FL to CT Day 4
Owl Creek Boat Works to Moore Haven, FL
We spent that last 12 days at the boat yard… bottom job… used a new product on the market… Eco-Clad… it’s new and time will tell how good it is.
Today we departed from the Owl Creek Boat Works at approximately 0730…. About an hour before low tide and it was very shallow exiting… depth sounder was at 5.0 feet and flashed “LAST” all the way back out to the Okeechobee Waterway (Caloosahatchee River)… a turn to port and we were on our way back at what appears to be faster than normal cruising speed for the RPM… but it could be that it’s just been so long since we had a nice smooth bottom… but it was nice to be moving at 7 knots and well under cruising RPM.
The weather was great for the most part… bright and sunny all morning and becoming partly cloudy in the afternoon with the winds picking up… had 10 to 22 knot winds out of the NE most of the afternoon.
There was quite a bit of boat traffic out… it is Saturday so I expect more than during the week but this area is not a huge weekend boater area… except for the fishermen… but we did see a lot of larger boats moving in both directions.
Several obstacles during the day… 3 bridges and 2 locks… Franklin Lock went smoothly and we locked through about 0830 rising approximately 2.5 feet… total of 23 minutes from arrival point to exit. Alva Bridge was next and little to no wait… same with Labelle Bridge… can’t say the same for the Fort Denaud Swing Bridge. I started hailing the bridge tender at about 1/2 out and did so several times… finally arriving at the bridge dead stop before he answered. Then they have to walk out from the shore to the center of the bridge to operate the swing… The bridge tender was… well being nice… walked very slowly. We did make it through but it was a good 15 minute wait. Ortona Lock was our last obstacle and we arrived and did wait here quite a while… the lock chamber had been used last for east bound traffic so he had to lower the water level in the chamber… 8 feet… so this took some time… we had one other boat waiting with us by the time the we got the green light to enter the chamber. We were both in the chamber and secured when I heard a sailboat also east bound hail the lock asking if he could hold it open for them… they were just 9 minutes away… well the nine minute wait was closer to 20 minutes by the time the sailboat was in and secure. We were also joined in the lock by two small 20 foot runabouts for a total of 5 boats locking through. Then we had an 8 foot rise… and with the smaller boats moving to the front of the lock I think it caused the lockmaster to let the water in more slowly than normal…. Anyway, 46 minutes after arriving we were exiting the lock continuing eastward.
We were not going far today with our evening destination being Moore Haven. We arrived to the Riverhouse Marina and were securely docked at 1445. Our location for the evening…. N26°49.860’, W081°05.446’. We traveled for 7.25 hours covering 40.2 nm. I figured our average moving speed was 6.51 knots. I removed just over an hour of time that we sat waiting for or in the locks.