Of Gators, Fog, Cows, and Canals

When we left Fort Myers Beach (that would be our last sight of the Gulf of Mexico), the water temperature would get to 77 degrees during the heat of the day.  The water was still aqua, there was always a gentle cooling breeze.  Our last sunset in the Gulf was absolutely beautiful.

After leaving Fort Myers and heading for the Canals, we were boarded by the US Coast Guard for a safety (and blackwater) inspection.  Absolutely professional, thorough, and friendly (they even posed for a picture after we were cleared).  They wanted to know if there were any weapons aboard (“only my spear gun for shark fishing”, says I, they were unconcerned with that).  They inspected our flares, life jackets, documentation, ID, fire extinguishers, life ring, and of course our holding tank.  They phoned our drivers license numbers in to a central data bank, making sure we weren’t on their ‘list of nasties’, then we got our photo, and they were on their way.

When we first entered the Caloosahatchee River and Canal that would lead us to Lake Okeechobee we noticed the huge homes, dirty water, and narrow channel.  It was only later, when the homes were gone that we started noticing the alligators (sidebar video).

The first night we anchored before the Franklin Lock, yep, taking this route we are not done with locks after all, we will have to go through five more, much to MB’s delight.

We noticed a lot of cows on this part of the Canal, and at one point, they stampeded.  Video is on the sidebar.  You can see the white birds fly down and get them started, almost like the birds get their amusement this way.  All the cows stopped and looked at us after we started filming, kind of spooky!

Later, after the homes, cows, horses and orange orchards were left behind, it was the swamps.  We started noticing a log floating across the canal, but it was floating the wrong way, against the current.  After a few we looked closer, and they were alligators.  Not the big ten footers, probably four to five feet long, but they were everywhere.  I’d hate to lose my prop here; there would be no swimming for repairs.

The second day we crossed Lake Okeechobee and then anchored in a canal off the canal.  We watched a gator move closer and closer to our boat out of curiosity I suppose; we were invading his hunting grounds.  I wanted to throw him a piece of meat but decided against it, leave Mother Nature alone.

The fog came in our first morning, but burnt off fairly quickly, after night two we were socked right in.  The air temp is going to around 90 in the heat of the day, mid 60’s at night.  The water temp is considerably cooler at 71 degrees.  I expect we are going to see a lot of fog from here on back to Nova Scotia in the early morning, good thing our radar is working.

We are going to spend Easter Sunday relaxing in Stuart at the mooring field, we arrived on Saturday afternoon, and we then make the turn and head home.  We have now done 122 locks, only one more in the Maritimes unless we take another side trip.

Have a great Easter everyone, we are thinking of you.

Joe & Mary Beth Amelia
S/V “Pot ‘O’ Gold”

One Response to “Of Gators, Fog, Cows, and Canals”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    AMY HERE SOUNDS A GO hey JOE WHEN YOU SEE ANOTHER SHARK TRY TO SPEIR IT. it would be nice on the wall at home!!!!! Glad your are at 70 degrees there. WE HIT 71 DEGREES TO DAY AND its SO POSE TO BE WARMER TOMORROW. WE GOT THE MONTE OUT YESTERDAY !!! WITH A LITTLE TUNING WITH THE CARBS AND SOME HIGH TEST GAS WE WERE ON OUr WAY. SMOKIN PAST CARS AND GIVING IT A LITTLE 1/4 MILE RUN. So your heading towards home. AWE I enjoyed reading your blogs Everyone that i work with knows about you and they read up also. So MB are you still blowing the cogg??? . I remember MOM and Delas, talking about Okkechobee Lake I guess its beautiful. Well keep on letting the winds blow ya. You’ll be home in no time. Whether there’s still snow on the groung or not Iwish you again happy sailing.

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