We set off for a peaceful Caloosahatchee River cruise on Friday morning, the day after Thanksgiving (also known as Black Friday). Joining us were my parents (on Island Time) with my two nephews, Jack and Ryan. On board Blue Turtle was Randy, myself, Corey, Sophie, Johnny (Randy’s father) and Gerry (Randy’s uncle visiting from Taiwan). Mike and Sally from Mystique would be joining us later that day to spend the weekend.
We cruised up the Caloosahatchee River to W.P. Franklin Campground and locked through the dam and locks. My parents have visited this spot a couple of times and told us about it. It was a great experience for Randy and I to learn how to pass through a lock system. The campground was very nice and well kept and had a lot to do for the boys. My nephews and Corey had an awesome time since they had a lot of room to play, bike and fish. It was also nice to take the boat into fresh water for a change. The Caloosahatchee River is mostly brackish (salt and fresh), however, when you lock through, you enter fresh water. It was interesting to see the different wildlife around fresh water, like the birds, alligators and lily pads. From the pier, the boys fished and (Corey caught a 20″ snook) we spotted manatee in the water. The fishing was active on the fresh water side as well. The boys tried their hand at mullet fishing and after a little help from some of the natives, they were able to catch a few good ones.
I have to say this was probably the most enjoyable weekend on the boat so far. It helps that the temps were in the mid 70’s and it was sunny the whole time. This was such a different experience from hitting the beach and swimming during the Africa-like heat of the summer. During the day, the kids would entertain themselves bike riding, fishing or playing with a remote-control boat. I went for a short run and took a lot of wildlife photos. In the evenings, we’d eat dinner under the pavilion and make a bonfire to warm up to and roast marshmallows. Special thanks to Mike who brought the firewood! This trip has left Randy and I craving to cruise more often. We can’t wait to get off the docks more
Click here for some other photos of our weekend.