SAILS 1990 45 Florida Bay Coaster
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Thursday, 19 December 2013
CT to FL Day 29
Fort Pierce, FL to Pahokee, FL
We had a nice evening in Fort Pierce... the adjacent park had decorated with Christmas lights and synchronized them to Christmas music... so we took a walk through the park after dinner to watch the lights and listen to the music... was very nice! We stopped on the way back at the Original Tiki Bar and enjoyed a few drinks and watched the moon rise over the Indian River.

We departed Fort Pierce at 0730 and headed south... just at sunrise... Today we planned to travel to Indiantown Marina on the St. Lucie Canal... calling them on the phone we found out they had no room... full up! so, we went to plan B... we did not have enough time to cross Lake Okeechobee before sunset... could do it in the dark but we could not make the last locking at Moore Haven at 1900. After a little research plan B was established We would take Route 2... the rim route around the lake... stopping at Pahokee, FL for the night.

We did have a few obstacles today to contend with... Roosevelt Bridge in Stuart would require and opening... St. Lucie Lock after that and the Port Mayaca Lock at the edge of the lake.

Roosevelt Bridge went smoothly with no delay for the opening... arrived and went right through. St. Lucie Lock went just as well... as we arrived the east bound boats were exiting the lock and we got a green to enter with no delay... 20 minutes later and 14.5 feet higher we were bound for the Port Mayaca Lock.

As rounded the bend just before Indiantown we noticed the Indiantown Railroad Bridge was closed... hailed them twice as we approached... normally, this bridge is open unless a train is coming... we reached the bridge and came to stop 150 feet from it... I hailed again... this time I got a reply asking how far from the bridge we were... I responded 150 feet... he replied... OH.. OK... how quickly can you go through the bridge he asked... I'll go through as fast as I can I replied... OK... there's a train coming but I'll open it if you come through quickly... OK... no problem... I moved closer to the bridge and waited... maybe 50 feet from it... it's a swing bridge and I felt as if I was pushing it around as we passed through... the bridge tender thanked me for going through so quickly... anyway, we did have some delay for this but not bad... glad he was nice enough o open and not make us wait... although, it was not 2 minutes after the bridge closed that I saw the train crossing over the bridge.

We reached the Port Mayaca Lock at around 1525 and hailed the lockmaster... no wait at all... he opened the lake side gates as we approached and we entered Lake Okeechobee with no change in water level here. The lake was nearly flat calm would of been a nice crossing but we were not going across today... we would turn to the south and head for Pahokee.

I did not enter the rim route at the lock.. instead I took a straight path from the last marker outside the lock directly to Pahokee... we entered the rim channel between markers G61 and R62... just north of the entrance to the marina.

We entered an almost empty marina... maybe 5 boats total were docked.... this is a 170 slip marina so it looked pretty sparse. Most of the boats were on two docks so we continued to the T-head of the dock that had boats on it. As we got to the T-head we noticed the boats tied on the inside of it had lines on all the available cleats... no place to tie here... we continued past and down the fairway that went to the boat ramps and tied alongside here.

Not sure what happened to the marina but it is basically, abandoned. Talking to some people on land we discovered... At one time it was the Pahokee City Marina... then it became Loggerhead Marina on Lake Okeechobee and finally it was Lake Okeechobee Resort and Marina. But the last people left summer 2013 and the city is trying to evict them from the property... but during this no one is managing the marina. It's nice marina... newer looking wooden floating docks... power still on... a shame it's not being utilized... so we will utilize it tonight.

We were docked at 1700 at N26°49.532', W080°40.096'. We traveled today for 9.25 hours covering 63.4 nautical miles averaging 6.7 knots... not a bad average considering the locks and bridges.
Posted at 6:09 PM
Wednesday, 18 December 2013
CT to FL Day 28
Sebastian, FL to Fort Pierce, FL
Even though we left late I was up before sunrise anyway... took a photo of the pre dawn sky.

We departed Sebastian this morning at 0900 and headed out the channel from the marina. Tide was slightly lower going out than coming in... We had 6.5 feet at the dock but once we turned around and headed out the depth sounder stopped working... We were not hitting the bottom but we were sure churning up some mud as we exited. Once we hit the ICW and turned south the water depth went back to 11 feet.... still not deep but much better than what we had.

We did not have a long day planned... only going to Fort Pierce where we had a certificate for a free night in the Fort Pierce City Marina. We had never been in this marina before so it will be neat to see what it's like. Any time we have stopped here in the past we have anchored near the Fort Pierce North Bridge.

We did have one neat surprise... well not really a surprise as we knew this person was heading north on a boat delivery... but we were not sure where we would cross paths... today was the day... Just south of Vero Beach we met Mike Efford who was delivering a 78' Huckins to Jacksonville. We chatted for a few minutes as we passed... neat surprise.

We arrived to the City Marina at approximately 1230 and docked at N27°27.034', W080°19.325'... we traveled for 3.5 hours covering 25 nautical miles averaging 7.1 knots.

Peter... I hope you noticed that with this blog post I enlarged the photos just for you... LOL
Posted at 1:03 PM
Tuesday, 17 December 2013
CT to FL Day 27
Cocoa, FL to Sebastian, FL
Last night we went to Ryan's Village Pizza and had some pizza... giant pizza... and boy was it good! We ate about half of what we ordered and will enjoy the rest of it as we cruise south.

We departed this morning 0745... another short day planned with our destination Fin's Marina in Sebastian, FL. I had made plans via Facebook to meet an old friend from high school. I graduated 40 years ago and I am not sure when the last time I saw him. We are suppose to have dinner with him and his wife and catch up... 40 years is a lot of catching up.... LOL

We were not sure about water depths to get into Fin's Marina... checking the cruising guides we found mixed reports of less than 2 feet to 6 feet deep channel off the ICW. I called the marina and they told me that we would have no problem.... minimum depth would be 5.5 feet.

We arrived to Fin's channel and turned west out of the ICW and slowly crept in following the channel markers... no problems... 5.5 was the lowest we saw... tied up to the T-head of a long wooden dock. The restaurant Squid Lips is located here... suppose to be very good. We won't be eating here but may go up and have a beer later.

My friend from high school was tied up this afternoon but was very thoughtful and called me and asked if we needed a car to get anything when we arrived. Very nice! We graciously accepted his offer and will be able to go the grocery to pick up some needed fresh items... produce specifically.

We are docked at N27°49.645', W080°28.216'... we traveled today for 5 hours covering 35 nautical miles averaging 7 knots.
Posted at 7:26 AM
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