Published: May 5th 2011May 4th 2011
St. Lucie Lock
3 boats entered ahead of us
Tuesday morning we were out of the marina at 7:25 feeling good that we could make the 30 miles to St. Lucie Lock by 1:00. Except that it isn’t 30 miles, but more like 37 miles, a slight miscalculation. But luckily the currents were with us and no trains stopped us and we arrived at the lock at 12:20. It didn’t occur to us that the 1:00 opening would start with the eastbound traffic, but it did, so we didn’t enter the lock until 1:30. Once in the lock, the lockmaster dropped ropes to us which we pulled tighter as the water lifted the boats maybe 13’, which took what seemed like forever. It was 2:00 when we left the lock, but that 30 minutes did include four boats entering one at a time and each having 2 lines dropped to them, then exiting one at a time at the top. The lockmaster warned us as we entered the lock that there was a manatee in the lock. Actually there were 4 manatees in the lock and they really seemed to enjoy the movement of the water as it entered and left the lock. By the way, they lower the water
in St. Lucie Canal
by opening the downstream gate a little and raise the water by opening the upstream gate. How’s that for economy.
From the lock it was 14 miles to Indiantown Marina where we stayed the night. A nice big turtle came around begging for his supper, but was not impressed with salad. He did like cheetos, but I thought they might not be too healthy for him. He loved the stale bread I dropped him, but so did the catfish. They tried to suck the bread out of his mouth, he had to tuck his head in to escape them. Big cats they were, too.
This morning we were out early and arrived at Port Mayaca Lock at 9:45 for the 3” lift into Lake Okeechobee. That’s right, three INCHES. Neither Kerry nor I had seen the lake, even though we both grew up in Miami and had passed the levee around the lake dozens of times. It took us a little over 3 hours to cross the lake, and we only met 3 other boats during the crossing, all eastbound.
At Clewiston it was back into narrow water, but the waterway had lots of alligators. So I
St. Lucie Canal
on a quiet, still morning
sat on the front cabin roof almost the whole way to Moore Haven trying to get pictures of alligators. We also saw one manatee.
The Moore Haven lock gave us the green light as we made the bend and began closing the back gates as we grabbed ropes. At the same time the front gates were opening. I don’t know why they didn’t just leave both gates open.
So here we are at Moore Haven City Dock, tied up for the night. My brother, Herb, my sister-in-law, Pam, and my mother came up to have dinner with us. We went out to a pizza and sandwich joint, then came back to the boat and had cake. What a fun time we had.
There are more photos below