Sunday, October 3, 2010

September 28 Home at last


at 2:14 PM September 28, 2010

Arriving at the no wake zone of the little jetties.

Entering Chicopit Bay

Our dock waiting for us in the distance

One more turn and Kids Again will be resting on her lift.

One final Great Loop photo of Captain John, First Mate Vicky and Admiral Cutter

Home at last

Rick and Eileen greeted us on our arrival

Suzie helped us pack the boat at the beginning and greeted us at the dock

Jack and Sammie were glad to have us home.

There's no place like home.

Our 157 day Trip covered 5734 miles with maximum speed of 23.2 knots in the swift currents of the St. Lawrence and an average speed of 10.2 knots. We transversed over 150 locks with a maximum water change of 87 feet and a minimum of 2 inches. We traveled through 16 States and 2 Canadian Provinces. Saw cities, towns, villages, lock walls and anchorages that most boaters only dream of. But the best part was the kindness and generosity of the people we encountered and the friends we made.

This life changing experience started as a trip, became an adventure, and transformed into an Odyssey. These visions and experiences will live in our minds forever.
Thanks to all who shared our trip through this journal.

Sept 26-27 Vero to Jacksonville

Couldn't help but snap the mosaics on the pillars of the bridge.
The Indian River has many islands to stop and spend the day
We stopped in Cocoa Beach and visited with Nancy and Bill Spalding, friends from when we lived in Titusville in the late 1960's
Bill did a fine job of Piloting Kids Again
The haze and rain did not stop us as we passed NASA's Vehicle Assembly Building
on our final leg home
Ponce Inlet lighthouse
The cadmium red and orange lit the sky over Palm Coast on our final night of the trip
We really thought the bridge of lions would be completed by now

Misty rain reminded us how fortunate we were to have such great weather on the whole trip
Castillo de San Marco

Excitement started to mount as we saw the Butler Blvd bridge in the distance,
knowing home is less than 12 miles away.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Sept 23 -24 Ft. Pierce to Vero Beach

The truck advertising Ft. Pierce marina's tiki bar blended well with John
The marina is a 2 block walk from downtown
Public art was everywhere. The mosaic benches lined the downtown streets

Looks like he's headed to the rose.
Manatees are not a boaters favorite, because the beauracrates think they can read the "Manatee Zone -Slow Speed " signs and only swim in the right areas.
But I guess they can paint

We arrived at Loggerhead Marina in Vero Beach.
Our favortie daughter, Linda and favorite son-in law Chris, and their family joined us Saturday night.
The grandchildren enjoyed the pool.

John , Linda and Chris watched the FSU game in the captains lounge and listened to the Gator game on the internet.

Sept 22- The Okeechobee Waterway

The trip through the lake was quiet. Lots of sugarcane growing everywhere.
For miles, and since we travel at 10 to 12 miles an hour, HOURS, nothing but blue skies and blue water

We were fortunate that the Lake was so peaceful and our travels around the loop were not delayed by the weather. We were reading in the Looper news, others Great Loop travelers could only boat on Lake Michigan 4 days of the last 16 because that's when the seas were only 3 -5 foot.

The channel was like this for hours and you can get lulled to not keeping a close eye out

you look and see a cow's head in the water in front of the boat. I screamed stop and naturally by the time I got my camera she had started to move from her morning swim.

Our very last lock of the trip.
We spent the night at the State park adjoining the lock.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

September 19-20 Crossing Florida Okeechobee Waterway- Clewiston

Since we have been to the Keys many times, we took the short route home
The Okechobee Waterway.
This means 5 more locks. I think we know the drill by now.We had been looking forward to revisiting Rialto Harbor Docks. Each dockage has its own individual garden area.After checking in at the office we took off to tour the 12 acre estate.
A quick dip in the heated pool
and we were off to see the horses.

the grass is always greener.
for my abstract inspiration files

The owners of the marina/yacht brokerage raise carriage horses

and chickens
We continued along the rim route of Lake Okeechobee rather than going directly through the center. I guess the view is better or could it be the 15 mph winds?
We passed a few more interisting sights along the way

When we arrived in Clewiston at Roland Martin Marina the wildlife appeared.
below the dock is the head of an alligator that was swimming in the evening sun
But as every good photographer knows, turn around and there is a better picture waiting.

I am glad to say these were all taken from the bridge of Kids Again.