Indiantown to Stuart

Monday, March 31, 2014 We woke to sunny skies, but a crisp 48 degrees! Brrr! The winds had calmed off from yesterday and our 15 mile ride today would be glass calm in the St. Lucie canal to the St. Lucie Lock. We donned our sweatpants (and socks) for the ride this morning until the sun warmed things up. We untied the lines at 8:30 and were on our way. We reached the lock at 10:00, but had to wait for the well to fill before we could lock through.

We waited alongside the few docks and campground there at St. Lucie where we had camped last year in our travel trailer.

Finally, the green light flashed and we locked through with a 13 foot drop to the St. Lucie River on the other side.

When the gates finally opened, there was another boat waiting on the other side. We exited and continued down the canal.

We passed a sportfish going the other direction who radioed to tell us that up ahead there were surveyors in the water and we needed to slow down. We did as we passed them and then returned to cruise speed (18 mph) again. It was another 9 miles to Stuart and 13 more to the ICW along the ocean. We motored slowly past American Custom Yachts where 2 new sportfish yachts were sitting out front.

Usually, there are many big yachts being worked on in the building, but the yard looked pretty empty. As we neared Stuart, the river became a “slow speed–minimum wake” zone due to manatees and lots of boats tied to docks. We left the St. Lucie Canal and entered the South Fork of the St. Lucie River which brought us into the main body of the river itself and the continuation of the Okeechobee Waterway. We gassed up at Sunset Bay Marina and had to wait for the Roosevelt Bridge to open.

The girl at the gas dock said it was crazy windy in Stuart yesterday so we were glad that we made the decision to stay in Indiantown last night. From there we could cruise on the wide St. Lucie River to Manatee Pocket where we would spend the night and have our Freedom Boat Lift repaired. We cruised along the shoreline in Stuart and caught sight of the magnificent house. What a sight!

Just before we turned into Manatee Pocket (a bay in the river), we looked out at Stuart Inlet as 3 boats headed out to the ocean that way. It looked pretty calm out there today.

We arrived at Pirate’s Cove Marina at 12:30 and tied up for the night.

Bob called Davis and Davis to let them know where we were. They said they would be able to drop by in a couple of hours. While we were having some lunch, we spotted this unusual vehicle going by. It looked like it was part jet ski and part car! 

Later, we took Auggie for a walk to find out where Bob could buy some oil and filters to do an oil change for the new motors. We’re coming up on the 50 hour mark which is required by the warranty. We were told we could buy what we needed by easily taking our dinghy around the corner to Phil’s Motor Repair Shop. Davis and Davis arrived around 3:00 and spent an hour installing a new remote control unit for the hydraulic lift so the lift would go up and down. They are such a great father-son team. After they left, we dinghied over to Phil’s for the parts we needed.

On the way back, we spotted this pelican sleeping, perched on the rail of a boat. How they can sleep balanced like that is beyond me!

We got back to the boat, cleaned up, and walked to the Pirate’s Loft dockside restaurant for dinner.

We shared nachos and a bowl of she-crab soup. It was a creamy blend of crab in a cheesy cream base. Yum–my! Back at the boat I worked on my blog and relaxed a little before taking Auggie for his evening walk. The temperature cooled off as the sun went down. It would be very comfortable sleeping tonight. Bob will work on changing the oil in the morning for a couple of hours before we leave Stuart and head south on the ICW to Hobe Sound to anchor out.

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