Cruising the river and wild monkeys

One of the things we wanted to do here at the Wilderness rv park was a pontoon boat cruise. The park has two pontoon boats that you can rent for the day so we packed up a cooler with lunch and headed out. The boat is nothing fancy but at $100 for the day (that includes gasoline) it was well worth it. You launch here at the park and start up the Ocklawaha river and then up the Silver river to Silver Springs state park. The trip is about 5 or 6 miles each way and took us about 5 hours although we were not in any hurry and just slowly cruised along enjoying the sights. Dan took the helm and we started up the river.

The scenery was just beautiful and it wasn’t long before we saw the first of many gators along the way along with turtles, anhinga, ducks and many different species of birds.

Soon we found the first troop of monkeys. Somewhere back in the 1930’s a guy who owned a river cruise here thought he would buy some Rhesus monkeys and put them on a small island on the river to enhance his cruise business but he failed to realize that monkeys can swim so they left the island and have been living and breeding along the river for years now. It’s pretty cool to see them as your going down the river and we enjoyed watching them.

Over all it was just a great day and the silver river is so clear you can see all the way to the bottom and watch the fish swimming. As we turned around at the state park and started back home we spotted a lone manatee. We’ve seen them in many of the springs here but didn’t expect to see one in the silver river.

Just a great day!

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