Tuesday, August 16, 2011

This is what our air conditioner looks like from the inside. There's a water resistant cover over the top of it and surrounding the hatch from the outside.

The outside view. The down side is we have to remove it every day when we get underway again. It's not latched down and I would sincerely hate to see it take a dive overboard if we were to get waked by a bigger boat.

We have the A/C in the salon area so every night we open up the seating area up into a bunk.

Wilbur loves the idea of a bunk bed.

Unfortunately he only uses the floor during the day. Come bed time and he's right there in bed with us.

So anyway, here are some Lake Okeechobee Waterway observations. There is no way a boat that draws more than us could make this trip with the water as low as it is. We are traveling westward and as we exited the Port Mayaca Lock, the Lock master warned us to stay to port as there is a lot of shoaling in the area. We stayed to port and saw water levels of 2.6 feet. We draw 2.5.

He stayed on the radio with us and assured us that we were right where we should be and that we would soon see three and a half feet. We did and who'd have thought three and a half feet would be a relief?

We went through the Clewiston Lock because we decided to stay at Roland Martin's Marina. Once again we saw shallow depths, this time 2.8 feet. Anyway, you don't have to go through the lock if you just want to continue on the OWW (Okeechobee Water Way) but we wanted to tie up for the night. We lucked out too in that it was Sunday and there was entertainment in the Tiki Bar and we were docked right outside. We enjoyed some good music and our own beer.

Back into the water way the next day we sighted our first alligator and believe it or not, Hans, who graduated from Miami High School and attended the University of South Florida, had never seen an alligator in 'the wild'.

The shores of the waterway are full of the little buggers and Wilbur doesn't like them. He calls them Crockigators and worries that they might like to taste some tender pitty flesh.

Last night we stayed in LaBelle Marina and they only had one 30 Amp hookup. We now need two (or one 30 Amp and a 110V) because we've added A/C. We tried to use the A/C in addition to keeping the fridge running and it should have worked but all of a sudden during yet one more thunderstorm a huge clap of thunder hit and our inverter alarm started screaming at us. It wouldn't stop screaming no matter what we did, and it was raining and storming so hard that it would have been dangerous to try and get on the dock and disconnect the power cord. When things finally calmed down, we got it disconnected, and the inverter calmed down and allowed us to reset her. We found out later on that the marina did suffer a short electrical outage but we finally decided to just use the A/C and turn off the refrigerator.

After crossing under the LaBelle Bridge this morning we docked at the City Marina where they allow you to stay for free for three days. This also includes electric and water!!! Since this is such an off time of the year for cruisers we are the only ones here which is very nice because there are only 8 spaces and you're supposed to anchor Mediterranean style with either your bow or stern into the dock and your anchor out in the water way. We didn't have to bother with this and just docked on our port side.

We were able to walk with Wilbur into town and get a few groceries. This is the one day we decided to just stay put and take a break but it's so stinking hot!

Tomorrow we go through Franklin Lock (the last one) but it's on a schedule of only opening at 9 AM and 4 PM. We'll be taking the 4 PM opening.

Even though it's hot we do like the fact that we aren't having any difficulties in finding places to stay because no one else is stupid enough to cruise at this time of year. Unfortunately though because of the mosquitoes we have to find a dock with power each night or we wouldn't be able to stand it.

I realize this is a rather dull post but I'm too hot to really do a lot of thinking.


  1. Dull post from you ... never! It is stinking hot here in the South! I was born in the South and love it, but will never get used to the heat and humidity! Sounds like our boat with a draft of just over 5 feet would have a hard time making this passage ... oh well. Glad ya'll made it without any problems and that the gators didn't get a taste of pitty meat!

  2. Cheryl, you definitely would want to find out in advance about the depths here before you think about using it. Then there's that 49 foot bridge (I'm not sure how high your mast is). It's 49 feet when Lake Okeechobee's depth is at 14 feet. Right now it's around 10.
    But we're not done yet! We still have a few days to go. And we sat in our cockpit again tonight and watched some mighty big crockigators slide through the water!