Punta Gorda and Okeechobee Waterway to Fort Pierce
We got underway from Burnt Store Marina at 0900 along with Rita and
Graham who took the ride to Fort Myers with us. It was hard to leave
after spending 2 enjoyable and restful months. It was peaceful, and
quiet, and we met so many new people. We especially enjoyed the people
on our dock aboard...Sanctuary, Muggins, Explorer, Lynne Ann, and Sea
It was a very windy day, and Charlotte Harbor was extremely choppy.
We were taking the waves off our port beam, but when we got to the
intracoastal after 12 miles, it was a nice ride in aqua colored water.
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PICTURES TO ENLARGE FOR
A pod of 6 dolphins greeted us in Charlotte Harbor. My camera battery was still in the charger, and I
didn't want to miss the show. They swam for over 5 minutes next to our starboard side. One dolphin
continuously jumped at least 6 feet in the air, flipped, and turned before slapping into the water. it was
GREAT and kind of a send off for us.There were quite a few areas where we had to slow up for several
miles in a manatee area. Many of the large fast boats do not have any consideration for anyone and
plowed past us, leaving a huge wake. This is not fun if you are in the middle of making lunch with the
mayo, mustard, and food on the counter OR if you are in the head. We arrived at Legacy Harbor Marina
around 3:00 and settled in. We gave hugs to Graham and Rita and hope they can drive to Fort Pierce in
a few weeks to visit with us there. Istaboa and Emery El, boats we met along the way north are here,
as well as Loose Stones, another boat with a dog, a beautiful yellow lab, Daisy May. We have kept in
touch about boating with dogs, and we were glad to have finally met them.
The people on the dock had a get together at 5:00. We stayed for awhile, then went to "Joe's Crab
Shack" for dinner. Jim had an assortment of shrimp: parmesean, coconut, and panko crusted. I had a
snow crab bucket with potatoes and corn.
We were supposed to leave here today 12 miles east on the Caloosahatchee River through the Franklin
Lock, but the winds are 20 MPH, gusting to 25. We decided to stay the extra day here as planned, the
head out tomorrow for 60 miles to Moore Haven. A cold front is moving in, and we still will have winds
tomorrow, but they should be decreasing in the afternoon. We will just have a longer day tomorrow,
however, it's really nice here. Jim's off to the farmers' market then to the grocery store. They are
having a carry in supper at the tiki hut here tonight. This is a very friendly marina.
Graham and Rita Our new door decoration Island and inlet to the Gulf Useppa Island
Cabbage Key View from our boat at Legacy Joe's Crab Shack Condo view from our cockpit
Fort Myers Bridge
In spite of the 20 MPH winds and chilly temperatures since a cold front moved over the area, we got
underway at 0700 just as the sun peeked over the tree line, heading to the Okeechobee Waterway, a
138 mile trip to the east coast. With the north wind, Golden Lily just cut through the moderate chop
which became flat about 5 miles up the Caloosahatchee River. Most of the beginning of the trip was in a
manatee zone, so we had to travel at idle speed. The Franklin Lock, our first lock, had a lift of 3 feet
which was a piece of cake compared to the 80 foot locks we had on the rivers. Our journey was quite
pretty as we passed beautiful homes, orange groves, and field where cattle were grazing. Our next lock,
the Ortona Lock, had a lift of 7 feet, another piece of cake I thought. However, the hanging lines were
stiff and thick, and I needed to somehow wrap it around the cleat. I'm glad we have large cleats
because the boat would have turned around in the lock with the pull of the current as the lock filled.
Instead of filling the lock from underneath, they open the other side and let the water pour in! The rest
of the trip along the canal became more of a ditch, but still very pretty landscape and very relaxing.
We reached our destination of Moore Haven around 2:30, a total of 60 miles and tied up at the city
dock which can hold about 4 boats, is wide and has rubber stripping along the pilings. The ramp goes up to
a grassy area with picnic tables. It's really kind of quaint. The town is small, and a good place to tie up
for the night. We still haven't seen any alligators. I think it's too cold for them to be out today. Lake
Okeechobee forecast is winds 5-10 with lake waters light chop. We hope!!!
|< Ft. Myers >
< An orange grove
|Another shot of Ft.
Myers in the
< Scene from our bow
Our boat on the
It's hard to believe
we are in the middle
It was chilly sleeping at the dock at Moore Haven since we keep the windows in the stateroom. We just
pile on the blankets! The alarm went off at 0600 and we were underway by 0730. We had to wait for
the railroad bridge near the dock to open. The ride along the west rim route was pretty desolate, yet full
of wild life...vultures, herons, black birds, and eagles, however, no alligators were to be seen. I think the
temperatures were too cold for them to come out. When we reached Clewiston, we made a left turn into
the mile long channel that took us to the open water of Lake Okeechobee. The weather forecast was
WRONG! The wind was NOT 5-10 MPH and the seas were not a slight chop! It was more like 20 MPH
winds and 2-3 foot chop! Of course, our tug, cut right through waves on our bow, although we did take
water on our windows. We had about 5 miles of a beam sea before we made the final turn northeast to
Makaya which is a town on the east side of the lake.
We drove right through the lock as it was open on both ends. This part of the trip was 20 miles to
Indiantown, a quaint old Florida type marina. Although we had not seen any alligators along our trip here,
we were excited to see one right across from our boat when we docked. It has been sunning itself the
entire afternoon, and I hear it's a permanent resident.
The marina had a free barbecue with chicken and pork. Everyone just had to bring a dish to share.
Tomorrow we head for Fort Pierce where we will spend about 10 days.
Dock at Moore Haven Our boat position on L. Okeechobee Our position in Indiantown Scene on the west rim
Scenes along the west rim route before we entered Lake Okeechoebee Sugar cane burning
Seagulls followed our boat Mayaka Lock Indiantown Marina Our first alligator
for several miles
Golden Lily at Indiantown Patio at Indiantown