CT to FL Day 31
Stuart, FL to Moore Haven, FL
We departed just before sunrise this morning from Stuart City Docks at 0645 and headed west on the Okeechobee Waterway. A few minutes away we reached the Roosevelt Bridge. It is side-by-side with a high rise bridge and a railroad bridge.
The railroad bridge is automated and closes when a train is approaching and this morning as we approached the railroad bridge was closing. We reached the bridges at 0655 and we waited 35 minutes for not one train but two trains to pass before railroad bridge opened and the Roosevelt Bridge opened for us to pass.
We would of taken this as a sign that the day was going to be much longer than planned.
Next obstacle of the day was the St.Lucie Lock. I hailed the lock 15 minutes before arrival to let them know we were approaching and gave them our ETA
We arrived and instead of the lock being ready for west bound traffic he replied to my hails on the radio it would be about 15 minutes and to watch for the green light to enter. Another delay. We entered the lock at 0845 and it seemed to take much longer than I had remembered. 30 minutes after entering we exited with the lock raising us 14 feet.
This is normally all we have to deal with till we reach the other side of Lake Okeechobee. Today this was not the case. We reached Indiantown Railroad Bridge to find it closed. Hailing the bridge we were told a train was coming and we would get an opening as soon the train passed. Another train... YIKES! 20 minutes later the train passes and we again heading west with our ETA to our destination getting later and later.
Thinking we were home free at this point we hit another obstacle. The Port Mayaka Lock gates were closed when we approached. The past few years this lock has been open and you just proceed through slowly with no delay. I hailed the lock and he said he would prepare the chamber and would hail us when we could enter. 10 minutes pass and we start to see the gates open and they are opening very very slowly. Another 10 minutes and we get the hail to enter. the gates take another 10 minutes to close behind us and another 15 minutes before the gates in front of us open for us to exit and proceed on to Lake Okeechobee.
Forecast for the lake was NW winds 10-15 knots and a light chop. This was very accurate wind speed but the seas were not really choppy at all. The 3 hour ride across the lake was very pleasant. Sun shinning and just enough wave to know we were on a boat. The type of waves that would easily rock you to sleep.
Quite a bit of boat traffic today going both directions but mostly east bound traffic is what we saw. Primarily sport fish type boats and only a couple of cruisers. There are a couple of power cats ahead of us but moving much faster so as soon as they passed they were soon out of sight.
We got lucky with the Moore Haven Lock and were able to enter the lock with no delay at all and were through in 15 minutes. We had to have some luck today. We arrived to our destination at Riverhouse Marina at 1745 and had a tremendous show in the sky as the sunset kept getting more and more beautiful. Our location for the night N26°49.863’, W081°05.438’
. We traveled today for 11 hours covering 62.4 nautical miles averaging 5.8 knots.
After docking we discovered that there is a Christmas festival taking place at the park directly adjacent to docks and they are going to have fireworks tonight. Our luck did change.
Posted at 5:25 PM
CT to FL Day 30
Cocoa, FL to Stuart, FL
We had a great dinner at Ryan's Village Pizza and brought enough home with us to eat pizza for the next 3 days. Susan was able to go by her favorite shop and buy her replacement bamboo sheets.
We had another boat join us at the dock about an hour after dark. A 42 foot Krogen. It was a light turquoise hull... I forget the name of the boat now. The people on board were very nice and they had a friend for Beecha to meet.
We hit the sack early not really tired from a long day but tired due to eating too much pizza....
We woke about 0600. Susan took Beecha for her morning walk and I prepared SAILS to depart. We departed at 0715 and heads south on the ICW destination planned as Fort Pierce.
We were lucky and had favorable current with us and arrived earlier than anticipated to Fort Pierce so a change in plans and on to Stuart.
The sunset at 1730 and we had approximately 2 hours to go. A photo of the skyline an hour after sunset.
We arrived to the Stuart Town Docks in the dark at 1915. Our location for the night N27°12.135', W080°15.218'. We traveled today for 12 hours covering 84.2 nautical miles averaging 7.0 knots.
Posted at 6:43 PM
CT to FL Day 29
New Smyrna Beach, FL to Cocoa, FL
We spent a stupendous evening with Peter and Charlotte Behr in Cocoa at their home for dinner. Had surprise with Ron Barringer picking us up at the dock and joining us for a couple of cocktails. Sorry we missed seeing his wife Mary, but she was on grandchild duty... :)
We departed at 0830 and had planned to cruise to Titusville today and stay at the Titusville Marina. We had won a free night's dockage and wanted to utilize it. The certificate had expired in May 2014 shortly after we had won it but we had called the marina in April explaining we were heading north and already past Titusville when we won the free night. They told us no problem that they would honor the certificate on our return trip south.
Well, that didn't happen... we called this morning and made a reservation for the night and told them we had a gift certificate for a free night. Not a problem we were told. An hour later our cell phone rings with the marina manager giving us the third degree about the gift certificate.... he was very confrontational and bottom line was they were not going to honor the free night gift certificate. Very Sad! we had never stayed here and were looking forward to checking it out. After the way the manager dealt with us we will most likely never stay at Titusville Marina.
We then changed our plans and continued on to one of our favorite destinations.... Cocoa, FL. We arrived at were securely docked at town dock at 1445 at N28°21.294', W080°43.324'
. We traveled today for 6.25 hours covering 45 nautical miles averaging 7.2 knots.
Posted at 2:00 PM