Florida Spring Break Tour 2022
Dates are Set:
February 7th thru March 25th
Bookings are Monday thru Friday
for the 7 weeks
The Florida Spring Break Tour
is the ultimate in Social Distancing
This is a private all inclusive tour for individuals who are looking for
a unique experience by boat in the pristine back waters of the
Ocala National Forest that can be booked by the day or by the week,
the Tour consist of only you or you and your guest (maximum 2 people total).
There are two 3 to 4 hour sessions (one morning / one evening) per day
Solo Outings: $400.00 per session or $675.00 per day (2 sessions)
Two Person Outings: $200.00 per person per session or $375.00 per person per day (2 sessions).
Per Day outings may not be 2 sessions but all day outings that will include exploring a farther range
from home base not possible in half day activities. These outings are planned when weather allows,
we also pack a lunch and additional supplies for these expeditions.
Each Tour Party is responsible for their travel to and from our base of operation in
Georgetown Florida as well as lodging at the Idle Awhile River Resort (info below) and their meals.
Snacks and drinks are furnished while on the boat.
This is an annual tour I have been conducting each spring since 2001 at this location. I have been exploring this area since the late 1960's as my Grandfather lived in Ocala and first showed me the beauty and wonders that the Ocala National Forest has to offer to anyone that appreciates Nature, Wildlife and the excitement of the pristine Florida Wilderness. This is not a tour of a national or state park in a group taking standard pictures at standard locations that are available to anyone. This is an expedition into unspoiled wilderness environments only accessible by boat where not seeing another person all day long is common. The St. Johns River is the longest river in Florida at 310 miles (500 km) with an elevation drop of only 30 feet from the head waters in southern Florida to the mouth in Jacksonville. It is one of only a few rivers in the United States that flows from south to north. There are a number of tributaries and spring runs that feed the St. Johns as well as natural springs within the river itself. These spring runs and tributaries that flow out of the Ocala National Forest are the main focus of our activities with the St. Johns being our water highway to access them. We will be based in the central St. Johns River area in Georgetown, Florida about halfway between the only two highway bridges crossing the river in this area. To the north in Palatka, Florida is the Highway 17 crossing and to the south in Astor, Florida is the Highway 40 crossing, about 65 miles apart as the crow flies. The St. Johns borders the East side of the Ocala National Forest with Ocala, Florida and the Ocklawaha River above the Rodman Damn on the North and West side.
We will be in unspoiled areas that are basically the same as they were hundreds of years ago and rich with Natural, Native American and Civil War History. The St. Johns and the Ocklawaha Rivers were once the main routes of travel for people and goods before the Railroad was established in the early 1900's. Paddle wheelers carried goods and passengers from Jacksonville to Ocala via these two rivers. The poet Sidney Lanier called this route "The Sweetest Water-Lane in the World" in a travel guide he published in 1876. Little has changed since that time in regards to the natural beauty of this area.
The Birding, Wildlife, Landscapes, Sunrise and Sunsets will exceed your expectations. This area is home to the wild Florida Rhesus Monkeys, the largest Black Bear population in Florida, countless Alligators, Snakes, Turtles, River Otters, Wild Hogs and Fish along with all the usual animals. The marshes surrounding the St. Johns are abundant with water birds, Eagles and nesting Osprey pairs. We will have private access at two rookeries only accessible by boat.
A recent study by the Audubon Society counted 64,000 birds in one month nesting or feeding in this area. Wading Birds, Diving Birds, Owls, Turkey, Kingfishers, the largest Eagle population in the southeast, Hawks, Herons, Migratory Birds and the last of the natural habitat for the Florida Scrub-Jay are all here for your photographic pleasure. The Flora in this area is also outstanding along with the micro photography opportunities. There are a recorded 112 species of dragonflies, 44 species of damselflies, and abundant frogs and spiders. This can all be enjoyed from the comfort and security of our boat as we lazily navigate these beautiful waterways as they meander between the banks of old growth forest and through pre-historic cypress swamps. Bring all the gear you want, there is no walking involved. You will encounter new and exciting photographic opportunities around every bend in the river. It is common to take 1200 to 1800 pictures per day, so be prepared. I will be getting you up close and personal with the wildlife so a big telephoto lens, although sometimes handy, is by no means a necessity. A 400 mm lens is ideal and what was used for all of my shots herein
(large file, may take a moment to download)
Printable PDF version includes:
Trip Dates and Pricing
Give me a call (cell 404-401-4855) with any questions or
to coordinate the dates you desire.
The arrival and departure days of each party
are usable half days for another party in some cases.
The 2022 Tour will have a different look and opportunities
as we partner with the new:
Idle Awhile River Resort
Restaurant - Bar - Hotel - Marina
When booking your room at Idle Awhile,
be sure to mention you are going to be on my tour. There is one King Room and
one Double Room blocked off and always available for my guests during the tour dates for 2022.
Idle Awhile Resort and Marina on the River
120 Georgetown Landing Road
Georgetown, FL 32139
What do guest have to say about my tours?
"Beautiful image! Being on the river with you was an amazing experience - your knowledge of the birds, the river, and the light is incredible. And your boat is a photographer’s dream!"
"I just had such a wonderful 3 days on tour! Each day brought a new element in nature to challenge our photography skills! Loved every minute of it! Thank you, Mike for sharing your love of nature and photography with us!"
"Mike Ramy's Sandhill Crane tours aren’t just about the birds. I'd argue, they're almost entirely NOT about solely the birds. The experience of being on the water at sunrise and sunset and the thriving, ever-changing moments in between are magical. Simple. Transformative, literally, and you're only challenge is to capture a whisper of the true essence of Mike's guided journey through a glorious nature experience. This image is from my last morning on this year's trip. Freezing cold, foggy, waiting for "something" to happen--while EVERYTHING that mattered was happening all around use. Wouldn't have missed it for the world!"
"A great trip for Lowell Sims and I. We had a great time and got some great images. The diversity of the wildlife is awesome. The boat was perfect for this type of photography. Perfect way to photograph Sandhills cranes in our area, from the boat you get some very unique perspectives. Mike puts you right in the middle of everything."
See some of the amazing images captured by Gary Bowlick in two days during the March 2021 Florida Spring Break Tour on and around the St Johns River Florida
Click Here - https://bowlickphotos.smugmug.com/Gary-Bowlick/St-Johns-River/
"Fantastic Spring Break Mike! Thank you to you both for a great few days of photography on the river! Best ever!"
Note: All excursions into nature either on foot, by off road vehicle or by boat can have some degree of danger or risk involved. My excursions are as safe as possible in order to protect my companion, myself and my equipment. We will proceed at a pace that is comfortable and safe for you and within your limits and/or the limits of my equipment for a particular situation. Anyone that travels with me however, does so at their own risk and is ultimately responsible for their own safety and for remaining within their own individual limitations.
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