We awoke as early as we ever have as some of us are anxious to have the trip end in the next few days. That said, the marina at “Sunset Bay” in Stuart was one of our finest places to stay. Tonight, not so much.....
Red sky at morning....
Fabulous weather in Stuart as we shoved off at 0738 for our almost nine hour voyage through Lake Okeechobee today. Just south of Stuart we entered the St. Lucie Canal and went from one ditch to another!
|St. Lucie Lock|
up about 13'
The lock systems were pretty cool, one taking us up about 13 feet and the other two (for today), less.
|Opening the gate|
|Tending the rise|
|Port Mayaca Lock, leading into Lake Okeechobee|
Lake Okeechobee was a body of water that is not warm and fuzzy, one that doesn’t really draw me back. First of all, the water's edge is vague and obscure. The wind was blowing hard, gusting to 20, but fortunately from the east (with us).
|Perhaps they thought we were a fishing vessel??|
In addition, it was overcast, and spitting rain. One of the few runs where some seamanship mattered. Okeechobee is the second largest fresh body of water in America and most of it is about 10 feet deep. Went through some marsh to get to the canal on the west side of the Lake.
That’s where we entered the Caloosahatchee Canal. Another ten miles or so, and one more lock, this time a few feet down, we got to our slip for the night in The Glades. This is a "hidden marina", complete with rv park, golf course, cafe and complimentary golf cart. Laura, who lives on a houseboat nearby, ran us over to LaBelle to grab a bite and brought us back. A wonderful cross-section of America.
The plan is to depart around dawn and get to the first “downward” lock shortly after it opens. If all goes well, we can make Naples, our ultimate destination, by tomorrow night.........