RI to FL - Day 37
Moore Haven, FL to Cape Coral, FL
We departed from the Moore Haven at about 0800 and headed west on the Okeechobee Waterway… destination for the night to be Fort Myers – Cape Coral area.
We had a few bridges and two locks to deal with today… first to come up was the the Ortona Lock. We arrived at 0945 and waited only a couple of minutes before we got a green light to enter the lock. We were about 8 feet and departed at 1005. This lock does no have very good help… in fact they do not help you at all… the lines are left hanging and are wet and slimy from being in the water all the time… the lines are nasty.
Next we came to the Labelle Bridge and we requested an opening and did not even have to slow down… bridge tender was on his game.
Then we came to the Fort Denaud Swing Bridge… normally, this is the nicest older woman that comes out to open the bridge… they have to walk out from shore to the center of the swing to operate it… today it was an older gentlemen and he was in no hurry to walk out to the center of the span… in fact while watching him I was worried he might not make it all the way. He did make it and was very firm with us on the VHF to not to proceed through the bridge until he gave us the “ok” on the VHF to proceed. The bridge swings away from you so you can easily enter long before it is full open but today we had to wait till it was fully open and he gave us the “ok”… so we did wait a 10 – 15 minutes at this bridge.
Next up the Alva Bridge and we again requested an opening… no wait whatsoever… again the bridge tender had the bridge open and ready for us well before needed.
Final lock was next… Franklin Lock and when we arrived at 1334 the gates had just opened and an east bound sailboat was exitng the lock… we got the green light to enter and were in the lock… lowered 3 feet and back underway at 1347…. Very nice!
Then we came to the last bridge for the day… Wilson Pigott Bridge which we requested an opening and this bridge tender was also on the ball… did not have to slow our speed for the opening at all… Cool!
That was it for bridges that would need to be opened for us… there was one RR bridge… the Beautiful Island RR Bridge but it is almost always open and it was today as we passed through… Fort Myers has several high rise bridges but no bridges or locks this trip… one more day of travel and we will be back to Punta Gorda, FL our final destination for the trip.
We did make a stop in Fort Myers to allow Susan to run to the grocery store for some items we needed… dog food… Beecha had run out of dog food this morning… so we pulled into some abandoned docks that used to be for a place called Shooters… it was a waterfront bar and grill a few years back and had closed… all that remains now are the docks and they are a less than a block from Publix… 30 minutes and we were back underway.
We decided at this point to proceed on to Cape Coral and a restaurant dock that we have stayed many times… Rum Runners at Cape Harbor… it is very shallow approaching and alongside these docks and we need to arrive at mid tide or higher and also leave at the same tide level… I had checked and we would be fine today for arriving and departing. We discovered this a few years ago when we woke in the morning to be listing about 10 degrees… the port side of the boat next to the dock was sitting on the bottom had to wait for more water to leave. We also discovered that if we dock closer to the restaurant the water is deeper and we do not this problem.
We arrived to the Rum Runner Docks in Cape Coral, FL and were securely docked at about 1815 at N26°32.600’, W082°00.415’.
We traveled today for 10 hours and 15 minutes covering 68.79 nautical miles averaging 5.73 knots.