Saturday, January 23, 2010

Bird Island

We have a little island off our port side that I wanted to show you. During the day it is just an empty little spit of an island. At dusk all types of water birds gather and squawk at each other all through the night. At dawn it's like they all know when breakfast is ready and leave at the same time. Nature is so cool. Wish they would keep their voices down at night.
Aurora and Tide Hiker are on their first leg of the Okeechobee crossing today and will catch up to us tomorrow afternoon.

September Song (keep it down over there) out

This is what it looks like during the day

This is what it looks like at dusk
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Thursday, January 21, 2010

A thing of beauty

We left for the West Coast Wednesday morning, but not before one last party with some of our DeFever cruising friends. It has been fun and we all hate to see the rendezvous come to an end. Oh, wait, we don't have to let it end. Aurora, Tide Hiker, and Sea Pearl are going to catch up with us in a few days and we are all going to cruise the West Coast of Florida. (I said cruise, not bar hop)
Our trip up the St. Lucie River, across Lake Okeechobee, and then down the Caloosahatchee water way was absolutely fabulous. Most people don't realize that Lake Okeechobee is the second largest fresh water lake in the US. (it's a BIG lake) It also allows you to cut across the state by boat starting at Stuart on the East Coast and ending at Ft. Myers on the West Coast. We saw an amazing display of wild life and what Florida was like many years ago on our trip across. It was a beautiful 130 miles to where we will hold up here at the Franklin Lock State Park for a few days while everyone catches up to us.
I hope you enjoy all the pictures as much as we enjoyed our trip across.

September Song (Nature is beautiful) out

Last party before we left on Wednesday at Tide Hiker's dock. Great party Norm and Vickie.

Everyone had a good time and no one fell in. (well, not that I know of)

Julia says "things are looking up!"
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Norm, what's that in your ear? You didn't!

So whose ear is that? Are you sure it's on the correct side?
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I don't know what they call these, but they aren't big enough to sit in, so you kneel in them

106 miles to W. P. Franklin lock our stopping point Thursday to wait for the others to catch up

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Birds welcoming us to Lake Okeechobee

Looking out at the lake from the lock as we exit into the lake

Lake Okeechobee is the second largest fresh water lake in the US. It's always nice to have a calm day to cross

A boat that didn't make it across. The whole lake isn't more than 15 feet deep in any spot
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We don't know what this is on the lake, but we think it's the drain plug. Don't pull it now!

We spent the night tied between two barge dolphins in the middle of nature. this is the one at the bow

This is our stern dolphin. I wish I had a picture of September Song between the two

Just before sunset this crazy guy in an air boat comes whizzing by between us and the shore so close I could read what it said on his hat. (It said crazy red neck!)
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Freeze damage to the palm trees from that cold front you Northerners sent down

Horse farms

Cattle farms

White heron
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Cormorant drying his wings

Blue Heron

Osprey screeching at us as we pass

Blue heron
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A white and a brown egret fishing the shore

I have never seen so many birds
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Birds fishing along the shore of the lake

Hundreds of birds of every kind call this area home

A pair of bald eagles looking for their next meal
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Coming into the Ortona locks on the Okeechobee water way

September Songs line handler, Admiral Stephanie

Sugar cane fields that go on forever

Bee hives to pollinate the crops
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If it floats, they live on it

It has a little sag in the middle, but they still call it home

You needed to see this one to appreciate it. I think everything they own and then some is on this boat

It doesn't have to float to live in it
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