There was a bit of a learning curve for the lock system even though we had done our homework. Some locks are open on the even hours, some on the odd hours, meaning if you miss the opening you may have to wait 2hrs which in turn shifts your whole schedule with the domino effect of missing the following lock's opening. It was added pressure we didn't need.
Franklin Lock - It was so exciting and nerve racking to reach our first lock. We had to maneuver the bumpers a bit to keep from banging the sides, the lock tender was super helpful and patient with us. We got situated and then experienced the magic of the lock :) Pretty cool to watch the water spill in and us move on our way down the channel.
|Passing a tug to enter Franklin Lock|
|Exiting Franklin Lock|
Ortona Lock - By the second lock we were pros!
|Moore Haven city docks. Railway bridge and lock are just around the bend|
I couldn't believe it - all the rushing and efforts to make the 3pm lock now foiled by a bridge that never closes closing! But God had mercy on us and although it was agonizing to watch it inch closed, the truck cross (not even a train) and it eek back open, we made it!
|Moore Haven Lock|
We were excited for this leg of the trip. Reaching the lake, knowing the next lock was wide open for us to continue on our way, and we would only have the final lock the next morning before reaching the Atlantic, we were over half way! It was good sailing on the lake, everyone was doing well aboard.
It is on this final stretch of the waterway that we approach the dreaded 49' railway bridge, the lowest point we will ever need to cross and it is in conjunction with another bridge. It makes for a very tense half hour and I wouldn't recommend passing in the dark but we were not to be deterred. We passed with only our antenna binging the top (our mast measures 46' -too close for comfort). Everyone was on alert as we traveled the channel at night. No issues and we arrived at the park just west of the St Lucie Lock around midnight. There was much debate as to whether we should dock at the very shallow park or motor back a ways to the nearest marina. Andrew insisted and got his way, mostly because he was at the helm and otherwise out voted by Dylan and I, but successfully and safely backed us into a slip. The park was very nice with RV parking and facilities. We slept well and were ready to head out when the lock opened at 7am.
|St Lucie Lock in the background|