As usual, our cruise plans for the spring/summer had changed during the winter. Instead of crossing Florida to go up the east coast, we decided to re-cross the Gulf and reverse our fall route to go up to the Ohio River. We'll hang a right on the Ohio and cruise up to Pittsburgh. At least that's the plan. We had spent the winter with Randy and Barb (Lazy Dolphin) again and they decided they were also ready for something different. Since the idea had been inspired by Fred and Linda (Young America), we mentioned it to them and they jumped on it too. Although to say that we'll be traveling together is a bit of a stretch, we'll at least see each other off and on and will stay in contact to trade information about what we find along the way. As Joe learned once he started researching the route, not too many people make this trip in our size boat so information about services along the way has been limited.
The following day Randy and Barb stopped at Fort Walton to visit her parents for a couple weeks while Joe and cruised on to Gulf Breeze. Fred and Linda were not yet with us as they were starting from the east coast of Florida. We anchored again that night and the next morning moved up our canal to dock behind our house. Our tenant had again given us permission to use our dock. (Thanks, Jeff!)
The mission here was to redistribute some of our belongings from Joe's sisters house into our storage unit. The second order of business became a trip to the doctor for me as the cold seemed to be turning into bronchitis - no big surprise there.
The final lock on this waterway is the Whitten Lock with an 84' lift. The other 11 we'd been through ranged from 25 to 40 feet. It's quite impressive to be in that big cavern all alone!
So the first stage of the trip is complete. Now we'll be cruising on the Tennessee River - one of our favorite places - on our way to the Ohio River.
There are more pictures on the picasa site: http://picasaweb.google.com/joseph.pica