Fort Myers to Moore Haven

We left Fort Myers from our anchorage near a power plant. There were supposed to be manatees in the area, but we did not see any. Birds were starting to fly into our area as the sun rose, but we saw few birds on our long trip along the Caloosahatchee River. We had to pass through two locks, so we got our first lock experience. It was more intimidating anticipating it than it turned out to be. You bring the boat in, grab two of the lines hanging from the side, tie up, wait for the water to rise, and you are on your way. At the second lock, we saw an otter on the shore. Cute as could be.

Franklin Lock.

We came across a bunch of cows removing the vegetation from the water with a bunch of cattle egrets (aptly named) perching on their backs. They were likely looking for insects. That was the only concentration of birds we saw after lifting anchor.

Cattle eating the vegetation in the river accompanied by cattle egrets.

I was able to snag a slip in the only marina that had one since we left Sarasota. It is the most interesting dock set up we have had so far. I do not know how Regis maneuvered us in. We chased the resident alligator away with our approach and he has been swimming around the boat keeping a wary eye on us.

The only slip we were able to snag since Sarasota. It was the first time I stepped on land in 3 days.
We have intruded upon this alligator’s territory. Poor thing. We will leave him be early tomorrow.

I placed an instacart order for groceries upon our arrival and found out after the gentleman purchased the food already that he was 1.5 hours away from us. I cannot believe the guy was willing to come that far to deliver about $55 worth of groceries. It would have been more if the store had the items we wanted.

Crucially, the order contained two bottles of champagne. During our travels, I have been reading The Practical Mariner’s Book of Knowledge by John Vigor and read the part about changing the name of a boat. It is bad luck not to do so in the proper way. It is essential to have one ceremony to remove the old name and a different ceremony to give it the new name and they both require a bottle of champagne. Regis has put me in charge of making sure the ceremony is conducted properly. I am feeling a lot of pressure. For those interested, I quote the part entitled “Name, Changing of”.

“It’s not unlucky to change the name of a boat, provided certain rules are followed, including the holding of Vigor’s little-known interdenominational de-naming ceremony.

“The first requirement is to remove the old name (Linda: I left this paragraph out.)

“Concoct your own ceremony, to be performed with or without spectators. Make it short, sweet, and simple. The elements of the ceremony are twofold: a supplication and a libation. Address directly the gods of the wind (Aeolus), sea (Neptune), and others you want, (Linda: Is there a god of motors?) and ask them to strike from their records the old name of the boat. Mention the name. Then pray their indulgence in extending their goodwill and protection to the vessel in her new name, which will be revealed in a separate naming ceremony to come. Do not mention the new name.

“Then, without further words, pour a libation of champagne, the best you can afford, over the bows. Be generous. You may drink some yourself and offer some to guests, if any, but don’t be mean with the gods’ portion or you’ll regret it. And unless you’re absolutely bent on self-destruction, don’t use a cheap substitute for real champagne. Remember, the champagne represents the blood sacrifice of the ancients. It saves you from having to slaughter your favorite virgin, so don’t stint on the price. (Linda: I bought the only champagne available in this remote, foreign land of central Florida.)

“Immediately thereafter, or at any interval to suit yourself, you may conduct a normal naming ceremony as if she were a brand-new vessel. And yes, since blood sacrifice is no longer encouraged or even tolerated, you do need another, fresh bottle of champagne. Real champagne.

“I have changed the name of a boat in this way with great success, and I can recommend Vigor’s interdenominational de-naming ceremony to all without hesitation.”

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