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Old 27-02-2013, 12:06   #1
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Passage Note Florida

I am wondering if there are any retired guys who would like to join me in the transport of a Krogen 38 cutter from Jacksonville FL to Ft. Meyers. We would go down the coast probably motoring the ICW to Port St. Lucie, turn into the Okeechobee waterway, heel under a short bridge, sail across the lake and finish in Ft. Meyers where the Red Sox play near the town marina. I am planning two weeks so we can see Florida along the way. We will share the food and beer bill and the boat's owner will pay the fuel. I am thinking about the last two weeks of March.
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Old 28-02-2013, 06:16   #2
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Re: Passage Note Florida

Hello, Couple of items, FYI. I live in Stuart, Fl. where the Okeechobee Waterway picks up to the Lake and on over to Ft. Meyers. How tall is your mast? You need to get under the lift railroad bridge at Port Mayaca. It can vary in height, but usually it's only about 45'. You can make an appointment with the Indiantown Marina to have them bring a boat out with water drums, they take your main halyard and heel you over to scoot under. This procedure is not for the faint of heart but these guys have done it many times, I have no idea what the cost is though, but you would need to call and make arrangements for sure. I am retired, I have two Cape Dory's that I sail. I would make the trip with you, but would need to be a paid crew. I charge 50. a day plus expenses, i.e. you pay for my food and beer, lol. I am a social drinker btw. and a rental car back to Stuart. I am familar with Krogen's as a friend of mine had one, twin centerboards I believe. As I said, I live in Stuart, on the water, so we can stop here if we needed to, for whatever. Are you looking for only a one-way trip or a round trip? Here is my other email if you wish to chat further. renloe@bellsouth.net regards, Randy
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Old 28-02-2013, 06:29   #3
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Re: Passage Note Florida

Thanks Randy. The heeling problem under the bridge has been some of the fun planning this trip. I am glad to hear that there are folks with experience on site. If we get thinking about paid crew we might give you a call.
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Old 28-02-2013, 09:28   #4
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Re: Passage Note Florida

Be aware also that you will go thru 5 locks during the transit. You can do it with one person so long as you have snatch turning blocks, but two people make it easier. Big fenders with good cleaning material as they get pretty dirty and scummy during the trip, lol. The Port Mayaca lock generally stays open, just have to check. You can go straight across the lake, but if you decide to do the rim canal it is a lot more scenic, takes a little longer but worth it. La Belle is a nice place to stop as well. I've made the trip a few times and it really takes you back to a more wild Florida with a lot of sea life, enjoy your trip. Let me know if you need help, regards, Randy
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Old 04-03-2013, 05:48   #5
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Re: Passage Note Florida

I am actually looking forward to sailing on the lake. The Krogen 38 draws 38 inches with the boards up so reaching across the lake seems like a great way to spend a day or two. It is a great boat and if you run aground you can hop overboard and push her off!
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Old 04-03-2013, 10:30   #6
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Re: Passage Note Florida

Should be a fun sail....enjoy! keep us posted on your exploits on the trip. r.
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Old 31-03-2013, 06:42   #7
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Re: Passage Note Florida

Happy Easter, How did your trip go?
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Old 08-04-2013, 14:39   #8
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Re: Passage Note Florida

The Florida Trip

This trip started by digging the dinghy out of the snow in Brooklin Maine. The idea was to take it, the outboard, the dinghy sailing gear, extra lines and sufficient other stores to outfit Morgana and take her from Jacksonville Florida to Ft. Meyers. Paul brought the dinghy to Augusta so that I could mount it on Joelís 2005 Honda Civic Hybrid and drive to Florida. I was aware that I would be quite noticeable on the road with a dinghy, almost as big as the car, mounted on top me and I was sure that I would be the slowest vehicle on Interstate 95.

Morgana is a Krogen 38 foot cutter rigged, shallow draft vessel that Joel and Paul have owned since 2006. I am very familiar with this boat as her mooring is only about a hundred yards from Pacemís mooring and my son and I helped sail her from Virginia to Maine in a six day offshore passage. Joel sailed her in Maine during the summer and Paul took her to Florida and the Bahamas during the winter. Two years ago Paul ran out of time and Morgana stayed in northeast Florida and she has been on the hard ever since.

