At long last, the stern paddle wheeler Jean Mary is about to launch from the boatyard at Green Cove Springs. After an extensive four-year renovation, she has passed her sea trials, passed her Coast Guard inspection and is about to start shakedown cruises on the St. Johns River south of Jacksonville. If all goes well, the current plan is to bring her around to Apalachicola in October of this year.
The paddlewheel boat, formerly owned by famed actress and singer Debbie Reynolds, was donated to the Apalachicola Maritime Museum. Museum founder George Floyd said he plans to use the boat for overnight cruises on the river and bay. – By LOIS SWOBODA