3-15-2014: Anchored out in the beautiful, clear blue water by Manjack Cay, Abaco, Bahamas

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Wednesday and Thursday, March 9 and 10, 2011

On Wednesday we had the bridge opened right out side of Moore Haven and we were on our way by 07:50.  We followed the Caloosahatchee Canal close to the lake shore for about 14 miles to Clewiston.  Since we were not going into town we did not have to go through the Clewiston Lock so by 09:20 we took a left and started cross Lake Okeechobee.  What a ride that was.  We had to be very careful to stay between both the red and green marker; both in front and in back of the boat.  It was very windy and 3'+ waves.  The Port Mayaca Lock is right on the other side of the lake and it was pretty tricky putting the fenders out in those waves and then the lock only went down about 2"s.  We followed the St. Lucie Canal about 13 miles  to Indiantown Marina for the night.  It was a very nice and friendly marina but after all that wind and stress from crossing the lake it was an early to bed for the both of us.
Sun rise 3/8/2011

View from our bow at
Moore Haven Town Dock

View from our stern at
Moore Haven Town Dock
Sail boat tied up to dolphins;
front tied to one dolphin and
back to the next dolphin

Thursday we left  at 07:45 to try to get ahead of the storm that was coming.  We only had 23 miles to travel to Stuart today.  Only problem was we forgot that the St. Lucie Lock was only opening every 2 hours on the odd hour so we got ahead of ourselves.  We went slow but we still had an hour to wait before the lock opened at 11:00 so we tied up the the "dolphins" just before the lock and waited.  So far the weather was holding;  it was sunny to partly cloudy and 74 degrees.  Just when we entered the lock a thunder storm hit with lots of wind so we had another interesting time in a lock; which is kind of par for the course for me.  We went down 15' and by the time I got back into the boat I was soaked and had to change clothes.  My boat shoes were so wet I had to dump the water out of them.  The last 12 miles to Sunset Bay Marina was rain and thunder but we managed.  This is another very nice marina that I would definitely recommend.  I saw my first jelly fish today at Mile 11.

Met this barge in the middle of
Lake Okeechobee; it's carrying a large,
new, boat hull
Keith can't figure out how these sail boats
with a 10' draft can get down a river
that only has a 6' depth

Very crowded marina
This is the narrow exit from the marina

This old "Woody" probably hasn't
left the slip in 5 years +; at one time
it was a beautiful yacht

The "Woody" is still being lived aboard
and is in there so tight they would have
to move at least 10 boats to get it out

The Indiantown Marina has a kitchenette, a lounge with
2 flat screen TVs, and a large social area outside for
get together's and party's-pictured at night

CO's comments:  Arriving at the fuel dock it was raining, wind was blowing the boat away from the dock, the XO finally got a line onto a cleat and I was keeping the stern into the dock but the XO could not get off the boat to secure the lines.  I asked the XO to come up on the bridge and use the engines to keep the stern against the dock while I jumped off and secured the stern to the dock.  I think after a few more months of maneuvering the boat, I'll be out of a job.

N27 12.038
W80 15.673

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

We had a beautiful day to travel on the water; mid 80's and sunny.  We went through our first lock today since November 9, 2010, the Coffeeville Lock in Alabama. This makes a total of 47 lock so far on our trip.  This lock was opened manually.  The Lock Master just opened the doors a little and let water flow in.  When it reached the proper level; 2 1/2', he finished opening the doors and we left.  This is the first lock we have seen like this.  We had a short day (15.1 miles) and got here about 11:00.  We took a walk and saw a huge alligator; at first in the water by the camp, and on our way back he was up on land sunning himself.  He had to be at least 6 feet long.  Keith washed the boat and we just enjoyed the rest of the afternoon.

CO's comments:  We were tied up at this neat little campground.  In comes a sailboat that was at least 36' in length.  He was coming into the dock like a "bat out of hell".  He finally realizing he was coming too fast, and he put his little motor into full reverse to no avail.  He ran the bow of his boat completely on shore (beached it).  It is a good thing the ground was mostly mud and small rocks or he could have done some damage to his boat.  (Deep down, I think he would rather have a "go fast" than a sailboat!-personal opinion only)

N26 43.390
W81 41.456

Franklin Lock Corp of Engineers Campground

Dolphins (free tie ups) at the campground

Alligator at the campground

Awesome tree
Alligator sunning himself

Monday, March 7, 2011

Monday, March 7, 2011

Time to move on.  We have enjoyed our stay at Fort Myers.  The marina is in the heart of the historic downtown area, the people at the marina are very nice, and it is close to public transportation.  We would definitely recommend it to those traveling the Okeechobee Waterway.

We had lunch with Dave and Pat and said our good-byes.  We want the thank them again for everything they did for us during our stay.  It was great to see them again.

This past weekend there was a huge fund raiser for the Olympics down on the water front.  The Prince of Monao was here on his yacht (couldn't get close enough to get a picture).  Evidently, the Prince used to be an Olympian and is still involved in helping them raise money.  The downtown area was very busy.

The Fort Myers Yacht Basin was constructed as a Works Progress Administration (W.P.A.) project to provide employment during the Great Depression.  Construction began on January 1, 1937, and completed in 1939, with a cost of $435,000.  During the late 1800's and early 1900's Fort Myers was the home of several steamship companies including the Menge Brothers Steamboat Line, the Kinzie Brothers Steamer Line, and the Fort Myers Steamboat Company.  The Pleasure Pier built in 1927 was part of a $300,000 recreation center which included a swimming pool, horseshoes, and a dance floor.  In 1943, the need arose for a USOC Center for G.I.s stationed at Buckingham Gunnery School and Page Field and the building was barged to its present location at the corner of Edwards Drive and Hendry Street.

Pat and Dave
(previous owners of our boat)
Hooters Patrol Yacht
(here for the festivities this past weekend)

Edison Bridge-we walked it
every morning we were here
Our last Fort Myers sunset
(at least for a while)