Being a gentleman of a retired nature, I have time to come up with ideas for hair-brained schemes like reactivating Morgana and moving her farther south and to the west coast of Florida where her thirty-eight inch draft, with the boards up, will be an advantage in the skinny waters of the Pine Island Sound and nearby areas.

Paul went to Florida first for a few days of intensive inventory, cleaning and removing the holding tank for repairs. I shall drive down, spend some time working on the boat and put her in the water. Then I will slowly make my way down the east side of Florida, cut through Lake Okeechobee and continue to Ft. Meyers where Joel, his wife and my wife will meet the boat for a week of sailing in April.

I started out on the drive on a Tuesday after a storm dropped snow across the Midwest and the mid-Atlantic shore. The northwest winds could have been of some help if Ben and I had built the automobile dinghy rack to support the dinghy upright. I might have been able to rig the mast, boom and sail and get a bit of sail assistance as I drove from Maine to Wilmington Delaware.

The drive was uneventful once I figured out that the dinghy was strapped on tightly enough that I could drive at highway speeds and not have it fly off. An hourís delay going through New York and across the George Washington Bridge hurt my timing but the Civicís gas mileage averaged almost 32 miles per gallon with the dinghy on top. I stopped for the first night at Paige and Anneís. Paige is my very close, almost an uncle, best friend of my father who had been the best man at my parents wedding and a close personal advisor to me when I was aged ten to fifteen. He and I sat on benches along Main Street in Nantucket while he advised me on deep personal situations like the social responsibility of shaving your face every day and ways to deal with my mother even when she was being difficult. His uncle-like advice has served me well for over fifty years.


Paige tells great stories of traveling from the Chesapeake to Nantucket in an open twenty-two foot sport fisherman and picking my Dad up, along the way, at the bottom of Wall Street in New York and running under the pier mounted runways of LaGuardia airport. The powers that be would probably have some security concerns if that was done today but those wild and crazy guys of the sixties did it without any official notice.

II.

I think that all of us should apologize to South Carolina. When climate changes increase sea level most of South Carolina will be submerged. The part of it that I saw on the three day trip down I 95 anyway. After Paige took me to his local breakfast place I hit the road and only stopped every two hours to stretch, gas, pee and walk around for that day and the next. I got to the boat yard in Green Cove Springs on the St. Johns River which is just south of Jacksonville Florida.

I checked in with the folks in the office and went to look at Morgana. She has been up on the hard for two years and she needs some work before she goes in and is ready to sail. I spent the afternoon ordering a new float switch for the bilge pump, checking on the head holding tank repairs, scheduling our launch, servicing thru-hull seacocks, general cleaning and going shopping for groceries.

My next day was dominated by the bilge pump. I thought that it was just a bad float switch but it turned out to be a busted valve in the Jabsco rocker arm pump that is the first and automated bilge pump. I had to service the pump in the area under the cockpit which houses the bilge pump, the refrigeration unit, the batteries and, a bit forward, the engine. I do not know whether that space has become smaller over the years or if I might be less agile that I once was.

I did a bit of jury rigging for this repair. I just bolted the valve back together after drilling out the broken stainless steel rivet. I was concerned about the clearance from the pump action with the bolt and nuts but they seem to clear so I reinstalled it, hooked up the new float switch and now we have two operational bilge pumps.

While I was crawling around the nether reaches of Morgana working on the pump project I noticed that the sacrificial zinc that I ordered was not wired to anything. The bonding system had corroded to point that the hull zincs were isolated. I removed the zincs and the through hull bolts to get ready for tomorrow when I will drive over and get parts. It is Friday evening on Easter weekend so commerce may slow down a bit.

In the morning I checked the catalog in the Marina office for the part number of the zinc and they called to check that there was one in stock before I drove over to St. Augustine to get it. I drove back, installed the zinc, and I then spent an inordinate amount of time up-side down securing the bilge pump float switch in the very depths of the bilge. Why is it that we all like a deep bilge but then we have to deal with it?

The yard here at Green Cove Springs Marina is a great collection of boaters. The yard has a long term storage area where boats just stay. There is no work going on in there. Then there is the work area. There are probably forty or fifty boats whose owners are working on them and easily thirty are live aboards. There are couples who have stopped their world wide travels to refit their boat and they work sun up to sun down on a seemingly endless list of projects. Some of the projects that I have seen nearby Morgana include new stainless steel tubing with wood swim platform and a new bow sprit.

