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Archive For: Content Okeechobee

  • Saga of Indiantown RR Bridge, Okeechobee Waterway Statute Mile 29


    Bottom Line: Indiantown RR Bridge is open, but may close again within 4 weeks.

    RR BRIDGE NOW OPEN, 3/15, 0800

    And these notes from Michael Lieberum, Bridge Branch, 7th District

    3/14 Morning Larry,
    According to CSX the bridge was operational at 0900 this morning [3/14]; but they are still checking the pivot, so it may or may not be operational all the time, especially if there is someone inside the machinery.

    Just received word that they are letting vessels through now and should have the bridge fully functional by this afternoon [3/14]

    3/15 Received text for CSX that they are making parts and will need a few hours to install in about four weeks.
    Bridge is operational; but having issues.
    Mike
     

    We were able to get thru the railroad bridge today, Sunday March 12th, was closed on approach, answered on VHF and opened right away.
    Kevin & Steve on Lone Star

    In addition to the Torry Island Bridge closure, this 3/12 report of the Indiantown RR bridge closed to navigation report comes from our friends on AGLCA’s Forum and adds further to Okeechobee cruisers’ woes. With a closed vertical clearance of 7ft, the RR bridge crosses the Okeechobee Waterway immediately west of the fixed high rise bridge in Indian Town, FL. No further information is available at this posting.

    We are sitting in the Indiantown Marina waiting for an update on the railroad bridge repair. No one is responding to VHF or phone. Local fisherman told us there is still work going on at the site. Read More!

    Arrived Friday to find the bridge closed. Conversation with the Bridge Master revealed that he had serious issues and that a repair crew was summoned from Tampa. Indiantown Marina was full so several boats were anchored in the canal nearby. Indiantown found a spot for us…Wednesday they wouldn’t take our reservation saying they were full for 3 weeks. Perhaps the bridge closure changed that. Call ahead if you hope to stay here.

    We immediately called Rowland Martin Marina and Forrest River Marina and Port Mayaca Lock to warn other boaters.

    We will take a dinghy ride to get information. More later…
    Don and Joan Hutchison
    Panacea

    Click Here To View the Okeechobee Waterway Cruisers’ Net Bridge Directory Listing For the Indiantown Railway Bridge

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of RR bridge

  • LNM: Further Information on Torry Island Bridge Closure, Okeechobee Waterway Statute Mile 60


    This closure began several weeks ago as a Navigation Alert, still active, from Sue Ward and updated by Janice Callum and USACE on 3/8/2017.


    Bridge maintenance impacts boaters on Okeechobee Waterway  Read More!

    The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District is alerting boaters of a route closure that will impact
    travel along the southern part of Lake Okeechobee.
    The Corps learned today that crews from Palm Beach County will conduct emergency maintenance on the
    Torrey Island Bridge which crosses Okeechobee Waterway Route 2 near Belle Glade. While the repairs are
    underway, crews will suspend operations of the swinging bridge, effectively closing the route to most vessels.
    Officials estimate impacts from the work will continue through the rest of March.
    “During this period of emergency maintenance only small vessels, like bass boats, will be able to pass through
    this area using Route 2 or the Rim Canal,” said Carl Williams, Deputy Chief of the Jacksonville District’s South
    Florida Operations Office in Clewiston. “The bridge deck isn’t high enough to allow larger vessels to pass when it’s not operating. Okeechobee Waterway Route 1, which goes across the heart of the lake, remains open and isn’t
    impacted by this activity.”
    The Okeechobee Waterway is 154 miles long and allows boaters to travel from the Gulf of Mexico at Fort
    Myers to the Atlantic Ocean at Stuart using the Caloosahatchee River, Lake Okeechobee, the St. Lucie Canal and the
    St. Lucie River. The Corps operates five lock and dam structures on the waterway daily from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., with
    last lockage starting at 4:30 p.m.
    A notice to navigation has been issued on this subject. For more information on navigation notices concerning
    the Okeechobee Waterway, please visit the Corps’ website at http://www.saj.usace.army.mil/Missions/CivilWorks/Navigation/Notices-to-Navigation/.

