Friday, June 4, 2010
I am now on the east coast of Florida having traveled the 135 miles from Ft. Meyers to Stuart via the Okeechobee Waterway and Lake yesterday. Thanks to Fred Martin, via phone and computer, for locating the Sundance Marina where I could obtain the scheduled service for the Yamaha. It was previously scheduled elsewhere but had to change after I was on the water. So today, Friday, is a day off and a chance to plan the route and stops going north on the ICW (intracoastal waterway). Hopefully I'll get to near Cocoa, FL by early afternoon tomorrow. Early starts are required for now as the thunderstorms have been building by late morning - yesterday storms swept my route from Ft. Meyers several hours after I arrived in Stuart. Rain is one thing, lightning is another. Florida is considered the lightning capital of the U.S.
Rental cars are not available here today so I plan to taxi to the marina, pick up all the maps I’ve used so far, and ship them back to Joanne. Will be good to free up some room. Many of them got damp on the first Gulf crossing attempt. By the way, I did see my first alligator yesterday. He was crossing the waterway while I was stopped. I saw what, at first, looked like a stick floating across the river but when I tried to get close for a picture, after realizing it wasn’t a stick, he slid below the surface. The vast Okeechobee Lake is only 5- to 10-feet deep even in the middle so it’s important to follow navigational aids to avoid grounding. There are locks entering and leaving the lake. In the 1920s a hurricane "blew the water out of the lake" just like a saucepan, to one side, killing over 1,000 people. Thus the locks and dikes since then.
I want to thank Jerry Deangelis of SunDance Marine in Jensen Beach for accommodating me on one day's notice and solving the issue of getting a tri-pontoon out of the water without a trailer to service the engine. His technicians commented on how great the features are on this boat - a great vessel so far.
Photo: House on Okeechobee Waterway. Most homes have both screened and unscreened outdoor patio areas.