There are also a number of dreamers in the yard. I met one guy who was about thirty and had been brought up in a military family and had served in the navy and now he decided that he is destined to sail the world. This man is fixing up a thirty footer to sail around the world and he has never sailed at all. I wished him well in fulfilling his dreams.

I spent some time cleaning and organizing the copious stores that are on the boat. The amount of stuff on this boat is amazing but there is no organization. I finally figured that I was spending so much time looking for some part or tool that I had to organize the stores before I went any farther.


III.

Now she is starting to look like a sailboat. After another driving trip to St. Augustine for parts, came more work in the below decks replacing a through hull and the plumbing for a replacement pump. The pump is supposed to arrive tomorrow. Then the sun was so glorious that I had to be on deck so I started straightening up the deck and took the sails up to get them out of the main salon. I put up the staysail and rolled it up so now we look more like a sailboat.

Lots of cleaning and slowly the boat is looking better. I have made up the main cabin but we have still not found the mystery leak and it is at the foot of the master bunk. The first time it rains I am going to lay there until I figure out where the leak originates. I talked to Paul who said that it may be far forward so the hunt is on for the long standing mystery leak.

The next morning I decided to rig the remaining sails but the yard manager put a quick stop to raising sails while on jack stands. She came walking down the work row yelling and I quickly apologized. She said that Paul had signed the yard agreement which includes the prohibition of sail raising. I contritely told her that I was just the crew and had never seen the agreement. We both fully blamed Paul and have been great friends since.

Launch day came and I found out that I had to have the engine running before the launch so I rigged a hose and after leaning on the glow plug switch for what seemed like forever and much grinding of the starter I got the engine going. The launch was uneventful. They backed Morgana into the travel lift with a trailer. The foreman said that Paul had taught them that trick. We were going out to a mooring for a couple of days of more work before starting the trip but it seemed a perfect time to take her out into the river for a trial so I worked my way through the moorings while I turned on the instruments. I was initially startled when the fathometer reported two feet of depth. I checked the setting and found that it is calibrated to report from the bottom of the keel. The shallow depths are not my normal mind set. I took Morgana out for a few turns, maneuverability trials, and autopilot test. We returned to the mooring field and picked up a mooring that has a foot and a half of water under our keel. I was kicking up mud on the approach. I guess this is the way they do it down here.

The best laid plans of man go up in flames at the most inopportune times. My laptop died and I went into the local computer guy who looked at it and told me to drive up to Jacksonville and buy a new computer. He said that he could get my files from the old hard drive but the box was toast. So my next day was related to rebuilding the computer but I was also able to go to West Marine and get some additional parts. My jury rig on the bilge pump did not last and I have still not been able to find the rebuild kit. Later when I got back to the boat I was able to install the newly delivered pump, got the refrigerator running and fixed the Wi-Fi antenna power feed. Which is why you are seeing this.

IV.

What is with Roman numerals? Why is it that two thousand years later we are still using this archaic system of numbers even though we have a base ten system that is easier to understand?

Today I worked on systems necessary for movement. I am still flummoxed by the bilge pump but I shall persevere. I replaced the broken lights in the head and the hanging locker and I put up the genoa, twice. I put it up but forgot to tie on the sheets so when I was done I was looking up about twelve feet above the deck to the clew and trying to figure out how to get the sheets attached. There was a weather forecast of severe thunderstorms with locally high winds so I took it down and lashed it to the deck. After the front went through the winds were light so as the sun set I set the genoa, again.

I am ready, Morgana is ready enough so I think that we shall get underway.

The weather did not agree. It started raining and blowing. I am very comfortable on this mooring so I rebuilt the head pump. Dirty job but it is now flushing just fine. Just finishing a project like this gives me a sense of accomplishment. A well pumping head is an important item on a small boat. We now have a new head holding tank and a smooth pumping head. Life is good.