    Date: 03/07/2017 NOTICE NUMBER: 003
    US ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS LOCAL NUMBER: 201703017
    JACKSONVILLE DISTRICT WATERWAY: OKEECHOBEE WATERWAY ROUTE 2
    ATTN: CESAJ-OD-SN EFFECTIVE: 03/07/2017 00:00 thru 03/31/2017 24:00 EST
    PO Box 4970
    JACKSONVILLE, FL 32232-0019
    863-983-8101
    POC: http://www.saj.usace.army.mil/Missions/CivilWorks/Navigation/NoticestoNavigation.aspx
    OKEECHOBEE WATERWAY (OWW)
    ROUTE 2
    TORREY ISLAND BRIDGE CLOSURE
    REFERENCE:
    a. 33 CFR Navigation and Navigable Waters
    1. Notice to Navigation
    Notice is given that Palm Beach County, Florida has closed the Torrey Island Bridge crossing the Okeechobee
    Waterway Route 2 at Chosen Point near Belle Glade for emergency maintenance until 31 March 2017. The Torrey
    Island Bridge when closed has water to bridge deck clearance for only low profile vessels like bass boats.
    Okeechobee Waterway Route 1 is clear and open to all vessel traffic.
    POC: Palm Beach County construction Div. Stephen O-Neal 561-684-4180
    Torrey Island Bridge Operator 561-996-3844
    //signed//
    Chief Navigation &
    Flood Risk Management
    South Florida Operations

    Click Here To View the Okeechobee Waterway Cruisers’ Net Bridge Directory Listing For Torry Island Bridge

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Torry Island Bridge

  • River District March 2017 Connections, Caloosahatchee River/Okeechobee Waterway Statute Mile 135


    Located at Mile Marker 135 on the Okeechobee Waterway, 15 miles inland from the Gulf of Mexico, Fort Myers Yacht Basin is a well designed and protected marina. It is owned and operated by the City of
    239 461-0775 Legacy Harbour Marina entrance is located on the Okeechobee Waterway East of Marker #49 on the Caloosahatchee River. The Marina is situated two blocks from historic downtown Fort Myers and three blocks from the historic Edison-Ford Winter Estates. The Marina's 131-Slips range in size from 40 feet to 80 feet and can accommodate Transient Boats of 100 feet plus. The large Fairways make our slips easily accessible. Our slips are surrounded by one of the largest 'floating breakwaters' on the Gulf of Mexico. The floating docks are state-of-the-art. Legacy Harbour Marina is a full-featured facility with all the modern conveniences of home including pump-out station, heated pool, fitness center, full electric metered at the slip, cable TV, laundry, air-conditioned showers and wireless Internet connections available. The Boaters' Lounge is available for relaxing after a cruise or for private parties. The view from the lounge is spectacular! Our grounds are beautifully manicured and provide great strolling along the river with benches, Chickee Hut, and excellent access to all of historic Fort Myers. Please take a few moments to browse our website and see for yourself what our  beautiful boating facility can offer you the next time you are cruising in Southwest Florida.

    The river is Caloosahatchee and the Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net Sponsors are Legacy Harbour Marina and Fort Myers Yacht Basin. Legacy Harbor Marina entrance is located on the Okeechobee Waterway East of Marker #49 on the Caloosahatchee River. Fort Myers Yacht Basin lies along banks of the Caloosahatchee River, between the 3rd and 4th bridges from west to east.

    SHOW CALENDAR

    Melissa Moore
    Web/Graphics Technician
    Anniversary Logo-03
    1631 Hendry Street
    Fort Myers, Florida 33901
    T: 239.337.1071 – F: 239-337.1076
    mmoore@cella.ccwww.cella.cc 

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Western Florida Marina Directory Listing For Legacy Harbour Marina

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Legacy Harbour Marina

    Click Here To View the Western Florida Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Ft Myers Yacht Basin

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Ft Myers Yacht Basin

  • Grounding at Destroyed Daybeacon, Matlacha Pass, San Carlos Bay, Okeechobee Waterway, 2/14/2017


    Our thanks to Chris Shields for this warning. He is responding to an earlier Nav Alert about the destroyed daybeacon.

