On March 19th, we departed Banana River Marina heading to Fort Myers where we will cross our wake from last season as we we headed south to the Keys. Woo Hoo! We are very excited to finally complete our goal to transit the entire Intercoastal Waterway of Florida propelled by nothing but sunshine!
During the next couple days we anchored at South Patrick Shores, behind a spoils island at Grant, Sabastian Inlet, Vero Beach, at the jetty of the Harbor Branch Foundation in Ft. Pierce, Jenson Beach, a water filtering facility in the Okeechobee Waterway and then a neat little hurricane hole 3 miles short of the Port Mayaca Lock.
March 29th, we crossed Lake Okeechobee with no problem. The lake was rough and we had a stiff headwind and chop against us for the first half of the day but the sun was shining bright which gave us the juice to power through. We cruised all day from 10:30 am to 8:30 pm when we dropped anchor at Clewiston. The next morning we decided to check out Roland Martins Fish Camp and went there for breakfast. Nothing fancy for sure, but pretty good food.
We continued on with LaBelle as our next destination.
Scenes from this leg of the journey.
There was a sailboat regatta getting ready to start as we passed through
the Indian River in Melbourne.
The spoils island at Grant
The dolphins were tagging along at Sabastian Inlet
Sitting on the stern enjoying a beautiful sunset while waiting for the chicken to cook.
Playing around with the camera.
Certainly not ideal weather for solar cruising but fortunately we were able to complete 5 miles on the batteries before being forced to stop early.
The sky didn't look much better the next morning but we forged on to Jenson Beach.
The next couple pictures show how we must maneuver the Arc to compensate when fighting either strong current or winds. Even though we look like we are heading toward the port side, we actually are moving straight ahead. It must be a little disconcerting for approaching boats who might think we are heading toward them! We were in just such a situation as we were approaching this bridge.
Our anchorage at Branch Harbor Foundation
Some young crewers on the St. Lucie River
A beautiful sunset along the Okeechobee Waterway
Some derelict boats along the way have been here for years.
The bridge tender opening the bridge as we hurried through because a train was on it's way.
Heavy rains were predicted so we ducked into this neat hurricane hidey hole the Captain found using satellite imagery (Google maps).
The skies looked bad and it did rain on us but not too bad.
The wind pushed us up against the side but it was not a problem.
I'm rockin' the tie dye and flames this day! LOL
The guillotine bridge just before the Port Mayaca Lock.
We departed to cross Lake Okeechobee just as soon as the batteries were charged.
Heading into the lock....
and departing the lock.
It was a choppy ride and Radar stayed in his tee pee for most of this crossing.
Day markers have many uses.....
The landscape as you begin to enter Clewiston.
We arrived in Clewiston as sunset. It was a good passage.