Sunday, November 13, 2016

11/13 More Pictures of St. Lucie Locks & Campground

This is such a pleasant place to stay, even without the boats going by and the locks.  There is always something to look at on a river, especially because there are so many birds and interesting animals and plants here in Florida.  And there is nothing like a palm tree or two!  Here is my rig, here on the left.  I have managed to get this prime spot right on the river for each of the three times I have been here.

And here are only a few of the interesting boats that have gone by.  Most have waited right near my spot while the locks were ready for them to enter.

I have no idea what this is, but it looked like a couple of barges, each being pushed by some kind of tug boat.  As a whole, I think they might have had trouble fitting in the locks, but maybe not.  I did not walk down to see.

To get to the lock viewing area, you have to walk up the road and then into this fenced-in area.

This is looking downstream where the water level is about 15' lower.

And this is looking upstream with the lock doors open, towards Lake Okeechobee, where the water level is higher.

And the dam, of course.  You can walk across it to a picnic area on the other side.

I saw a bunch of boats go by but could not get to the lock in time to watch them enter.  There were a total of seven boats--six small fishing boats and one small pleasure boat. I imagine the fishing boats were headed to the Atlantic.

The upstream lock doors are closing. 

Once the doors close, they let you walk out on them.  Makes a good place to watch the water level go down.

The water is almost level with the lower river now.

And they are all gone!

You can see the fishing boats heading off in a group downriver.

This map shows the shortcut from Port St. Lucie on the Atlantic to Fort Myers on the Gulf.  The red arrow shows where we are now.  After a few days at Sebastian Inlet, I will be headed to the blue arrow--WP Franklin locks and dam.  And then later in December, I will be at Ortona South Locks and Dam, shown by the yellow arrow.  All have very nice U.S. Army Corps of Engineering campgrounds.

And this is the rear end of a gopher tortoise.  I accidently scared it and it hid in its burrow.  The next couple of photos show either its burrows or those of a friend.  These are big tortoises, by the way. They stand about 7" tall and are at least a foot long. This one just did not like visitors.

This is the only campground I have ever been to where they have free firewood.  And you can see another burrow here.

The locks close at 4:30 pm, and if you miss it, you have to wait for tomorrow.  Here are four fishing boats that tied up together on the river for the night.  They will be gone at 7:30 am when the locks open again.  They apparently all know each other because they were shouting across about what so-and-so had for dinner. 


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