    It [destroyed daybeacon] has been replaced with a temporary Red buoy and marked as “8 WR”. Steer clear of it and don’t get near to it . According, to the markers, I was clearly in the channel by at least 15 feet. However, I ran aground into only 2.8 feet of water. I called the Coast Guard as did Sea Tow. It needs to be moved asap.
    Chris Shields

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To A “Navigation Alert” Position at Matlacha Pass

  • Cape Coral Cruise Club Returns to Legacy Harbour Marina, Fort Myers, Okeechobee Waterway Statute Mile 135


    239 461-0775 Legacy Harbour Marina entrance is located on the Okeechobee Waterway East of Marker #49 on the Caloosahatchee River. The Marina is situated two blocks from historic downtown Fort Myers and three blocks from the historic Edison-Ford Winter Estates. The Marina's 131-Slips range in size from 40 feet to 80 feet and can accommodate Transient Boats of 100 feet plus. The large Fairways make our slips easily accessible. Our slips are surrounded by one of the largest 'floating breakwaters' on the Gulf of Mexico. The floating docks are state-of-the-art. Legacy Harbour Marina is a full-featured facility with all the modern conveniences of home including pump-out station, heated pool, fitness center, full electric metered at the slip, cable TV, laundry, air-conditioned showers and wireless Internet connections available. The Boaters' Lounge is available for relaxing after a cruise or for private parties. The view from the lounge is spectacular! Our grounds are beautifully manicured and provide great strolling along the river with benches, Chickee Hut, and excellent access to all of historic Fort Myers. Please take a few moments to browse our website and see for yourself what our  beautiful boating facility can offer you the next time you are cruising in Southwest Florida.

    The Cape Coral Cruise Club is a group of dedicated cruisers who always provide unique reports from the marinas they visit. Legacy Harbour Marina, A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR,  is located on the Caloosahatchee River/Okeechobee Waterway, in the heart of downtown Fort Myers, Florida. Multiple dining and shopping opportunities are found within easy walking distance of this absolutely first-rate marina!

    Cruise Club returns to Legacy Harbour  READ MORE

    by Michael Stewart

    It was bluebird weather for the Cape Coral Cruise Club members taking part in the 2017 Legacy Harbour Cruise. All nine boats made it in, one boat being late while waiting for refurbished props to be reinstalled. First time Club cruisers, Bobby and Joyce Miller arrived is style with their prospective member pennant proudly displayed. Welcome to the Club!

    First night post docktail food was provided by the cruisers – just too much and too sumptuous to list. If anyone goes hungry on one of our cruises, they only have themselves to blame.

    Wednesday morning started with a breakfast of toasted breakfast bread and butter, fresh fruit, quiche mini-muffins, orange juice and tomato juice. Attendees brought their own coffee. Following a short break after

    Legacy Harbour’s Chickee Hut

    eating, everyone reassembled at the Legacy Harbour chickee hut to begin a scavenger hunt. There were three outstanding prizes to be awarded, consequently, competition among the CCCC members can get quite intense…! Fierce competition ensued as the boaters returned to their respective vessels in search of the listed items. Would you allow two mismatched oven mitts as “work gloves”? How about a jar of “teak oil” that looked suspiciously like vegetable oil? And did the same miniature sewing kit get passed around with the teensy baby pin in it? Anyway, a lot of fun was had and Moonlighter, Hardee II, and Happy Ours triumphed as the successful winners. The prizes were wrapped so that no-one could tell what was inside (contestants were not allowed to touch the packages). First place got to pick, then second, then third. Then everyone hauled their collections back to their boat and split to various downtown Ft. Myers restaurants for lunch.

