Boat Traffic Jam

Wednesday March 7th 2018

The latest cold front passed through the area last night. This is the southern end of the same storm system that is represented by a major snow event in the Northeast. The passing of the front was heralded by rain showers. It started raining lightly off an on over night and finally cleared off late in the morning. The remainder of the day was partly sunny and breezy.

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This Anhinga seems to be in the same place every day.

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Great White Egret

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Ugly fish.

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Little Blue Heron.

I spent the day enjoying life at the campground. The primary entertainment was a traffic jam of boats needing to pass through the lock. The Army Corp of Engineers was trying to deal with a wasp problem at the lock. They had an exterminator in to deal with the problem, but needed to close the lock periodically so the guys with the insecticide could get to the area with the hives. They even had a boat in the water to reach the areas in and around the lock at the water level.

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Boats waiting for the lock to open after the bug inspection.

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Jamming the boats into the lock eight at a time.

In the middle of all this a group of nine boats traveling together arrived at the lock. They were returning to the east coast from a week at Captiva Island in the Gulf west of Fort Meyers. The line handling skill of the people on the boats varied from capable to novice. The lock master had to coach them carefully. It gets tight in the lock when they squeeze eight boats into a single lift. Not only did it take additional time to get all the boats in and ready for the lift, I think they also filled the lock slower to produce less current. Clearing the backlog of fourteen east bound boats took a couple of hours.

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Fancy top of the line boat coming into the lock fast.  Smaller and older boat from Maine follows it in. 

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Slowing down with very noisy thrusters from a remote location on the upper deck.

West bound traffic only backed up one or two boats at a time. One pair of boats was an interesting contrast. The first was a big relatively new top of the line boat. The captain came in fast then started to “play” with his boat’s thruster motors to slow and move to the side walls to tie off. It was very loud and took a long time. The second boat in was a much older boat from Maine. It came in slowly, eased up to the wall and the captain and his wife grabbed the waiting lines and tied them off. The guy in the big new boat up front was still tweaking his position with his thrusters while his line handlers tried not to get yanked overboard. I guess boating is just like RVing. It takes all kinds.

In between watching boats passing through the locks and walking around the campground, I worked on making more travel plans. I managed to reserve four nights at Jetty park in Port Canaveral in the second half of April. The weekends are all booked so I’m staying from Monday the sixteenth to Friday. That’s one of the places I wanted to visit before heading north. Once I had that reservation, I filled in the time after my April 5th departure from the west coast of Florida with a stay in the Kissimmee area. Unfortunately it is still considered spring break in the resort area so rates are high. I also continued to work on my summer travel plans.

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Tonight’s sunset in the cloudy sky.

 

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