Blue Turtle Cruising

MLK weekend trip to Franklin Locks

Cruising to Franklin Lock and Dam is one of our favorite spots to visit in the winter here in Florida. So, last weekend we took Blue Turtle and crew + 2 (my parents) there to take advantage of the long weekend for Martin Luther King’s birthday.  My parents used to live-aboard a 38′ Marine Trader and two years ago they cruised the Great Loop. This was their first cruise since selling their trawler and joining the world of land-lubbers. We were happy to have them aboard along with their 2 pups, Cody and Cailee.

Randy, Corey, Gina and Steve (my parents)
Sophie and Miss Cailee

We couldn’t have asked for more perfect weather for the weekend. Our cruise there was a little windy but pleasant and we arrived at the lock around 4:45pm. When we hailed the lock operator over the radio, we were told that the last lock of the day was at 4:30pm. We thought we had until 5pm and never thought we might not make it through before it closed. Luckily, she was kind enough to let us and another boat pass through even though it was after hours. If we hadn’t been able to make it through we would have had to drop anchor for the night and wait until morning. Thankfully, we got through and into our slip that evening in time for happy hour, some dinner and great bonfire.

The men in my life <3
One of the bridges we passed
I had a pile of puppies snuggled with me during the trip
Approaching the lock
Corey and my father handle the lines in the lock
Leaving the lock
Blue Turtle docked in her slip
This is the beautiful campground for the boat slips
Getting ready to gather for the camp fire
Sunset at Franklin Locks

The next couple days were spent relaxing and enjoying the wonderful weather. My mother and I got to spend quality time talking and knitting while the boys went fishing at the lock pier and my father helped Randy troubleshoot our generator issue. Corey and I went on a long walk outside the park and go to see the usual farm animals in the surrounding areas. We loved the miniature horses and llamas we saw and the mommy and baby calf. It was cool to see the farms and animals since it’s definitely not what we usually see on the beach. My parents had Looper friends who were supposed to stay a night at Franklin Locks that weekend who were unable to make it to their slip in time. They were passing through Franklin Locks on their way to Fort Myers and since they couldn’t stay a night, they pulled into the slip next to us to visit for about an hour. We got to meet Becky and Mark and see their gorgeous Ocean Alexander trawler, MaraBeel.

Franklin Lock and Dam
View of the lock
Gorgeous fall leaves (we don’t get that down here much)
Fishing pier at the lock
Randy and Corey trying to catch some snook
Corey entertains himself by skim boarding down a hill
View of our campground area
Randy, Corey and my Dad on the dock
Beautiful MaraBeel comes in for a visit
Miniature horse we saw on our walk
Donkeys in the same pen as the mini horse
Corey greets the animals
Sweet little calf and his mama
My Dad, Randy and a neighbor take a look at the leaky fuel pump from our generator

Corey was a little bummed out because my nephews, Jack and Ryan, were unable to come on the trip since we really didn’t have room for them on the boat. My nephews used to stay with my parents on their boat or camper in past trips to the locks. So we invited them out for our last day and night and figured out a way to squeeze them into the Blue Turtle. My sister brought the boys out and stayed a while before heading home and the boys all enjoyed each other’s company and running around the campground.  It made for an interesting night since that was the most we ever slept on Blue Turtle—4 adults, 3 kids and 3 dogs! The boys all camped out in the main salon on air mattresses and the couch.

We met a few other cruisers staying in the slips and each night we all gathered around the bon fire and enjoyed some live music played by Corey, my father and a fellow slip neighbor. Of course, I had to bring s’mores for everyone and the boys kept the fire going so we could roast marshmallows.

Randy and Corey take a dinghy ride before the boys arrive
Randy, my parents and my sister
My 3 boys getting so tall a grown up
Goofing off with Corey’s skim board
The boys getting their camp fire started
Selfie with Blue Turtle
Corey plays his guitar for us around the camp fire
Good times around the camp fire with new friends

When it was time to head home our last day, Corey took the helm of Blue Turtle and guided her out of the campground slip and into the lock. He did a great job of keeping the boat straight and steady while randy and my nephew, Jack, took the lines. He guided us out of the lock and drove for a while before handing Blue Turtle over to Randy.  We had a lovely cruise home and it was great to spend time with my parents and nephews. We are always looking forward to our next trip there.

Corey takes the helm to pull Blue Turtle out of her slip
Cody, Sophie and Cailee ready for the trip back home
Leaving our slip and campsite
Jack helps keep Blue Turtle straight in the lock
Captain Randy helping with the lines for a change
My Mother on the bow with the dogs
Corey guides us out of the lock
Leaving the lock behind for our trip back to Fort Myers Beach
Ryan relaxes on a dock box on the way home

1 thought on “MLK weekend trip to Franklin Locks”

  1. Nice trip!!! One of my most favorite spots and memories of a few years ago! Great spot. One comment on the photo captions, Kim. Shouldn’t the selfie read “Selfie with Blue Turtle and Mom.”?


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