    A non-cruise related Club function occupied many of the cruisers for Wednesday dinner, however, the remaining cruisers held their own docktails and happy hour before heading on the town for dinner.

    Thursday morning breakfast, included a breakfast quiche (imagine a casserole of eggs, diced potatoes, spinach, diced ham and spices), fresh fruit, breakfast bread and juices. It was a game day for many attendees, lunch on your own, followed by dinner at Pinchers Crab Shack. The boaters were joined by some 15 club members who arrived at Legacy by land yacht that night to join in with us.

    Prior to departure on Friday for their home ports, many boaters used the pump out facilities in preparation for the next month cruise to Pink Shell Resort. It is a LOT of fun cruising and being with fun people!

    The Cape Coral Cruise Club is open to new members who own a boat with overnight accommodations and reside in the Cape Coral / Ft. Myers area. For membership information please contact Phil Kryger at 239-541-0236. Read additional Club information on its website, www.c-c-c-c.org Like us on Facebook.

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Western Florida Marina Directory Listing For Legacy Harbour Marina

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Legacy Harbour Marina

  • LNM: Culvert Replacement at Clewiston, Rim Route, Okeechobee Waterway


    All rim route users are aware that culvert replacement has been and will continue to be an ongoing process until November of 2017!. So, here is another construction site for your logbook.

    FLORIDA – OKEECHOBEE WATERWAY: Herbert Hoover Dike Rehabilitation Project Culvert 2 – CLEWISTON    READ MORE

    Ebsary Foundation will commence operations from January 27, 2017 thru May 31, 2017 in Clewiston, FL. Equipemt: 48’ x 120’ Deck Barge, EB 120 with a 150 Ton crane mounted on it, and a 25’ x 14’ Tug Boat, MACK will work in the waterway adjacent to the Herbert Hoover Dike. The GPS Coordinates of the work area are; N 26° 43′ 40”, W 80° 51′ 6”. The scope of work involves removing the steel cofferdam structure at Culvert-3 of the Herbert Hoover Dike. The barges and tug boat will be located inside the construction area and will monitor VHF Channel 16. The canal will be restricted to marine traffic during construction operations. Operations will be Monday through Saturday from 7:00am to 5:00pm. Recreational and commercial boaters are asked to use extra precaution when navigating through this section of the waterway. Further information contact Brent Huffman, 305-986-7414. Chart 11428 LNM 05/17

    And this one:

    FLORIDA – OKEECHOBEE WATERWAY: Herbert Hoover Dike Rehabilitation Project Culvert C3 & C4a
    Archer Western will be replacing two culverts along the Okeechobee Waterway near Clewiston (Culvert C-3) & near South Bay (Culvert C-4a) as part of the overall Herbert Hoover Dike Rehabilitation Project sponsored by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Construction will occur 5 to 6 days a week, with the possibility of night time work & obstruction (Steel Cofferdam /or Barge) during the installation and removal of the cofferdams on both the lakeside and land side of the dike. Recreational and commercial boaters are asked to use caution when navigating through this section of the waterway and adjacent to the Hoover Dike Culvert C-3 & Culvert C4a. All vessels should operate as slow to idle speeds with only enough forward movement to maintain control of the vessel. Boaters are responsible for any damage from boat wakes they create. Two (2) obstruction buoys with solar powered lights, with reflective hazard warning and symbol will be placed at the outermost edge of cofferdams obstructing the waterway to delineate the cofferdam location and guide boaters through the work zone area. Once the culvert replacements are complete, the cofferdams will be removed and waterway restored. The project is anticipated to be completed by the end of July 2017. Further information contact Yankyer Gomez, 239-634-7804 or at ygomez@walshgroup.com.

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Culvert Replacement

  • Cape Coral Cruise Club’s January to March Cruise Schedule, Caloosahatchee River, Cape Coral, FL


    The Cape Coral Cruise Club is a group of dedicated cruisers who always provide unique reports from the marinas they visit. Their cruise schedule for the first three months of 2017 include two longtime SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSORS, Legacy Harbor Marina and Pink Shell Beach Resort and Marina.

