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DECEMBER 11 Fort Pierce City Marina, Fort Pierce
We left Melbourne around 7:30 and had a peaceful ride along the ICW
We had several 65 foot fixed bridges and one 26 foot bridge. We
stayed behind a very slow catamaran since we knew the bridge would
have to open for him. With our 25 1/2 foot clearance we didn't want to
have the bridge attendant not open for us. We arrived at the marina
early enough to visit with Margie and Larry, then met up with Ellen and
Roy from "Our Turn" who we met along the loop last year. We all went
over to the food vendors they had set up, band playing, and craft
dealers. It was good to have some activity after traveling so long.
DECEMBER 12 Day at Fort Pierce
We decided to stay an extra day. We were really tired from long days traveling. The weather turned
windy in the early evening and got progressively worse. I wound up sleeping on the couch in the salon
because the bow was bouncing around too much and noisy from the waves hitting. Our slip is close to the
opening of the channel, and with an east wind, the water was piling in very hard.
We checked out the Farmer's Market at opening time at 8:00. I thought Lily would have loved going
with all the people and dogs, but she didn't like the noise and confusion of people and things blowing all
over from the 30 MPH winds. I brought her back to the boat, and Jim and I walked around looking at
all the GREAT food...pastries, bread, ribs, and also the fruits, vegetables, and plants. I bought some
herbal tea, honey, a sticky bun, and some fresh OJ.
Our Nordic Tug friends on "Quest", from CT, Mary and Duane, and their Goldens, pulled into the marina
in the afternoon and docked a few slips from us. It was great to see them! We went out to dinner at
Yellowtails, a restaurant a few blocks from the marina, then walked back to the dock area to watch
the boat parade. There was more action north of the bridge, but several boats came by who docked at
this marina. I wish I had brought my camera, and as usual, thought it was in my bag, but I left it on
the table. The wind calmed down a little, but is still blowing pretty hard, and the waves in the marina
are still rocking the boat more than is comfortable for sleeping. We plan to head out tomorrow for
Indiantown on the St. Lucie River which is the beginning of our crossing to the west coast.
Pictures of the Farmer's Market at Ft. Pierce Jim buying veggies!
DECEMBER 13 Indiantown Marina, Indiantown ( Okeechobee Waterway )
We got underway from Ft. Pierce Marina at 7:20. The wind had died down to 15-20 MPH, and there was
a moderate chop in the ICW. We turned into the St. Lucie River and continued passed Stuart to the St.
Lucie Canal. We had to do one lock, the St. Lucie Lock, which raised us 13 feet. We continued on along
the canal looking for alligators, but didn't see a single one. We arrived at Indiantown around 1:30 and
tied up at the face wall. It's the same spot we had when we came through here last February. It's a
quaint little marina. A Grand Banks, "Grande Finale" left Ft. Pierce the same time we did and followed us
along the way. They are tied up behind us and will be leaving with us tomorrow morning VERY early to
head to Moore Haven which is on the west side of Lake Okeechobee where we will tie up at the city dock
wall where we docked the last time. We hope to get a spot there since you can't make reservations. The
forecast is light chop on the lake, so we hope to have a good crossing. We have no TV here, so it's an
early to bed night and an early wake up to head out!
DECEMBER 14 Moore Haven City Dock
We got underway from Indiantown at 7:00 sharp along with our new boating friends, Karen and Jerry,
aboard "Grande Finale". We hit a patch of fog on the St. Lucie Canal just as we left, but it only lasted
20 minutes and we still could see both sides of the canal and enough water in front of us to stay in the
middle. There was a beautiful sunrise through the mist. The Port Mayaca Lock was open, so we were
able to drive right through. Lake Okeechobee has about 3 inches of chop with an occasional 5 inches, and
VERY SMOOTH! We crossed in about 2 1/2 hours and turned north along the rim route to Moore Haven.
I counted 8 alligators, but it was hard to get pictures because they are black and blend in with their
surroundings. My camera has a delayed "snap", and by the time I click the picture, we are past the
alligator! The scenery became very desolate and much like the Everglades until we reached Moore Haven.
Moore Haven is a cute little town with a fantastic fixed dock, just the right height to walk off the pilot
house. The town runs the dock and only charges $1.00 a foot, no tax, and no charge for electric. We
called out for a pizza delivery, Karen made a salad, and we ate on Golden Lily. It was a beautiful sunset!
DECEMBER 15 Fort Myers, FL WE'RE ON THE WEST COAST!!!!
We left Moore Haven with "Grande Finale" at 7:00. It was a peaceful ride, sunny day, and very warm.
The scenery changed from the everglades to cattle grazing, orange groves, and finally beautiful houses
with docks out front. We arrived at Legacy Harbour Marina around 1:30. Jim walked to the grocery
store and I took a short nap. When he returned, we took a walk over to the municipal marina 1/2 mile
next door. We saw up Bonnie and Bruce from "Phantom of the Aqua" who we met while doing the Great
Loop as they live on their boat at that marina. We stopped to see Karen and Jerry, and decided to go
to Joe's Crab Shack at the end of our dock for dinner. They have the best crab cakes! I did a load of
wash on the boat, hung the clothes up to dry on my clothes line in the pilot house, and hit the couch to
December 16 7:30 AM - dense fog! We left Ft. Myers when the fog lifted, around 8:00. We are finally
on our last day of the southbound trip to Burnt Store Marina, 51 miles to go! It was a nice ride as when
the sun came out, the water turned a pretty aqua color. When we made the turn into Charlotte Harbor,
the waves were about 3 feet from the 12 mile fetch, and we took them on our port side for a short
time, then finally headed into them. Lily started to pant and shake. She has never done this before, but
I think maybe from the ride on the Atlantic last spring when it was rough, she is anticipating a bad ride.
She finally settled in, and as we got closer, the waves went down to less than 1 foot.
We arrived and stopped at the fuel dock to take on fuel and pump out. Graham and Rita Ebel greeted us!
After we settled in, we went over to Graham and Rita's for dinner. It's good to be settled for 2
DECEMBER 17 DAYS AT BURNT STORE MARINA, PUNTA GORDA, FLORIDA
This morning we went to Home Depot and I picked up another Norfolk pine tree with ornaments. I bought
a little one last year, and by the end of the fall, it had grown over 2 1/2 feet and was too large and
spread out to take back on the boat for the trip. I has a happy home with my friend, Barbara back in
CT. So now I have a new one, and will enjoy watching it grow tall! We also stopped to get Lily some
treats at the local pet shop.
In the evening we went with the Ebel's to Pine Island to hear one of Rita's favorite authors talk about
his new book. We sat outside by the porch of an Old Florida Variety Store that had Christmas lights and
lanterns. After that we went next door to "Woody's", a popular local restaurant where they had a group
playing...violin, banjo, bass...country and mountain music.
White pelicans as we entered the channel
to Burnt Store Marina
Entrance to the marina.