and your wake could spell catastrophe.
For the benefit of all, when the signs on the Ocklawaha River indicate “resume safe speed”, more often than not safe speed should be an idle.
Until next time, see you on the Rivers!