    Cape Coral Cruise Club 2017 Spring Cruise Schedule
    By Bruce Longman
    The Cape Coral Cruise Club, founded in 1963, is unique among S.W. Florida boat clubs in that it owns a portion of a private spoil island on the Caloosahatchee River east of the Franklin Lock near Alva. Read More

    Over the years a covered pavilion has been built where the members enjoy elaborate monthly picnics, bocce, horseshoes and other relaxing activities.

    A major advantage for members is that the Island has ample dockage for member’s boats. Over the years, four docks have been installed on an inside oxbow off the ICW having both 30amp and 50amp electric service. This allows for as many as 16 member boats, up to 45′ in length, to be docked for the weekend at minimal cost. Ferry service across the ICW aboard the club’s 30′ covered pontoon boat, skippered by a USCG licensed captain, is provided for members & guests who do not come to the monthly picnic by boat.

    Because the Club is a cruising organization, in addition to the Island picnics, members can participate in monthly cruises to local destinations. The spring 2017 cruises include:

    January destination: For the last few years Legacy Harbour in downtown Ft. Myers has become one of the most popular, nearby Club cruise destinations. With a beautiful pool and outstanding docking facilities this cruise always has a wait list. Cruise leaders have been known to plan very interesting and different daytime activities that many times include a visit to a variety of First Street dining destinations.

    February destination: A few years ago Pink Shell Resort revamped and expanded its Marina
    and the Cape Coral Cruise Club was welcomed as the first group to use the new facilities. Since then Pink Shell has repeatedly been on our cruise destination list. The resort has several pools, excellent beach facilities and outstanding restaurants. This cruise normally has at least a dozen or more member boats in attendance.

    March destination: For the past few years the March cruise has been one that is longer than most, sometimes lasting as long as two weeks. The final destination this year is Marina Jack’s Marina in Sarasota. This was an interim stop in 2015 when the Club’s long cruise went as far as Tarpon Springs. Final specifics are not available at this writing, but if past cruises are any indication, cruise leaders will be sure to include many interesting activities close to this Sarasota marina.

    The Cape Coral Cruise Club is open to new members who own a boat with overnight accommodations and reside in the Cape Coral / Ft. Myers area. For membership information please contact Phil Kryger at 239-541-0236. View a short picture video of recent Club activities and read additional Club information on its website, www.c-c-c-c.org Like us on Facebook.

    CCCC’s Hidden Island

    Members’ Boats Docked at Hidden Island

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Western Florida Marina Directory Listing For Legacy Harbour Marina

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Legacy Harbour Marina

    Click Here To View the Western Florida Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Pink Shell Beach Resort and Marina

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Pink Shell Beach Resort and Marina

  • Recommended Okeechobee Waterway Website

    This website recommendation comes from our good friends on AGLCA’s Forum. Thank you Jeff and Gail Dunham.

    Knowing that a few Loopers are waiting for Eddie to drop the green flag on a Gulf crossing and may be looking to use the Okeechobee crossing, here is a web site on the Lake Okeechobee Waterway that publishes notices to Mariners. If you are planning on taking the shortcut to get home for Christmas, take a moment and make sure a lock or a portion of the waterway is not closed for scheduled maintenance (like scrubbing the lock walls to discourage manatees from entering the locks, a four hour shutdown!). The US Corps of Engineers website follows: http://www.saj.usace.army.mil/Missions/Civil-Works/Navigation/Notices-to-Navigation/
    Jeff and Gail Dunham

  • USACOE to Suspend Water Release from Lake Okeechobee


    St. Lucie Lock, the easternmost Okeechobee lock, lies west of Stuart, FL near Okeechobee Waterway Statute Mile 15.

    wptv-st-lucie-locks2_1475151216075_47103285_ver1-0_640_480

    St. Lucie Lock

    U.S. Army Corps will suspend water flows to the St. Lucie Estuary beginning Friday
    WPTV Webteam
    11:50 AM, Nov 3, 2016

    The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced Thursday it will suspend water flowing from Lake Okeechobee to the St. Lucie Estuary and reduce flows to Caloosahatchee Estuary. Read More

    The Corps cited falling water levels in the lake as the reason.

