The St. Lucie Lock is the first lock out of five you must go through when you cross Lake Okeechobee to get to Florida's western side. The water rises about 8 feet in this lock. To make the water rise the lock master just cracks the lock gates a little bit. The water comes in. Your boat rises. You drive out. Seems pretty simple, huh? The lines are even provided for you. All you have to do is keep pulling in and tightening them up as your boat rises. Well it would be that easy if the beast weighed less than 125,000 pounds! I pulled the stern line as hard as I could and still couldn't keep Valkyrie against the wall with the force of the water and the wind. Seriously my arms felt like I had just spent an hour with a personal trainer at the gym. Finally Don took pity on me and came to the rear and used our thrusters to move the stern in closer so I could tighten up on the line. Now to sign up for a gym membership!!!
Just found these pictures of all the Navy ships in Norfolk. It is amazing how close you are when you motor past them and how many ships are docked here. Of course they have a floating fence and a patrol boat keeping our military vessels safe. I love the name of the hospital ship, Comfort. It is my favorite.
While heading up the waterway just before the Haulover Bridge Canal, something caught our eye.
I jumped up and grabbed the binoculars. It was indeed a pink bird. The only pink birds I know of are flamingoes. And I have never seen them in the wild, only in a zoo. So just what kind of bird was this???
Turns out they were Roseate Spoonbills!! And not just one or two that had secretly escaped from a zoo. There were lots of them on two tiny islands!! At first I thought they were flamingoes, a common Florida tourist mistake. In fact I wrote that they were flamingoes. Guess that puts me in the total Florida Tourist category. But thanks to a comment you can read below, I learned something new today!!!
Without a doubt my favorite bridge on the ICW is Daytona Memorial Bridge. It is a 65 foot bridge which means we can go under the bridge without waiting for it to open. But that isn't why I like it. The wrought iron railings, street lamps and tiled mosaics on the pillars make it as pretty as a postcard!