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Saturday, 9 April 2011
Moorehaven to Stuart
Florida to Rhode Island - Day 3
We departed from Moorehaven at 0650 and headed towards the Moorehaven Lock... we had the green light to enter the lock as we arrived and by 0655 we were secure in the lock and waiting to lock through. We had less than a foot rise and were back under way at 0705.

The lake was lower than normal and we expected to see much lower water depths than we actually saw... most of the waterway from Moorehaven Lock to the Port Mayaca Lock we saw depths of 7' to 8'... there were a few spots exiting from Clewiston and at the arrival point to Port Mayaca Lock that we saw 5.6' to 6' depths but overall the depth during the crossing was sufficient.

We arrived at the Port Mayaca Lock at 1200 and again had the green light to enter as we arrivedso we entered without any delay… by 1210 we had been lowered about 6” and were underway again.

The next lock was the St. Lucie Lock and was about 17nm ahead and on a restricted opening schedule… opening only at 1300, 1500, 1700, and 1900 hours… we wanted to make the 1500 opening if at all possible… however to do this we needed to push pretty hard… the biggest problem was the water depth… 7’ to 8’ and at this depth we had a hard time maintaining speed we needed to make the 1500 opening… according to our chartplotter we would arrive at the lock at about 1510 to 1515… with luck we would make up some of the time if the water got deeper and we could get some more speed… Luckily, we did make up a little time with a few deep stretches and the biggest saving grace was that there were boats ahead of us entering the lock and allowed us the extra few minutes we needed… entered the lock at 1505 and we were lowered 10-1/2’… at 1521 we departed the lock and were underway towards Stuart.

We arrived to an area called the Manatee Pocket and anchored at 1728… N27°09.244’, W080°11.785’… we were joined several other MTOA boats that were already anchored here… “Sea Robbin, Blue Crab, MI-TI-MO, Sea Angel, and Encore”… we all got together for a little cocktail party aboard “Sea Robbin”… the next day we would depart and proceed to the location of the MTOA Southern Rendezvous… the Hutchinson Island Marriott Marina located on the ICW just north of the Stuart Inlet… N27°12.488’, W080°11.029’.

We would be at the Marriott Marina for approximately a week for the rendezvous before continuing on our trek north for the summer.
Posted at 10:34 PM
Friday, 8 April 2011
Franklin Lock to Moorehaven (Florida to Rhode Island - Day 2
We made it back to boat from our meeting and were underway at 1425 hours. We had 3 bridges and 1 lock to pass today... Alva Bridge, Fort Denaud Swing Bridge, Labelle Bridge and the Ortona Locks... no problem at the first two bridges but we arrived at the Labelle Bridge at 1650 hours… right in the middle of the period that it is closed for opening… 1600 to 1800 hours… the bridge clearance boards were reading 24’… which was the lowest clearance at the left and right side of the bridge opening… making the clearance at the center either 27’ or 28’ due to the arch in the bridge spans… our mast has a lightning rod on it and is approximately 28’ off the water… lowered the VHF antennas and inched forward to see if we could slip under… NOPE! We were about 2-3 inches higher… so, we did not want to wait for over an hour for the bridge to open at 1800… so down to the engine room and grab some wrenches to unbolt the mask and lower it… this would drop our air draft down to 21’ and we could clear the bridge easily… 10 minutes later we under the bridge and heading towards the Ortona Lock.

We arrived at the Ortona lock at 1753 hours and did not have to wait to enter… green light as we approached… at this lock we were lifted approximately 8’ higher… at 1807 we departed from the lock and were bound for Moorehaven.

We arrived at Moorehaven at 2000 hours and docked at the Riverhouse Marina (N26°49.842’, W081°05.462’).
Posted at 8:52 PM

DELAYED (Florida to Rhode Island - Day 2)
Today we have an appointment we have to attend in Fort Myers at 1330 hours and will not be leaving the Franklin Lock docks until after this meeting. Jack Lohman a dear friend is going to pick us up at the locks with his car and take us to Fort Myers for the meeting and then bring us back afterwards. Hopefully, we will be back to SAILS by 1430 hours and get underway. We plan to make it to Moorehaven and spend the evening at the River House Marina.
Posted at 11:05 AM
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