Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Leaving The Gulf, Heading for the Atlantic

We really enjoyed our stay at Ft. Myers, FL.  Would love to return some day for a longer stay.  We didn't get a chance to go back to the doughnut shop since it took so long to get the pump-out machine working.  One of our friends in our Gulf crossing flotilla Proper State of Mind, came by to see if we should cruise together since there would be two locks and several lift/swing bridges to traverse.  It's always nice to travel with another Looper so we finished up our morning chores and eased back out into the channel, idled under the Edison Bridge and pointed East into a 15 mph wind to our destination 41 miles away, River Forest Marina.

We are cruising up river and into a man made canal that connects with Lake Okeechobee.  It will take three days to reach the Atlantic coast.  Today we were lifted a whole 8 feet using two locks.  The first lock took us up 1 ft, the second lock, 7 ft.  These locks were built pretty much like the ones on the Tenn-Tom except smaller.  There were no bollards to lasso, just a rope hanging down from the rail at the top of the lock.  The lock master came out and talked to us while we were being lifted 12 inches into the next pool.  We both held on to a line, one at the bow and the other at the stern, and took up the slack as we creeped skyward.  Always a new challenge.

The canal went through rural areas with mixed mansions and trailers along the shore.  There were huge cattle ranches that could be seen from the flybridge looking over the lower banks to the South. Viridian pulled into River Forest Marina (really a boat yard), tied up to a concrete wall and began settling in for the night.   We grilled some burgers and watched a few series of Gotham before turning in.  Tomorrow we will be crossing Lake Okeechobee.  Here are a few views from our passage.

That's the news and here's the views:

We are here

 Today's Passage

Bird's Eye

We rally enjoyed the views on this passage

Beautiful estates on the Southern bank

 Long runs in the "ditch"

River Forest Boatyard - Super clean and well managed

Tied to the concrete wall for the  night

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