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Meraki On The Move

By Allie Cantonis
Posted on 2/27/2018 5:58 PM

          We approached the lock with some trepidation as Jim had never been through one before on a boat of which he had control, and I had never been through one on a boat bigger than 19’!  One of our resources in preparing for this trip has been reading The Great Loop Experience” by Captain George and Patricia Hospodar.  They have a whole chapter devoted to locking.  So, we studied and we had the book with us at the helm prior to entering our first lock (we were scheduled to do 2 today).  One of the things you do is to notify the lockmaster that you would like to go through the lock.  When you receive permission to enter, they literally give you a green light.  After getting the green light on the first one, we told the lockmaster we were newbies.  We had all our stuff . . . the life jackets, the headsets, the boat hooks, etc.  He walked us through it and we came through swimmingly (not literally, thank goodness).  We rose 3 feet.  Later on, we went through another and rose 8 feet.  So, we are 11 feet taller at the end of today.  We had docktails with Gold Loopers later in the day told us that these were “trainer” locks, and that we would get to locks that had 85 foot drops (or climbs)!!  They gave us some good advice (they had completed their first loop in 2013) which we have “banked” for future reference.  Here is a picture of Jim handling the stern line at our first lock:

And here is the lock in our rear view mirror

          Here is the kind of things we saw during our 5 hour journey:



Luckily, this has not yet happened to us . . .

and we are in a little bit better shape than this guy . . .

This is us and this is much of the scenery we saw today and the state of the river as we saw it.  Mostly calm and mostly straight as the eye could see.  Other than having to wait an hour at the second lock, uneventful.

At the end of our day, we docked at the city docks at Moore Haven, just shy of Lake Okeechobee (“Lake O”) and had lunch at what can only be called a “dive”.  Literally everyone in the place (there were only 7 of us, not including the waitress) was smoking.  Neither of us could remember the last time we had been someplace where everyone was smoking.  We got a kick out of this sign, however, and the burger was pretty tasty.  The note on the baby Fireballs says "$2.50 each Take Home Not for Here."
Tomorrow, Indiantown on the other side of Lake O.

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