Isnít Florida called the sunshine state? Well not today. The wind has been blowing and the clouds are at about the height of the masthead with rain showers passing through on a regular time schedule. I am glad that I stayed here on the boatyardís mooring for the day. I took some time to figure out some of my new laptop but the wind was blowing into a vent right above my head and it was so cool that I fired up the wood stove with charcoal and stuffed a sponge into the vent. It was a bit smoky to start with but it took the chill off the cabin so I could write in just two shirts.

I am determined to get underway tomorrow. The forecast is good with sun and Morgana and I are ready.

What a glorious day it was. I woke up early and got underway after coffee. Motoring north down the St. John River for Jacksonville watching bald eagles fishing. My first bridge was interstate 95 and I was thinking about all the folks in the cars and trucks passing by at sixty-five while I was going under them at five. As I got downtown the shores became built up and I stopped for my first on demand lift bridge at Main Street. There was music and folks in the shore front park and diners sitting outside restaurants as I passed. Farther on the commercial port facilities continue for a few miles and my evening anchorage was at the end of them. I anchored in seven feet of water with palm trees just a few boat lengths away, The wind had been strong all day and right on our nose out of the northeast. After I got secured for the night I changed the engine oil and filter, put rubber mounts under the new refrigerator pump and finally got the bilge pump running. Sitting in the cockpit watching a pelican trying to get something for its dinner suggested to me to do the same. Later a pod of dolphins played around the boat as the sun set for the day.
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Old 09-04-2013, 05:29   #9
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Re: Passage Note Florida

Great reading so far, tell us more...
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Old 14-04-2013, 11:45   #10
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Re: Passage Note Florida

5.

We are moving today. I was up reasonably early and underway by nine. Down the river on an outgoing tide. Morgana was doing eight and half until we made the turn down the Intracoastal Waterway where the current was against us. The waterway in Florida is a mixture of developed homes with piers into the waterway and stretches of low natural wetland. I saw snowy egrets, blue herons, cormorants, osprey, eagles, pelicans, sandpiper, and more dolphins. Two dolphins got into a jumping contest as we went by. The waterway is a combination of rivers and straight man made canals. Motoring along with an accurate autopilot is a fine way to travel. Some of the canals are long enough that, with the auto pilot set, I could go below to make a snack, The sun got higher and pretty soon I was trying to figure out how to rig the Bimini sun cover. I then sat back in the shade and occasionally gave the autopilot corrections and cranked the tunes for six hours. We had to wait for about twenty minutes for the scheduled opening of the Bridge of Lions in St. Augustine. I was planning to anchor near the town marina but as I went by I thought that there was no reason to go ashore so I continued to a small cove south of town. I anchored and backed down hard on the anchor because of the current in the cove. When I shut off the engine I thought that I would go forward and let out a bit more scope. I found that the anchor rode was slack we balance between the current going south and the south-east wind. I let out more line and left it on the foredeck. It was cleated but with no pull at all. I am waiting for the change of the tide to see what happens.

When the tide turned we pulled out the remainder of the scope and took tension on the rode. This did not last as we found another position that balanced the wind and the current and we again held our position with no tension on the anchor. This was the strangest anchorage that I have ever been in. We spent hours with no pull on the anchor rode at all. It kind of made all that ground tackle not worth the work to put it in the water and haul it back out again.

Up again the next morning to a 7:12 am text from a buddy asking where I was. I rolled over and texted back ďIn bedĒ but I got underway by nine again and this was a day of the ditch. Following the day markers down a waterway which was dug through shallows and follows rivers and whose mud bottom is just about the color of the water. There is no way to judge water depth by looking through the water. I was lucky keeping Morgana off of the shallows although we had a few close call and I saw three sailboat hard aground. The ditch continues to be a fascinating panorama of peoples back porches and untouched wild life. I continued to observe the bird life and have seen a few of the Great Egrets or Great White Heron which is a BIG bird. I also saw some manatees doing their thing in the shallows. They looked like they were playing but in a big, slow, wet sort of a way. We anchored in front of the town park at Daytona Beach for the night and I started to tie the harness for the dinghy suspension.

Morgana continues to do great. She motors along at 80% for hours and her auto pilot is as steady as can be. The water projects are all done and the fridge can make ice. I am continuing to do projects to prepare the boat although the main sail is still sitting on the deck. Because we are currently a motor boat, with a mast, the sail has not become a priority.

