Saturday, April 11, 2009
I need to back up and tell you about our trip yesterday afternoon coming up the Lake Okeechobee Canal. We saw over one hundred alligators in the water, and on the banks. Some of them were very large. No, they did not seem to care that we were in the boat and looking at them. I also took quite a few pictures when I thought we could get a good one. Several crossed the canal in front of the boat. We also saw some beautiful birds and ducks. Some were making some unusual sounds. It was definitely like nothing we had seen before on our trip. It was much like dinosaur land as the trees had no tops and their branches were missing from fires last year while the lake was dried up. Sounded like the rain forest with all the bird and duck noises. We did not see manatee or otters as we had hope. Thank goodness, no alligators tried to come aboard. And we never even wanted to get in the water. We had some very shallow water most of the trip; therefore, we had to keep watch of the water level all the way down until we docked at Roland and Martin Marina.
Hey, we made it across the Okeechobee Lake today with out any problems. We did not get to leave as early as we planned because of the heavy fog this morning. We left the Roland and Martin Marina around 8:30, but it was still quite foggy. By the time we reached the Lake entrance, the fog was beginning to lift some. We used our running lights all morning. The sun popped out about 10:30 and boy did it get hot in a hurry. We had a beautiful day to be on the water. We had some shallow water but most all day it was at least six feet. Only when larger boats had to pass us did we worry about the
We came through only two locks today that had to be locked before we could go through. There were two others that were open and we motored right through. After the last lock, we had to have our boat bent over to make it through a railroad bridge that was only 49 feet tall. A man named Billy, takes his motor boat and carries blue plastic water drums that he sits on the port side of the boat and then fills them with creek water to heel the boat over enough to carry lit under the bridge. He used eight barrels on our boat to get us heeled over enough to get us through the bridge. He did a good job, but we had to pay him $175.00 for his services. We could not have gone across the lake if he had not been there to help us and the other boat with us. Another interesting obstacle!
We did not see many alligators on the lake this morning, but saw a very large water moccasin right beside the boat just as we come into the large Lake. Naturally, I did not have my camera ready and did not get his picture. We saw only one or two alligators after we left the railroad bridge this afternoon. We motored only nine more miles down the canal until we arrived at Indiantown Marina where we are spending the night. They had a pot luck dinner so, I cooked some green beans and we went to the dinner. They had cooked some hams on the grill and others like us took a bowl of something to go with the ham. We enjoyed the dinner and also getting to know our buddy boat for the day friends, Russ and Callie. Billy bent their boat first and then ours. We took pictures of their boat and then they waited and took pictures of our boat being bent over to go under the bridge.
I will post the pictures when I get the pictures of today’s adventure from them. I am tried of typing and it is my bedtime. I will try to do a better job of posting our adventures further up north. We plan to get to Stuart tomorrow. Take care.
Nelson & Ondra