Viridian left Moore Haven City Docks at first light this morning and passed through the Moore Haven Lock just under the bridge and around the bend. The starboard lock door would not open but we had plenty of room to enter. After the 4 ft lift, Viridian eased through the rising fog along the canal that rims Lake Okeechobee and heads for the channel that eventually crosses the lake. Alligators were thick as fleas in this area and were slinking along the banks only to slowly sink out of sight once we got by them. There were no other vessels in the area and the springtime bird show was in full chorus giving us all kinds of calls and tweets as we passed by. By the time we got to the crossing channel, the fog had lifted giving way to a bright blue sky. Large smoke plumes that looked like mushroom clouds lined the distant banks of the lake where sugar cane fields were being burned before harvesting the stalks. The water on Okeechobee was almost like glass. There was no wind today making our crossing extra smooth.
The lock at Port Mayaca on the eastern side of Lake O. was fully open. The doors on both ends of the lock were open since the water level was the same on both sides of the dam. We just cruised right through without stopping. The passage from Port Mayaca to Port St. Lucy up the St. Lucy river was kinda like the Tenn-Tom, pretty remote until we got close to Stuart.
After our 70 mile passage we found Red # 68 mooring ball that had a proper tether attached to it and Meg snagged it with one try and had us secured in no time. We launched Jazzy and putted over to the Ship's Store to check in and get the combos to all the facilities, came back to Viridian to eat a bite of supper then off again in Jazzy to walk the docks looking for other Loopers and checking out the boats docked at Sunset Marina. We will stay here two nights to get laundry done and see what there is in the town of Stuart, FL.
That's the news and here are a few views.
We are here
Today's Passage from Moore Haven, FL to Stuart, FL
Smooth Sailing on Lake Okeechobee
Leaving Port Mayaca Lock
View from Port Mayaca to Port St. Lucy
Hanging on Red # 68 at Sunset