DECEMBER FIRST

Hi all. well, we finally made it to the west coast of FL. 2 days after leaving Stewart we have arrived. And what a journey it was. There are 5 locks between the east and west coast along many waterways, starting with Okeechobee Canal. You cannot imagine me hooking up to what they refer to as dolphins. They are actually 5 or 6 telephone poles driven into the water bed with kleets (where you tie up the rope) attached. Now, these kleets are in the most precarious places. Nothing easy and you have to loop the tie rope in a big circle and try to lasso the kleet. Then very quickly you have to grab the end of the rope and tie that up to the kleet on the boat. Think you’re done, NOT you have to do it all over again a the other end of the boat. So you have aft and bow tied up to the dolphin. Sounds like a foreign language, huh, well imagine doing it and at night at that. Not to mention going through the locks. Went through locks in Holland, however, I was relaxing in a beautiful lounge chatting with other passengers. This time I was working the ropes. Again, you go into this big box on the water with ropes hanging off the sides. You get your hook and then reach for the ropes. Very carefully you bring this rope to you and tie it up to the kleet on the boat. You guessed it got to catch the other end so off you go to do it again. Don’t think there’s any one at the locks to help you, you’re on your own. Then the water either fills up of drains down. When you see the gates open you get off the ropes and off you go. Never in a million years could I have imagined myself doing anything even close to this. But, got to admit it’s been stimulating. Do I look forward to doing it again never, once is more then enough. Most of the waterway going across is desolate, but, there are some beautiful properties in the middle of nowhere. Last night we found this darling little marina and here we are about 15 miles from Fort Myers. Spending 2 nights here to clean up the boat from all the bugs along the canals. Tomorrow we will head up the gulf of mexico. So excited to make this trip. This is the first for us and the NOMAD in the gulf. Beautiful day today but must get on with moping and glowing, washing cloths and cooking a good supper. Love to all.

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