CT to FL Day 32
Alva, FL to Fort Myers, FL
We departed Franklin Lock Campground just before sunrise and headed west toward Fort Myers our destination for the today...
Today we get back to "reality"... stopping in Fort Myers to attend a Christmas Play at the church my sons Mark and Josh attend. Will get to see the grandkids and probably be going out to lunch with everyone after church. Then this afternoon Mark is taking me to pick our car up from storage and take it to Punta Gorda... Trip almost over... one more day!
We arrived to Fort Myers at 0900 and docked at the City of Fort Myers Yacht basin at N26°38.844', W081°52.216' We traveled today for 2 hours covering 11.7 nautical miles averaging 5.9 knots.
Posted at 10:22 AM
CT to FL Day 31
Moore Haven, FL to Alva, FL
Last night we had a great time at the restaurant on the marina property... Lightsey’s Seafood Restaurant. We took the golf cart (provided by marina) to the restaurant and had a great meal... we did not have seafood... we both had burgers... giant burgers and very very good!
With a short day planned we slept in and Susan prepared a great breakfast for us... normally, breakfast is a muffin, bagel or toast after we get underway... it was nice to have a full breakfast. After a leisurely morning we cast the lines at 1015 and headed west bound for the W.P. Franklin Lock campground. They have boat slips available for use and the price is right... $24 for the night including power.
We again had the boost of speed with us so I reduced the RPM to save some fuel and still cruised at 7 knots... appeared we were getting a 1/2 to 3/4 knot boost in speed...very nice!
We did have a few bridges and one lock to deal with today... about 30 minutes into the day we arrived at the Ortona Lock... took about 30 minutes total to lock through dropping just over 8 feet. Three bridges after this that all required an opening... Labelle Bridge, Fort Denaud Swing Bridge and the Alva Bridge. First tow bridges went smoothly and very little delay at them... the Alva Bridge was slightly different... but it was my own fault for the delay. We arrived and about a 1/4 away I hailed the bridge and asked for an opening... no problems... then another boat hailed and said they were eastbound and just under 1/2 mile away... I then being courteous hailed the bridge back and said I would wait for the eastbound boats to arrive so he would only have to open once for all of us.... my mistake... LOL 15 minutes later the first sailboat arrived... 5 minutes after than the other two boats arrived... the "1/2 mile away" I think was a little off... oh well... that's what I get for being nice... LOL We did not have that far to go anyway and in no rush... no harm done.
We arrived to Franklin lock at approximately 1445 and docked in slip B08... this is an outside slip and really the only one we can fit in... all the others we take up two slips. Our location for the night N26°43.384', W081°41.445'. We traveled today for 4.5 hours covering 27.7 nautical miles averaging 6.2 knots.
At the dock beside us was a small sailboat... 25 foot I am guessing... they had one of those wind scoops setup to direct wind into the cabin of the boat... after we docked... NO MORE WIND for them... and they were a little upset... giving us unfriendly glaring looks when they saw us... anyway, they soon were removing dock lines and moving to a "windier" location several slips away from us.
Posted at 10:11 AM
CT to FL Day 30
Pahokee, FL to Moore Haven, FL
We departed from the marina this morning at 0800 and continued around the Rim Route of the lake... I was a little concerned at to what the water depths would be like since the reported navigable depth was 6.5 feet on the Jacksonville Army Corp of Engineers website... but did not see anything under 9 feet all the way to Clewiston where the Rim Route merges with Route 1 across the lake.
We did have one interesting bridge... the Tory Island Bridge... it's a manually operated swing bridge... the bridge tender comes out and puts a long pole into something in the center of the bridge and then begins to walk in circles pushing the long bar around and around and around as the bridge slowly swings open. He was not a very happy bridge tender either... very grumpy on the radio... I knew it was a manually operated bridge and thought I would give him a heads up so he could get started on the opening as we approached... NOT... when I hailed he told me to come up to the bridge and stop and then he would come out an open the bridge.
Last communication I had with him even though I made several attempts to talk to him via the VHF... he would not even wave at us as we passed through... very grumpy indeed... I thanked him and wished him a Merry Christmas as we cleared the bridge.
We missed the westbound locking at the Moore Haven Lock by 10 minutes so we had to wait about 15 minutes after we arrived for the lock tender to refill the lock chamber and give us a green light to enter.
The interesting thing was the boost of speed we were getting after reaching Clewiston on the rim canal... at the RPM we were running we should of been doing about 6.9 knots... instead we were doing 7.4 to 7.6 knots and the push continued after the lock as well... it did not appear as if they were releasing water from the lake but they had to have been for us to be getting a 1.2 knot boost in speed... not complaining... it was nice to get a little extra speed.
We had planned to stop in Moore Haven but with extra speed all morning it was just too early so we continued on... looking in the guide books and active captain we thought we would try the newer marina boat yard just before the Ortona Lock,,, River Forest Yachting Center... we called and no answer only able to leave a message... a hour or so passed and no return call so we tried another place we had seen many times before but never stayed there... Glades RV Resort and Marina... just a little before the Glades Boat Storage. We called them and someone answered... made a reservation... 30 minutes later we were entering their harbor. Met at the docks by a very nice gentlemen who assisted us with our lines.
It's an RV park basically that has some docks that they rent out... nothing fancy at all... not sure where the "resort" is... but it's nice. Besides the dockmaster who met us there were several other people either walking up or driving their golf cart up to see the boat that had arrived.
This place did prove again just how small a world we live in... one of the people coming down to greet us was from Connecticut and after talking to him for a few minutes we discovered that he had known Susan's Dad George and was from Cheshire... not only did he know George but all the people George knew... guess they had gone to school together in Cheshire... such a small, small world... LOL
Anyway, we were securely docked at N26°47.288', W081°13.807'. We traveled today for 6.5 hours covering 42.3 nautical miles averaging 6.5 knots even with the delays at the bridge and the lock.
Posted at 5:14 PM