Wednesday, May 18, 2011

May 18 - We have arrived

We departed the dock at 10am to make the 1pm lock opening.  It was 17 miles away and at 5 knots, it would be close.  There were two drawbridges along the way and they take extra time.  The trip along the way was peaceful. We saw orange groves, cattle, horses, manatee, a variety of birds and even a snake swimming along.

The swing bridge was pretty cool.  The operator opened the bridge quickly for us and we motored through.

The other draw bridge was a regular bridge and the bridge tender opened it right up as well.  So both bridges with minimal delay. 
The Franklin lock, they did eastbound traffic first which meant our side didn't actually open until about 1:30.  We did make it in plenty of time had it been 1pm on our side.  Hats off to all the bridge and lock tenders and linesmen we have encounted along the way.  They have all been prompt, professional, helpful and friendly.  These people really know their jobs and how to take care of the boat traffic.

After going through the lock, we proceeded down the river to Bob's house.  Bob is a fellow Gemini owner whose boat is currently in Virginia and he offered the use of his dock to us while we were in the area.  We chatted with Bob for awhile and made plans to meet with Jim and Deb, other fellow Gemini owners in the morning for brunch.  Jim and Deb have their own website here.  They have been cruising on their Gemini for years. We look forward to hearing their tales and hopefully learning from their experiences.  Bob loaned us his car for a run into town and Beth was craving proper sweet tea so we went in search of McDonalds and we both got an extra large. Beth had a Big Mac meal and I opted for KFC for dinner.  We also picked up a new battery for the camera.  Tomorrow we will do brunch and hang out on the boat.  Friday we will head over to Sanibel when Richard comes down.

So, after 18 days we arrived at our first "destination".  We have had a blast and hope you have enjoyed the trip along with us.  We don't plan on departing until after the holiday so Blog entries may not be daily so be sure to click follow so you will know when we post.

All is well.

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