    It said no water from the lake will be released through the St. Lucie Lock near Stuart. This is the first time since late January that discharges have been suspended from the St. Lucie Lock after a wetter than usual dry season last winter.

    However, the Corps says runoff from rain that accumulates in the St. Lucie basin will be allowed to pass through the spillway.

    “Drier weather has taken hold and the lake continues to recede,” Candida Bronson, Acting Operations Division Chief for the Jacksonville District, said in a news release. “Barring an unexpected heavy-rain event, we expect the recession to continue. We can safely suspend releases to the St. Lucie and will continue reducing flows to the Caloosahatchee from 2,800 cfs to 650 cfs over the coming week.”

    The water level at the lake stands at 15.40 feet which the Corps says is down .21 feet over the past week.

    The changes announced by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will begin Friday.

    Click Here To View the Okeechobee Waterway Cruisers’ Net Bridge Directory Listing For St. Lucie Lock

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of the St. Lucie Lock

  • New Location for River District Farmer’s Market, Caloosahatchee River/Okeechobee Waterway Statute Mile 135


    The river is Caloosahatchee and the Salty Southeast Cruisers’ Net Sponsors are Legacy Harbour Marina and Fort Myers Yacht Basin. Legacy Harbor Marina entrance is located on the Okeechobee Waterway East of Marker #49 on the Caloosahatchee River. Fort Myers Yacht Basin lies along banks of the Caloosahatchee River, between the 3rd and 4th bridges from west to east.

    River District Farmer’s Market opens at new location this Thursday

    FORT MYERS, Fla. (Oct. 31, 2016) – The River District Farmer’s Market will open this Thursday in a new location in nearby Centennial Park. Read More

    This move, from the market’s previous location under the Caloosahatchee Bridge at 2000 West First Street, will free up the more than 40 parking spots that were taken up by vendors.
    “We are really excited about this change in venue because it now only frees up parking under the bridge for our customers, but also allows for seating under the pavilion and gives us a fabulous back drop of the River,” said Betsy Ventura, who, along with Jean Baer, owns Local Roots, LLC and will run the market each week.
    The market will take place each Thursday and will be open all year except for Thanksgiving Day but will open on Wednesday, Nov. 23 for a make-up market. Vendors begin setting up at 7 a.m. with everyone in place by 9 a.m. until 1 p.m.
    According to Ventura and Baer, there will be plenty of lunch options including area favorite food trucks as well as fresh flowers, local fruits and vegetables, Greek olive oils, dog treats, and much more. Complimentary Jimmy Java’s coffee will be given to the first 100 shoppers starting at 9 am.
    Baer’s son, Tyler, a graduate of the University of Florida and Ventura’s daughter, Sims, will be joining the duo this season to assist in managing the markets.
    In addition to Downtown, Ventura and Baer also operate the Sanibel, Bonita Springs, Coconut Point, Fenway South, Lakes Park, FSW and Boca Grande (beginning Jan. 6) Farmers Markets.
    They added that the goal of each of their markets is to strengthen the surrounding community by showcasing vendors that are selling produce and artisan products that are grown or produced locally. Products are packaged by owners in an environmentally friendly way and the locations of markets are clean and safe and reflect a community atmosphere.
    Anyone interested in becoming a vendor or providing live entertainment may visit the web site at www.BuyLocalLee.com.
    Contact: Melinda Isley, APR, m.creativepr, 239-274-7736, cell: 239-565-1630, melinda@mcreativepr.com
    Thank you,
    Melissa Moore
    Web/Graphics Technician
    Anniversary Logo-03
    1631 Hendry Street
    Fort Myers, Florida 33901
    T: 239.337.1071 – F: 239-337.1076
    mmoore@cella.cc www.cella.cc

    Click Here To View the Western Florida Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Ft Myers Yacht Basin

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Ft Myers Yacht Basin

  • Praise for Indiantown Marina’s Response to Matthew, Okeechobee Waterway, Statute Mile 29.5


    Indiantown Marina lies on the St. Lucie Canal west of the HWY 710 Bridge. Well done Indiantown Marina!

