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Wednesday, 21 December 2016
CT to FL Day 28
Moore Haven, FL to Alva, Fl
We left from Moore Haven this morning at 0700 just before sunrise... however you would not know it close to sunrise... very gloomy out and a bit foggy. Our dock mates just ahead of us were also leaving... they were headed north... doing the Great Loop.

Had a slight boost from the current...evidently the Army Corp of Engineers is still releasing lake water to the west coast of Florida.

Reached Ortona Lock and had to wait about 5 minutes for the gates to open and then he dropped us really fast... 8 feet in about 10 minutes... could actually feel us dropping. Was nice but just not use to them lowering us so fast.

Several bridges today but only one we needed to open.. Fort Denaud Swing Bridge... and she was very prompt and we only waited about 5 minutes for her to open the bridge... she does have to walk from the shoerline out to the middle of the bridge so most of the wait was for her walk out...

We decided to not go that far today with our destination being Franklin Lock Park Docks... We arrived to find no other boats at the docks... even the RV park was fairly empty. We were secure at the docks with power on at 1240. Our location for the night N26°43.384', W081°41.447'. We traveled today for 5 hours and 40 minutes covering 36.2 nautical miles averaging 6.4 knots.
Posted at 4:24 PM
Tuesday, 20 December 2016
CT to FL Day 27
Stuart, FL to Moore Haven, FL
We left a little later than anticipated departing at 0715... later departure due to the anchor chain being heavily caked with mud... took a little longer to raise it and clean the chain.

Was a warm muggy day and some heavy fog for about 3 hours... could barely see the St. Lucie Lock. Just missed a westbound lock through and had to wait about 25 minutes to lock through. The fog was surprising with the way it looked at sunrise when we left.

This 25 minutes played havoc with our timeline. Our destination for the day planned as Moore Haven we had to make it to the Moore Haven Lock before it closed at 1700... after we exited the St. Lucie Lock GPS was indicating ETA to Moore Haven Lock 1649... 11 minute buffer... YIKES
and we still had the Port Myakka Lock between us and More Haven.

We got a little boost of speed from something and ran the ETA improved to 1638... the we rounded the bend just before Indiantown Marina and the Indiantown Railroad Bridge was closed... hailed them on the VHF and they said they had a train due any minute... luckily as we approached we saw the train pass over the bridge and a few minutes later the bridge started swinging open... we did not even have to slow down before the bridge and sailed right through it... luck on our side.

Our next possible delay was the Port Myakka Lock... as we approached we heard another east bound boat coming off Lake Okeechobee hail the lock... the lock gates were open on both ends and the boat was able to go straight through... we got to do the same thing when we arrived... had to slow to idle speed but no real delay... luck with us again.

We exited the lock and were out in the lake and luck was with us again... the Northeast wind was creating a current and also on our back and we zoomed across the lake at 7.0 to 7.1 knots. This improved our ETA to 1630 to Moore Haven Lock.

The only thing that was left that could delay us was the rim canal at Clewiston... there could be a current against us and slow us down to make the ETA to lock very close or possibly miss it and get stuck on the rim canal at Moore Haven.

We arrived to Clewiston and turned west into the rim canal and we had a current... but it was pushing us at over 7.5 knots... NICE! We made the Moore Haven Lock with time to spare.

We arrived to our normal location... River House Marina and pulled close to it... it was all taped off with caution tapes... looked to be in pretty rough shape... there was a sign that said they were doing renovation and still open but we opted to not dock here and backtracked 1/8 of a mile to the Moore Haven Town Docks. We were secure at the docks with power on at 1700. Our location for the night N26°49.923', W081°05.388'. We traveled today for 9 hours and 45 minutes covering 61.0 nautical miles averaging 6.3 knots. Pretty good average since this includes our wait time at the St. Lucie Lock.
Posted at 4:44 PM
Monday, 19 December 2016
CT to FL Day 26
Coca, FL to Stuart, FL
The town docks have a new sign posted which is favorable for cruisers... see photo.

Alarm went off at 0600 and I hit the snooze for 15 minutes... tired this morning... Lily woke me up at a little after 0400 wanting to go outside... I think I had just gone back to sleep when the alarm went off...

Even getting up a little later we got away for the dock at 0700 and headed back to ICW. The weather forecast was for fog and rain... low winds though. The pre dawn sky was not that great this morning. You could see the low hanging fog. WE did not get it right away but about 30 minutes later we got pea soup thick fog for about 2 hours... thankfully the sun finally burnt it away... can complain though as this was the first real foggy day we have had the entire trip.

The small boats were back out in larger numbers for a Monday... and we had a few boats pass us and we passed a few sailboats today.

Had a little trouble from a bridge tender today at the Fort Pierce North Bridge. We do not need an opening as I normally put the antennas and mast down... however, today we arrived at the bridge just as it was opening for a large boat that had just passed us heading south. I followed him through the opening and I hailed the bridge tender after we cleared the bridge to let him know and I wished him a Merry Christmas. He responded with a lecture on how I was supposed to call him on the radio when I approach asking for an opening.... it was the law he said... I replied I did not need an opening and only required 21 feet clearance... he came back with I needed more than 21 with those antennas and mast... I replied I would have lowered them if the bridge had no already been open.... he replied... Yeah sure you would of lowered them... he was way out of line in my opinion and I made a phone call to the FL DOT and filed a complaint. About an hour later I get a phone call from the district manager for the bridge asking what had happened... I explained and the manager was outraged at what the bridge tender had done and said he was going down there personally to reprimand the bridge tender and thanked me for calling in a complaint. WOW... I was shocked that I got such a quick and positive response... figured it would go no where... jus make me feel better...

We were going to anchor in Fort Pierce but I was miles past it by the time I finished my first phone call to the FL DOT so we decided to continue on to Stuart. We arrived and were anchored at 1925 just west of the Sunset Bay Marina. Our location for the night N27°11.561', W080°15.999'. We traveled today for 11 hours and 25 minutes covering 85.2 nautical miles averaging 6.9 knots.
Posted at 7:05 PM
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