The next morning I rowed ashore to the town landing and park that has ball fields, roller skate park, picnic sites and more where I dropped my trash and rowed back to the boat. We got underway about ten because this was supposed to be a shorter day. Motoring along the ditch with the tunes cranked and all of a sudden the engine alarm is sounding and there is smoke and steam coming from the hatch. I shut down the engine and anchored right where I was, in the middle of the intercoastal waterway. Everyone had to just go around me for the hour or so it took to correct the situation. The engine belt had torn apart, the water pump stopped and the engine overheated. I installed a new belt and filled the heat exchanger with antifreeze and we were on the road again.

We came out of the canals in to the Halifax River and the water was noticeably clearer. This was sea water and I could now see the water depths and that made staying in the channel easier. The clearer water meant that there is moving water and that meant that there was a current and it was, of course, going against us so we just kept plugging along.

Bridges have become a common occurrence. The high fixed bridges are the way the world is going. They have a sixty-five foot clearance and we just motor under them. The lifting bridges are different. There are scheduled bridges and on demand bridges. The bridges that are on small roads with little traffic are the on demand bridges and they will open with very little hesitation in our journey. The bridges with a higher traffic count have a schedule of opening and when we get to the bridge and call the bridge keeper we will be told how long that we will just float around trying to stay out of trouble.

I had picked a beautiful spot to spend the night. Mosquito Lagoon. Well it was better than it sounds. It is a large shallow lagoon that is about two miles wide and about fifteen miles long. The Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) runs down the west side of the lagoon and to the east the outer sand bank forms the outside margin. This sand bank is part of the Cape Canaveral National Seashore and on the other side is the surf of the Atlantic coast. We turned off of the waterway and got into the skinny water. We went about two miles in five to six feet of water and anchored in four feet. I took a picture of the fathometer with a reading of 0.1 feet under the keel when I anchored. Itís OK that was low tide and we will gain a foot or so by tomorrow morning. I rigged the sailing dinghy and sailed over to the barrier island and walked over to the Atlantic. I walked the beach and talked to the guys fishing off the beach and then sailed back to Morgana. I cleaned up and then sat on deck with a beverage and I looked to the south where in the distance I could see the rocket assembly building at the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral.

Another day motoring the ditch. I started off at about nine and retraced my track to get out of the shallows. Shortly after I got back on the ICW the dingy got swamped by two large motor yachts going at an accelerated speed. I had to anchor, this time at the edge of the waterway, and hoist the dingy on the deck at lash her down. Running today mostly in the narrow channel in the midst of very large lagoons and then the Indian River. We overtook two manatees and I think that we surprised them because they were swimming alongside of the bow sprit but they veered off as the bow came up to them. I also saw a flying pink flamingo and I think that this particular one looked better than the ones that have been stuck in my front yard.

After anchoring for the day, I continued to work on the dinghy harness. I flipped the dinghy over on the foredeck and tied the harness together. Tomorrow we shall have the first hoist test.
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Old 14-04-2013, 21:42   #11
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Re: Passage Note Florida

Thanks for sharing your trip with us. I have enjoyed reading it. I will be in Green Cove Springs Marina next month to see my new-to-me sailboat. I can see the 61/2 foot draft on my boat will make life interesting once I launch. That may be a while though. On this trip I expect to clean up the boat and plan the work which I will return to do later in the year.
Enjoy the rest of your trip!
-Kevin
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Old 18-04-2013, 15:19   #12
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Re: Passage Note Florida

Florida Trip 6.
There are fundamental differences between the day markers along the ICW and those back home in Maine. At home a prudent boater would leave a great deal of room between his course and the mark. Down here staying close is prudent. The day markers in Maine are drilled and cemented into granite while the ICW daymarks are pilings driven into the sand. The channel may moved a bit but the daymarks can be used as reference. Very often the deepest part of the channel is within three or four boat widths from the marker.

