Friday, November 19, 2010

Stuart FL-Clewiston, FL

Hooray! We are across Lake Okeechobee and docked at Rowland Martin Marina in Clewiston, FL.
What a day! We pulled anchor in Stuart this am and motored into the St. Lucie Canal. We had to go thru a lock in the canal that lifted our boat 13 feet above the water we had just traveled. It was scary watching all that water coming thru the doors and holding a rope to keep our boat off the lock walls. We started very low in the lock but came out very high. It is amazing how the water levels change from one body of water to another. The water was very shallow as we continued our journey down the canal but we managed to make it through and stopped at the Indian River Marina for fuel and made a call to Billy, the man who was to meet us to heel our boat over to get us thru the railroad bridge just before going across Lake Okeechobee. We had to wait to get into the marina because the docks were crowded and we also had to wait about an hour for Billy to meet us at the bridge. I felt sorry for Nelson as we were in a very narrow canal and he had to keep the boat in the middle and we had lots of wind which made it difficult. Nelson did a great job today with the boat. We never ran aground and we had many chances. When Billy arrived, he put 6 large and 2 small barrels of water on the port side of our boat to heel us over. We were really leaning and yes, we made it without any problems. When he pulled the plugs on the barrels, our port side of the boat got a real washing. It took us three and one half hours to get across the lake. It was twenty-five miles across and the water averaged 7 feet most times. But, then as we were getting closer to the end, we saw 1.2 feet. Glad it wasn’t that very often. We are thankful to have this part of the trip over and look forward to getting to Cape Coral in the next two days.

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