As I mentioned in my previous post, the day after Thanksgiving we finally got off the dock for the first time in 6 months. That was quite a long spell for us to be docked since we typically cruise a lot more often even if only getting out for the weekend. We've been so busy with work and traveling that cruising took a back seat for a while. With red tide still being in the area, we decided it best to wait until after Thanksgiving when we take our traditional trip up the Caloosahatchee River to Franklin Locks. We invited my parents along for the trip and spent a relaxing long weekend there at the docks and campground.
Our trip there took almost 6 hours going against the current. It was very pleasant weather, warm enough during the day for short sleeves but cool enough in the evening for campfires. As we approached the lock, Randy hailed them on the radio. We were told to standby and have our life jackets on. This is the first time we've ever been told to wear life vests while locking through and we had heard that they recently changed the procedures. It makes perfect sense to us, however, it sent Randy scrambling to locate our jackets in time. Once locked through, it was about time for happy hour.
The next morning, the plan was to get the boat decorated for Christmas. On the ride to Franklin Locks I informed my crew that we had to get all of our lights and decorations up over the weekend since the Fort Myers Beach Christmas Boat Parade was the following weekend. Since I've been very busy with work these days, this was my only opportunity to get the lights up in time for the following weekend. We don't participate in the parade, but we have family and friends over to watch the festivities.
It was nice to have the additional help of my parents working on the lights with me and we made great time getting them completed by lunchtime. Later in the afternoon, Randy's Dad and April came for a visit and we sat out on the grass by the river and chatted and had drinks. After they left it was dinner and bon fire time.
On Sunday, our plan was to have no plan. We relaxed and enjoyed the great weather. We noticed how empty the park had gotten and joked that perhaps we missed a major news headline about a hurricane or bombing. We'd never seen the park this empty after Thanksgiving. Typically, you need to book months in advance to get a camp site and weeks in advance for a boat slip. I was surprised that our favorite slip was available when I booked less than a week out. Perhaps folks were more interested in Black Friday but we enjoyed having the park mostly to ourselves.
The next morning, it was time to cruise home. First up, was the locks and then from there it was smooth cruising. We made it home in a little over 5 hours, much faster than our trip there. It felt so good to get off the dock and we are looking forward to another adventure after Christmas.