The next two days we were motoring down the ditch. Keeping the autopilot steering down the channel amidst very large area of shallows. It was kind of like an electronic game in slow motion. This part of Florida is a beautiful natural area with great entertainment utilization as well. We encountered a number of bridges and we had to wait a few minutes when one bridge could not open because the bridge inspectors were there doing their job. Yesterday afternoon I passed by my planned stopping spot because it was blowing twenty-five knots and looked kind of rough. So I decided to continue on for a few hours to make the next day shorter and after eight hours underway I found a little island to hide behind. I anchored in five feet of water and felt quite comfortable. Think that I am getting used to this skinny water.
We continued to Stuart the next day. We went down the rest of the Indian River and then turned up the Saint Lucie River where we came to three closely spaced bridges. The first was a high standing highway bridge, the second a railroad lift bridge and the third a road lift bridge. I followed navigational day markers under the first bridge in the wrong place to access the second two bridges. The pass that I followed only lead to a boatyard just beyond the bridge. I quickly pulled a u turn and went back under the bridge, down to the right pass and went under all three. I picked up a mooring at the Sunset Marina in Stuart and hoisted out the dinghy. It lifted evenly but with all that line on it does not row very well.

The next day a friend, Evan, drove up from Lauderdale to spend the day with me and Morgana. He took me shopping for groceries, then we took Morgana to the fuel dock for an extended fuel, water and ice stop and then went out to lunch at the restaurant at the marina. This was the first meal I have had out since I moved on the boat. We went back to the boat to try and hoist out the dinghy and see if we can get Morgana heeled over enough to get her under the short railway bridge before Lake Okeechobee. The bridge is an old lift bridge that only goes up to forty-nine feet and our mast is fifty-two feet tall so if we can heel over twenty-five degrees we will fit under the bridge and we can cut across the state which will save us four or five days as opposed to going down to the Florida Keys and up the west shore. We hoisted out the dinghy and with my two hundred pounds hanging off the rail we did not change the heeling angle even one degree. I knew that Morgana was a stiff boat but not even one degree. We put the dinghy back in the water and took all of the lines off her and started thinking about plan beta. We had dinner aboard together and settled in for the night.

After breakfast I called the marina on the Okeechobee canal and they gave me the number of a guy who heels boats under the bridge for a fee. He looked into his notes and found that he has previously taken through Krogen 38ís and he said that it takes a lot of weight to heel her over. My best effort would never get to his level. I made arraignments to meet him at the Indiantown Marina in two days. I spent the rest of the day doing projects and cleaning up. The next morning I took it easy as I knew that I had only a three hour run to the Marina. I started up the Okeechobee Waterway and this passage makes the ditch look like a superhighway. The Waterway is a dredged canal that is about one hundred fifty feet wide and it goes through the back country of Florida. We went under a few bridges and we raised fourteen feet in our first of five locks. We arrived at the marina and checked in. Now this is living. Tied alongside for the first time since we launched. I can walk to the showers! Evening drinks with fellow travelers and the next morning I met Billy.

Billy told me that it would take me about an hour to get to the bridge and he would catch up with me when his partner got there and they got their boat in the water. I started for the bridge and just about a hour later Billy caught up with me just as I approached the bridge. He asked for two fenders and then told me to just keep the boats in the middle of the canal as they got set up. It took them about a hour to get eleven blue fifty-five gallon drums on the rail and tied in place. After he got the pump primed they started filling barrels and over we went. Billy had hoisted a stick to the masthead. From the stick was a string with a collection of rusted old washers and nuts tied to the lower end. Billy knew that when the weights hit the water we would pass under the bridge. They continued to fill all of the barrels and with the two of them hanging off the shrouds and me on the rail steering Billy said take us through Cap weíre leaking water. We went under and they started to unscrew the three inch drains in each barrel and cleaned the deck. They quickly put everything back in their boat and after passing over two hundred in cash off we went. The bridge is right at the shore of the Lake and we only needed to do one more lock to get into the lake. When I called the lock keeper on the radio he said that he would open both sets of gates and I could go right through. The level of the lake and the canal were the same at that time and so he could open the lock on both sides. We steamed through and into the lake.

Lake Okeechobee is a very large lake. It is about thirty miles long and twenty-five miles wide and the wind was blowing about fifteen out of the south-east so I shut down the engine, set sail and spent the next five hours sailing on a lake that is only about eleven feet deep in most of its area. It was beautiful and as I sailed away from the lock I could not see any land on most of the horizon. As I sailed closer to the other shore the water started to get shallow and pretty soon we were in a channel through waving grass. The grassland covers a couple of miles of the shore of the lake. There were all kinds of birds and after I turned into the canal that runs along the shore of the lake I saw my first gator of the trip. It was in the middle of the channel and I was trying to figure out if it was a log or something else that I needed to avoid when I recognized the shape of the gatorís head. It looked at us for a bit and swam away. I anchored for the night in a side canal with two other sailboats. One a drinking buddy from last night at the marina and the other a cruising family of four who are headed up the Gulf coast.

