Cape Coral, FL to Mooore Haven, FL
Florida to Rhode Island - Day 3
We departed from Rum Runners Docks early before sunrise at 0640 hours... plans to go to Moore Haven for the night. The outer locks of the Okeechobee Waterway are on a restricted opening schedule so we needed to be at Franklin Lock by either 0900 or 1100… after getting underway we were just not going to be able to make the 0900 locking so we set our speed to be there by 1100 hours.
We arrived at Franklin Locks at 1054 hours and joined two other boats waiting for the 1100 locking… a 40’ sportfish and a sailboat… the sportfish was handing bug control for us… billowing smoke out it’s exhaust… almost needed a mask for the fumes… 1100 hit and we got the green light to enter the lock… 22 minutes later after being raised 2 feet we were again underway.
We had several bridges today… only one we have to open… Fort Denaud Swing Bridge… the others I lowered the antennas and mast to clear them. Just after going through the Franklin Lock I heard the Fort Denaud bridge tender talking with a boat.. telling them that the bridge would not open and she was waiting for county maintenance to arrive to fix it… we still had quite a distance to go so we hoped for the best and that the county workers would get the bridge repaired… then a few minutes later we heard the same boat thanking the bridge for an opening… guess the old swing bridge was just being a little cantankerous… later in the day we had no problems and she swung the bridge open for us with no major delay.
There was a lot of boat traffic going west back towards Fort Myers… must have had a dozen boats of all types pass us heading west… of course there were a few that greeted us with a big wake as they passed without slowing down.
We arrived to the last lock for today… Ortona Lock… at approximately 1455 hours and the lock was open and waiting for us to enter with no delay at all. Twenty minutes later after a rock and roll 8’ rise we were back underway… Moore Haven next stop.
We arrived and docked at the Riverhouse Marina in Moore Haven at 1655 hours. Approximate location N26°49.858’, W081°05.447’.
Today we traveled for 10 hours and 15 minutes covering 59.6 nautical miles averaging 5.81 knots.
Pelican Bay to Cape Coral, FL
Florida to Rhode Island - Day 2
Well we had a plan and it did not go exactly as we would have liked. Got up early and cleaned the bottom of SAILS but everything else fell apart… we pulled the anchor and departed from Pelican Bay at 1615 hours… only 4 hours later than we planned… destination for the night Cape Coral.
It was an uneventful cruise… although there was a lot more boat traffic than I expected for a Monday… we had the current against us the entire trip… well when we turned out of the ICW at marker 92… Tarpon Point… we had the current with us for 5 minutes. We were going to anchor in Glover Bight just off of Tarpon Point Marina but opted to go a little further into the Cape to Rum Runners Restaurant Docks... we have stayed here before and it makes it much easier to walk Beecha… no dropping the dinghy off the boat. Also, we have an early start tomorrow… need to be underway by 0700 hours in order to make the 0900 opening of Franklin Locks… the two outer locks are on a restricted opening schedule… opening only on the odd hours… 0700, 0900, 1100, etc… to make Moore Haven tomorrow before dark we need to make the 0900 opening. We won’t have to get up so early if we are at a dock.
Today we traveled for 4 hours covering 25.54 nautical miles averaging 6.39 knots.
Punta Gorda,FL to Pelican Bay
Florida to Rhode Island - Day 1
At approximately 1945 hours we had cast our lines and were departing from Fishermen’s Village Marina, Punta Gorda, Florida and beginning our trip north… final destination Rhode Island. We had hoped to depart a little earlier but being Easter Sunday we spent the afternoon with family in Cape Coral having Easter dinner and an Easter egg hunt with the grand kids. The afternoon was awesome and yet very sad as this was also goodbye… we would not see them again till November or December. It was also very sad saying goodbye to all our friends at the marina… they had all come out to assist us getting away from the dock.
We did get a late start but we were only going to Pelican Bay for the night… I needed to clean the bottom of the boat before the long trip north and the water is not the clearest in Fishermen’s Village… and I also need to turn in my final towing forms and get my final check from work… TowBoatUS Charlotte Harbor… so a night in Pelican Bay… an early morning dive and bottom cleaning… a quick ride in the dingy to Bokeelia to finalize things at TowBoatUS and we would depart by noon.
Today we traveled for 3 hours and 5 minutes covering 16.41 nautical miles averaging 5.32 knots.