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  #26   IP: 174.227.152.56
Old 01-10-2019, 08:02 PM
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Well, after more delay than I planned (waiting for parts & tools I shipped from home) we're finally underway again! Tuesday 1/8, we left Ft. Pierce and continued down the ICW as far as the St. Lucie river. There, we left the ICW and turned inland to follow the Okechobee Waterway (OCWW) all the way across Florida. We stopped at anchor in Pendarvis Cove, just across from Stuart. Spent two nights on the hook there. Very nice anchorage, but has thick, sticky, smelly, black mud that is the equal of anything we have in the Chesapeake! Sure glad we have a washdown pump!

Today we traveled to the eastern edge of Lake Okechobee, just past the infamous 49ft RR lift bridge (we fit!) , and are currently tied to a pair of dolphins just before the Port Mayaca lock. Tomorrow we will cross the lake.

Really feels good to be moving again. We should be in Ft. Meyers in a couple of days.
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Old 01-10-2019, 09:05 PM
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Where ya heading once you get across Florida?
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  #28   IP: 174.227.152.56
Old 01-11-2019, 07:59 AM
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Our current plans are to head south along the Everglades, hop over to Key West, island hop the keys over to Marthon and Key Largo, jump over to Bimini, and loop through Eluthera and the Abacos before starting back north in the spring. Need to be North of Norfolk by June 1.
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  #29   IP: 107.77.97.52
Old 01-11-2019, 02:23 PM
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Ed, Joan,

Just sayin' "Hi".

We have an uncle in Ft. Meyers. Wave as you go by.

It's -30F here today, so keep that in mind when you pull up muddy anchors. No sympathy from us.


Russ
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  #30   IP: 71.208.32.238
Old 01-11-2019, 02:37 PM
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Good weather ahead. No rain expected for 10 days in Ft Myers.

In Charlotte Harbor, it is 71, NE at 9, sunny with some clouds.

It was cold last night, I had a long sleeve shirt on! (ok, a sweatshirt)
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Old 01-11-2019, 03:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lat 64 View Post
Ed, Joan,

Just sayin' "Hi".

We have an uncle in Ft. Meyers. Wave as you go by.

It's -30F here today, so keep that in mind when you pull up muddy anchors. No sympathy from us.


Russ
I thought 30 wasn't so bad. Then I noticed the minus sign.

Gives me a whole different perspective on the 1-3 inches of snow tomorrow which has me paranoid.

Bill
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  #32   IP: 76.101.0.64
Old 01-12-2019, 08:42 PM
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Crossed Lake Okechobee yesterday, using "Route 1" across the open lake. Was a little rough on the first half (shallow depth + wind = short choppy seas). Motorsailed with jib to smooth it out a bit.

The second part, where it rejoins the Rim Route after Clewiston was amazing. We saw LOTs of alligators, mostly small ones in the water, but also several large ones (~8 ft) sunning themselves on the shore. Ended the day at Moorehaven, on the city docks ($1/ft including power!).

Today we had a short day in order to get to the free dock at La Belle early so we could get a spot. Most of the slips have no finger dock, so you have to bring your bow right up to the dock so you can step off. Fortunately, there's no tide here on the OCWW, so you can tie up tight with your anchor platform right at the dock. AND there's free power and Wifi! You can stay for 3 days, then cant return for another 8. Great stop!

Tomorrow, we head for Ft Myers, where we'll take a slip for 2 or 3 days and our friend Bill will leave us to deal with a family issue at home.
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Old 01-12-2019, 10:33 PM
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that looks like an alligator..I guess we should hope he does not climb into the boat!
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  #34   IP: 24.152.132.140
Old 01-13-2019, 09:42 AM
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Where do you tie up in Key West? I visited there a couple of years ago with my daughter, took a touristy snorkeling trip during our stay. As I recall there is some awfully skinny water approaching the harbor with a well marked channel.
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  #35   IP: 50.245.70.213
Old 01-13-2019, 08:15 PM
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Don't know, as we've never sailed there before. Our default plan is to get a mooring and dinghy in. Failing that, we'll try to anchor out and dinghy in.
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Old 01-13-2019, 09:21 PM
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I stay in the municipal anchorage. Decent rate, shower, and dingy dock. It has been several years and a hurricane, so may have changed.
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Old 01-13-2019, 11:11 PM
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Ed, I have been to Key West 17 of the last 20 years...But as I recall, lots of folks anchor north of "Key West Bight", or you can pay big bucks to tie up in Key West Bight..There are several places though in between the Bight and the Coast Guard Station, and some may be cheaper than others. I recall that we used to tie up the race boat at Turtle Kralls restaurant for the week, and that was cheaper than a marina/resort.

I am not sure about coming in to Key West from the gulf side..We did most of our sailing to the south between Key West and Stock Island, and launched via crane off a seawall at Truman Annex. I'll do a little more digging and check the charts to jog my memory and get back to you.
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  #38   IP: 76.7.129.62
Old 01-14-2019, 09:38 AM
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Ed. If the anchorage NW of Wisteria Island is anything like it was when I was there on the MC back in 2007/2008 avoid that anchorage. This review from 3/18 sums up how I felt but I would just take the bus down to visit.