I got up the next day and everyone was gone. Obviously they are in more of a rush than I but the lock doesnít first open until seven and I stuck my head up at seven-thirty. When I was done with a proper breakfast I went through the first lock of the day. A whopping two feet. This got me into some of the agricultural Florida. I motored past orchards laden with oranges, They looked ready to pick but I had an access problem so on we went. I talked by radio with the boatyard where we will store Morgana for the summer and checked out a marina where we may stay as we get her ready for storage. I continued on through two more swing bridges and two more locks for the total fourteen feet before I called it a day. Since the first lock we have been on the Caloosahatchee River and it is much wider and deeper than most of what I have seen. It is about two hundred feet wide and twenty feet deep. I just picked a nice spot up along one bank and anchored for the night at five. We only have a couple hours until Ft. Myers so I should be back online tomorrow.
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Old 26-04-2013, 15:43   #13
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Re: Passage Note Florida

So, you made the rest of the trip ok? Usually that Port Myaka lock stays open and you can go right through. Thanks for writing about your trip, it was very enjoyable to read. r.
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Old 02-05-2013, 15:47   #14
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Re: Passage Note Florida

Florida Trip 7.

I am now at anchor behind a little island directly across from the Fort Myers Municipal Marina. I called the marina on the radio to check on the availability of a mooring but when I got there I found no one on the moorings and two folks anchored so I anchored and took the dinghy the half of a mile to the marina to check in. The five dollars a day for dinghy access, rest rooms, showers, a lounge with coffee and Wi-Fi seems like a small amount to pay for a great hotel room in downtown Fort Myers.

The trip today was just a couple of hours through residential areas. Modest homes compared to some of those I had seen earlier. I thought as I motored along what a great trip this has been. The challenges, the attention needed to stay in the ditch, the birds, the sea mammals, the manta rays playing around the boat all add memories to a great collection. The plan from here is to putter on the boat until Joel comes in on Saturday evening. Then a short three day cruise to nowhere and back here to pick up Sara and Janet on Wednesday. I spent a couple of days just relaxing at anchor and doing more boat projects like caulking hatches and stabilizing the head. The boat is now presentable and working well enough that I can welcome others to enjoy the Pine Island Sound area.

Joel showed up in time for dinner out on the town in Ft. Myers. I had gone ashore to do the laundry and shower before he arrived. We left our stuff in the car when we went to dinner and I was raining when we came out so we left the stuff in the car and took the dinghy the boat in the rain. The next day we went ashore for breakfast at a sidewalk cafť in the old part of Ft. Myers and took the car for an extended parts search for the boat. We found most of what we needed, went back to the boat and did projects for the rest of the day. We had a strong thunderstorm go through and we had winds from the southwest in the high thirty knots. The chop was about two and a half or three feet and at one point I wondered if we were making a groove in the mud bank under us as we pitched fore and aft in five feet of water. We went back ashore for showers, dinner out and back to the boat just before it started to rain again. It rained most of the night.

The next day we went ashore again to find a marine canvas person who could stitch up a piece for the Bimini top, went grocery shopping and went back to the boat and got under way. We steamed three hours down the river and into the clear waters of the Gulf. We anchored in a cove on the east side of Sanibel Island for the night. Swimming and sailing the dinghy took up the rest of the day. The next day went steamed back to Fort Myers to get the boat ready for the gals and they flew in Wednesday. The four of us went out to dinner and the next morning we headed down the river and back into the clear Gulf waters for a week of island hopping and adventures. I leave you all now as the adventures of couples afloat have no place being recorded for others.

The whole adventure will end in a week when Janet and I will take Morgana back up the river to haul her out at the Glades boat storage yard for the summer. Maybe next winter we shall do it again.
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Old 02-05-2013, 20:32   #15
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Re: Passage Note Florida

good read, thanks for posting it.
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