Saturday, March 29, 2014 We were up with the alarm at 6:30 before daylight, so we could get an early start and hopefully beat the rain that was coming our way. We had 15 miles to go between Moore Haven on the west end of Lake Okeechobee and Clewiston which is south of us along the rim. Then it’s 25 miles across the lake to Port Myakka on the east end. Once the sun came up, we readied ourselves to leave the dock and enter the lock at the same time as the other 2 boats, only to find that we had to wait for a train and the train bridge to open. Foiled again!!
After waiting 60 minutes, the bridge opened and we entered Moore Haven lock at 8:45.
The skies were cloudy and it started to sprinkle while we rose in the lock 2 1/2 feet.
We left there and entered “the ditch” and headed to Clewiston. We’ve never seen the water so high in the ditch. The sandy shoulder disappeared where all the gators hung out and took over a stand of cypress trees along the bank.
We passed 5 boats from as far away as NY and RI going west as we motored at 18 mph through the ditch. We came upon a construction zone that looked pretty ominous.
As we slowed to get through the narrow passageway, we wondered what kind of a project they were undertaking.
There was construction along the southern shoreline for miles.
It was a little breezy out of the southeast, but the rain stopped and the sky started to clear in places. We arrived at the flood gates to Clewiston at 9:40, made a hard left turn, and headed northeast into Lake Okeechobee.
The water level was so high that the narrow passage into the lake was unrecognizable compared to years past.
Once into the open part of the lake, it got a little rougher. Lake Okeechobee is fairly shallow (10-13 ft.) and so even a light wind can kick up the waves. We passed 6 other boats out on the lake as we battled the waves coming at us from the stern on the starboard side (stern quartering). The waves were 2-3′ high with an occasional 4 footer thrown in for fun. Bob had to use the windshield wipers as the spray from the waves flew over us. Thank God it’s just dirty, fresh water. For awhile we were “surfing” in the waves…creating a very uneasy feeling. Bob increased our speed to 21 mph and the boat handled better in the waves. As we neared the Port Lucie lock, Bob had to work the steering wheel in a frenzy to keep us going straight into the lock. We called the St. Lucie lockmaster and asked for a “lock through”. The lockmaster told us that we didn’t have to “lock through”. We could just drive straight through to the the other side and enter the St. Lucie Canal. Woo-hoo!
Once we got into the lock, it was dead calm and we both breathed a sigh of relief. After checking the weather forecast, we altered our plans of anchoring out near the St. Lucie lock and got a slip at Indiantown Marina for the night. We only spotted one gator on our trip today and he was a small one. We arrived at Indiantown at 12:15 and took a slip at the dock. We traveled 49.1 miles today.
After tying up and getting settled, the three of us took a walk up to the office to check in. We rested awhile on their patio before returning to the boat to relax.
It rained a little in the afternoon, so we cooked an inside meal tonight. I worked a little on some writing projects I needed to do, while we sat inside with the AC and watched a little TV. It wasn’t hot outside, but it was VERY humid! The radar kept telling us that the rain was on the way, but it never really came. After dinner, we both took Auggie for a walk as darkness fell. It was nice outside, but there was more rain in the forecast tonight. We’ll see what the forecast brings before we decide where to go tomorrow.