"Ok so not sure why but nobody tells you that ALL of the anchorages around Key West are not pleasant. That is, UNTIL AFTER you get here!!!! Most days winds comes from one direction seas/tidal current from another.and you are broadsided by said waves on a regular basis. We met one couple that moved three times only to find the same problems at each place. They did say Fleming was way worse due to the addition of constant wakes from passing boats. We went to shore just to get off and out of the rocking and rolling. Perhaps that's the key. Anyway with marina fees being what they are around here ( $3.50-$4.00 per foot ) there's not much one can do. Glad we came but won't be back by boat anytime soon. I'd rather stay in Marathon or Islamorada rent a car and drive to Key West if I ever feel the need to see it again. Key West itself was fun and entertaining lots of neat shops and good food"


I entered Key West via Hawk channel and exited the next day via NW channel. Both easy enough. With the NE and E wind I had the trip up the gulf side was much nicer. If you can make it thru Big Spanish Channel, check markers 42 to 43, it makes for a nice loop around the lower Keys.
I can recommend the trip, via ferry, to Fort Jefferson.
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  #39   IP: 174.228.13.44
Old 01-16-2019, 09:56 AM
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Just a quick update. We've moved to a mooring ball in Ft Myers Beach for 3 days. The large mooring field here is managed by the Matanzas Inn and Marina.

The entrance into the Harbor was very hairy looking, but had plenty of water, despite what the charts say.
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Old 01-17-2019, 11:39 AM
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Hey Ed-
We finally crossed from Miami to West End on Sunday. Wasn't too bad.
Beam Reach most of the way. Hit 10 knots when we got into the stream!

Did West End to Manjack Cay all in one long day to keep ahead of the weather.
Just put her on the ball in Man-O-War yesterday.
It's gonna blow like stink this Sunday.

Sitting at the Marsh Harbour airport waiting for my flight home...
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  #41   IP: 71.208.172.225
Old 01-20-2019, 07:51 PM
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We're hunkered down in Everglades City for a few days. Front went through today, with West winds 23-27 kts in the slip. The Gulf gets really rough with West winds, and they were forecasting inshore waves 6-8 ft on 4 second intervals.

Going to take an airboat ride through the mangrove swamps tomorrow.
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Old 01-20-2019, 11:58 PM
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We took the sunset kayak trip when we were there. We loved it! Gators, and tiny jeweled spiders showed up in our headlamps. We came back in the dark. VERY awesome. Highly recommend it for the goosebumps.

Don't let the mossies bite,

R
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Old 01-24-2019, 11:01 AM
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Well, the front came and went. And we got in our airboat ride. No gators, but lots of birds and wildlife. The raccoons were totally fearless, and came right up to our airboat and put their paws on the rail and peered in at us.

There is was a 1 day window for going south on Tue, then another few days of bad weather. Since our next destination is Shark river, and there's no cell service or wifi there, we didn't want to be waiting for a weather window without access to good weather forecasts, so we decided to stay another 3 days here. Lots of great people here and fun times. Yesterday we had a cookout around the pool, and then screened "Captain Ron" in the movie theater.

As predicted, the the rains came today. Trouble is, it's starting to look like a repeat pattern, with a one day window tomorrow, and then 3 days of bad weather.

Going to have to decide if we wait this one out here too. It's either that, or wait it out on the hook. Oh well, it's only money...
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Old 01-24-2019, 12:07 PM
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Welcome to the south, in winter.
front is cold...warm up....new front...warm up...
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Old 01-24-2019, 05:16 PM
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We bit the bullet and paid for another 3 nights here.
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Old 01-27-2019, 10:51 AM
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Not sure of your plans after Little Shark River but the crab pots can be amazingly thick around Cape Sable and Florida Bay. If you can handle the shallow water you can avoid the worst of it by staying just inside the park boundary.
Dan
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Old 01-27-2019, 12:29 PM
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Thanks Dan. Others have told us that too, and with our 4 1/2 ft draft, that's certainly a consideration.

After little Shark River, we're headed to Marathon.
Been raining steadily here (Everglades City) the last two days, but it looks like we'll have a good window for leaving tomorrow.
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Old 01-27-2019, 11:02 PM
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So, I have only driven thru Marathon on several occasions, and I remember that it is a lot of old people (I mean OLD) walking around checking out the yard sales and stuff...Go thru at night, and they are all asleep.
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Old 01-30-2019, 10:28 PM
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As Dan suggested,we were able to stay inside the park boundaries down to Cape Sable (about 1 mi offshore) and avoid the crabpots. After that, the strings of pots were thick enough to walk across Florida Bay on the floats and not get your feet wet! Required constant vigilance.

We got into Boot Key Harbor Tue afternoon and immediately put ourselves on the waiting list for a mooring. Started at #28 and have moved down to #24 after a day. The marina also informed us that where we squeezed in to anchor wasn't legal, and if Florida Wildlife Commission (FWC) came through, we would be ticketed, so we had to pull anchor and move to the authorized anchorage, where we are anchored much too close to all the other boats (unlike the spot we came from which had adequate swing room for a full 7:1 scope).

The City marina is functional, but still recovering from hurricane Irma. The mooring field, and most of the extensive dinghy docks, have been restored, but they have NO slips as all of their docks were destroyed.

Paid for dinghy dock privileges for a week as we wait for a mooring. If a ball comes available sooner, they will pro-rate the unused portion and put it towards the mooring ball.

So, we'll probably be here for a week, maybe two.
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Old 01-31-2019, 11:26 AM
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Ed-
From very recent experience...
try to get as far away from the mangroves as possible.
No-see-ums and skeeters will make sleeping ugly.
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