    Kudos to Indiantown Marina for extraordinary accommodation of boats evacuating Hurricane Matthew from the east, with wet water slips and haul outs. The staff worked non-stop for 3-4 days to help all in need. Locks were backed up hours with boats and all were able to get to Indiantown safe haven.

    Click Here To View the Okeechobee Waterway Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Indinatown Marina

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Indiantown Marina

  • Florida USACE Prepares for Matthew

    Our thanks to Communications Specialist Erica Skolte of the Jacksonville USACE for this notice.

    All,
    US Army Corps of Engineers is preparing for impacts from Hurricane Matthew. We have adjusted the operating hours at the locks on the Okeechobee Waterway, and are ensuring users of our recreation facilities are aware they may need to evacuate. More information is attached and copied below.
    Please contact me if you have questions. Thanks for your help.
    John H Campbell SAJ

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    Corps prepares for Matthew; issues guidance to boaters & campers Read More



    As Hurricane Matthew makes its way through the Caribbean islands, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District is preparing to respond as needed and providing information to boaters and campers on operational adjustments that will take place at navigation locks and recreation facilities.

    The Jacksonville District activated its emergency operations center (EOC) at 7 a.m. today (Oct. 4). This action allows district staff to devote added attention to the response actions that might be necessary should Matthew cause impacts as it passes near Florida.

    “Our staff is coordinating with state and local officials,” said Candida Bronson, Acting Operations Division Chief for Jacksonville District. “We are adjusting our operations to ensure the safety of those who use our facilities and our staff in south Florida.”

    Jacksonville District is issuing the following guidance on its operations in south Florida:
    * For boaters, the Corps has extended operating hours for its navigation locks on the Okeechobee Waterway; they will operate from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday (Oct. 4) and Wednesday (Oct. 5). Operating hours on Thursday will depend on the track of the storm. To ensure safety of lock operators, the Corps will suspend operations when lightning is in the area, or when winds exceed 35 mph.
    * For campers and visitors to recreation sites, Jacksonville District park rangers will monitor conditions at Corps’ campgrounds and recreation areas. If a county government issues an evacuation order for mobile homes or RV parks in an area where there is a Corps’ campground or recreational facility, rangers will order an evacuation of the facility and advise on shelter locations. Visitors should move all campers, motor homes, tents, vessels, and trailers from facilities under evacuation orders.
    * Today, field staff are conducting a pre-storm evaluation of the Herbert Hoover Dike surrounding Lake Okeechobee. The current lake stage is 15.78 feet. While no immediate threat exists, the Corps advises people living and working around the lake to be prepared to take action should conditions warrant.

    More information on Jacksonville District response actions can be found at www.saj.usace.army.mil.

    John H Campbell
    Public Affairs Specialist
    Jacksonville District, US Army Corps of Engineers
    Jacksonville, FL
    Office: 904-232-1004
    Mobile: 904-614-9134

  • Floating Vegetation Clogging Lake Okeechobee Routes, 10/1


    Until this vegetation is cleared, whether you take the rim route or the lake route, you are going to be delayed in crossing Lake Okeechobee. We will keep you posted as notices come in from the Corp of Engineers.

