|"On the Pontoon..."|
Forget breakfast in bed, this dad got breakfast on a boat for Father’s Day. It’s no secret to my family what thoughts occupy my time when I’m not preoccupied with their needs. Yet despite the fact that I incessantly ramble on about boats, my loving family decided to take me out boating for Father’s Day.
We got the kids up early, loaded up the minivan and headed north to Deland, Florida. We met up with more family at Tropical Resort and Marina to rent a 24ft pontoon boat for Father’s Day. The marina had a Sweetwater SW 2486 all gassed up and ready to launch. After a short briefing, we were on our way by 8:45am. By 9am this Dad had a plate of breakfast in front of him and a lake breeze on his face, all the makings of the perfect Father’s Day.
If you are looking for a relatively inexpensive way to get a bunch of people on a boat, it’s hard to go wrong renting a pontoon boat. You can easily fit a boatload a people and all their gear and still have room to lounge about. Our rental’s capacity was 12 people; but make sure you call ahead and talk with your local staff about their allowable capacities. The pontoon was surprisingly fuel efficient, but I think the 70hp outboard and mostly slow or no-wake zones helped keep our fuel burn to a minimum. Either way we only burned 8 gallons of fuel over a whole day of motoring about, and since the marina throws in a free 5 gallons of fuel, we only had to pay for 3 gallons.
After breakfast, our trusty pontoon took us south to Blue Springs State Park for a dip in the cold springs and possibly a manatee sighting. Blue Springs discharges 104 million gallons of 72 degree water into the St. Johns River every day. Entrance into the park by boat is only $5; it’s on an honor system, there is an envelop and a drop box at the entrance. We didn’t see any manatee (winter time is better for a sighting) but the cold water helped us work up an appetite for lunch so we loaded back up to find a place to set up the grill. We continued south till we came to a small beach area with a rope swing hung from a tree. If there is one thing this pontoon full boaties knows, it’s how to eat. Just check out that spread.
What a perfect Father’s Day. I love being a dad and couldn’t have imagined or asked for a more loving family.
One last piece of advice, unless you are pressed for time go for the whole day rental, there is never enough time on the water.
For those of you who don’t know, the tall guy in the yellow shirt is none other than the Boatieblog.com photographer, Todd Kristenson. I only gave the him the day off because he forgot his camera (to be fair he has two young kids and a pregnant wife).
|Team Boatieblog, doing what we do best.|
|Breakfast quiche (ham, bacon, cheese, spinach, and mushrooms)|
|Clayton drove till "seconds" were ready.|
|Poppie helping with breakfast.|
|This kid sawed on the steering wheel till we were all sea sick.|
|"Hard to port!"|
|The St. Johns River is full of these guys.|
|"Anybody see that gator down there?"|
|Someone had to do the Titanic thing.|
|Classic Florida, I imagine the early explorers saw the exact same thing.|
|Todd is getting ready to do some cooking (he is also the on-staff Foodie).|
|Todd has all the cool toys.|
|Time to climb a tree, then jump out of it.|
|Ever heard of a back flop?|
|Fishing is usually my best excuse to go boating.|
|We didn't catch anything.|