Wednesday, 27 March 2013

March 24, 2013

Monday morning we left the City of Fort Myers Yacht Basin and headed east up the Caloosahatchee River towards the Franklin Lock.  The river starts to narrow and become less populated as we got closer to the Franklin Lock.  The locks on the Okeechobee Waterway are operated differently from the locks we have experienced on our trip so far.  They raise or lower the water level in these locks by just opening the gate and letting the water in or out.  We have been told that it can be a tough to deal with the current if you are the boat nearest the gate when it opens.  Today we are the only boat that is in the lock, the Lockmaster left us well back on the wall away from the opening gate and with only going up 2 feet, it was a comfortable ride.

Since we left Marathon our trip has been dictated by the weather.  There has been a lot of cold fronts moving down from the north and with them high winds and waves from the north through northwest. This has forced us to move north faster then we had planned, this is about to change.  At the west end of the Franklin lock is the W.P. Franklin Campground and Marina which is operated by the Army Corps of Engineers and staffed by volunteers.  So 14 miles after leaving the City of Fort Myers Yacht Basin we tied up at a slip with water and electric for $24.00 a night ($12.00 for people over 65).  They check ID ! The Campground is really quiet and the Marina is well protected in a basin just to the north side of the park. 

Just as we tied up, one of the park volunteers showed us a 2’ baby alligator  that was living under our finger dock and told us about the 8’ mother that lived mostly on the other side of the basin.  Dave spent the rest of the week trying to get a picture of the baby (he was very skittish).  They also have some different types of shore birds here, one that made wailing sounds starting early in the morning.

Our plan was to stay a few days here before going on, but we liked it so much we stayed 7 nights. 
Time 2 Go at Franklin Campground & Marina
Different shore birds

More different shorebirds, the dark one is really noisy

2' Alligator living next to us at the dock

Turtle sat on this submerged log all week

Anne standing under a Bottlebrush Tree

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