|…the Okeechobee planning begins…|
We plan to cross the state of Florida using the Okeechobee Waterway from Stuart, FL, to Fort Meyers, FL, taking us directly across the 2nd largest body of water completely enclosed by US territory, Lake Okeechobee! This waterway leads from the AICW to OWW to the GICW. That is the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway to the Okeechobee Waterway to the Gulf Coast Intracoastal Waterway. These waterways are really fun to transit and a way to explore the interesting towns and locations along the way. Our goal is to sail over to the west coast of Florida and up into the Sarasota / Bradenton area to see good friends and to learn about a place we have yet to visit, Palmetto, Florida.
We are learning about the Okeechobee Waterway and here are some facts:
- 28 Bridges, 8 which will need to open for us
- 5 Locks, lifting us up 15 feet to the level of Lake Okeechobee and then down to sea level
- 154 statute miles long
- Interesting towns of: Indiantown, Clewiston, and La Belle
- The Army Corp of Engineers manages the waterway, locks, bridges and the lake level
|Port Mayaca Railroad Lift Bridge, 49 feet+|
Our draft (depth is 4.5 feet) We will take Route #1 which goes directly across the middle of the lake. Route #2 is longer and follows the perimeter of the lake to the south side.
|Radar, Tuesday as we wait out the storms|
So, we are waiting here at Stuart, Florida, on a mooring ball, until the thunderstorms die down. We do not want to get into the Okeechobee Waterway OR the Lake and have to deal with a severe Florida thunderstorm which usually has HAIL and very high winds. We may be able to go Wednesday, Thursday or Friday.
|We still wait….radar WED….the big ones are coming…|
|Thursday AM….we are ready to depart! WAIT….severe thunderstorm on our route…
errrrrr…..so we wait. Maybe we can run that gap. We will see