    Notice is given that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is advising commercial and recreational vessels to use extreme caution traveling the Okeechobee Waterway Route 2 from Port Mayaca to Clewiston and Rim Canal from Clewiston to Moore Haven due to floating vegetation blocking sections of canal. Read More

    Corps of Engineers is working to clear blocked areas as quickly as possible when found. Point of contact is Carl Williams at 863-983-8101.
    Thanks for helping to get the word out!
    Erica
    Erica Skolte
    Public Affairs Specialist
    Corporate Communications Office
    U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District
    South Florida Restoration Office, West Palm Beach

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Clewiston

  • Praise For Sunset Bay Marina, Okeechobee Waterway Statute Mile 7.5


    Sunset Bay Marina lies directly on the patch of the Okeechobee Waterway, only a few miles off the AICW via the St. Lucie River. Our thanks to Peyton Yon for this report.

    Convenient and easy location to get in and out of. Well maintained, good Wifi, water and electric above average, very clean restrooms and showers, crew lounge and bicycles are provided for. Dockage rates are high for short term and transit accommodations please note they charge an additional nightly fee for electric. Free pump out service for your holding tanks offer once per week dockside or at the main fuel docks on demand. Water pressure is very high please use caution. Our dockage was for a 60ft MY on B Dock.
    Peyton Yon

    Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Eastern Florida Marina Directory Listing For Sunset Bay Marina and Moorings

    Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Sunset Bay Marina and Moorings

  • US Army Corp of Engineers to Increase Water Flow from Lake Okeechobee

    This release of water has to be attributed to rains from Hermine. Increased water releases from Lake Okeechobee earlier this year resulted in massive fish kills downstream of the release.

    Corps of Engineers increasing Lake Okeechobee discharges
    by Scott Sutton
    The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced Thursday plans to increase the amount of water flowing from Lake Okeechobee over the next week….

    CLICK HERE for the full report from WPTV, West Palm Beach

  • 2016 Tropical Storm and Hurricane Operations at South Florida Locks

    With the 2016 hurricane season underway, this is valuable information for boaters navigating the Ockeechobee Waterway or the Canaveral Barge Canal in South Florida. This notice comes to us from our good friend, Specialist Erica Skolte, US Army Corp of Engineers.

    usace_logo

    OKEECHOBEE WATERWAY AND CANAVERAL HARBOR LOCK OPERATIONS DURING TROPICAL STORMS AND HURRICANES

    1. Notice to Navigation
    Notice is given that 72 hours prior to a Tropical Storm or Hurricane making local landfall locks will be open 6 AM to 10 PM supporting vessel safe harbor passage. Lock operations will stop 8 hours prior to land fall as Rail Road and drawbridges will be lowered or rotated and locked into a secure position. It’s important that all vessels are at their intended destination before bridges are secured and passage across the waterway suspended.
    For Lock Operator safety the locks will:
    1. Stop locking vessels or working outdoors if lightning is observed within five miles of the lock and
    operations will not resume until lightning has not been seen in the area for 30 minutes.
    2. Stop locking vessels when winds exceed 35 MPH.
    After a storm it could be days or weeks before the waterway is reopen depending on damage to structures and
    how quickly debris creating navigation hazards can be removed.
    For up to date Lock information contact the shift operator 7 AM to 5 PM at:
    Canaveral Lock 321-783-5421
    St Lucie Lock & Dam 772-287-2665
    Port Mayaca Lock & Dam 561-924-2858
    Moore Haven Lock & Dam 863-946-0414
    Ortona Lock & Dam 863-675-0616
    WP Franklin Lock & Dam 239-694-5451
    //signed//
    Digitally signed by WILLIAMS.CARL.MABRY.IV
    Date: 2016.08.22 14:57:47 -04’00’
    Chief Navigation & Flood Risk Management
    South Florida Operations

  • Extreme Toxicity Reported in Okeechobee Waterway, Stuart, FL


    One of the four areas tested, Leighton Park, is in the South Fork of the St. Lucie River at Mile 9.5 of the Okeechobee Waterway just south of the Palm City Bridge. Central Marine is on the north side of the the Okeechobee/St.Lucie River, east of the New Roosevelt Bridge and Loggerhead Club and Marina. This report comes from WPTV.com of West Palm Beach, FL.

    Report shows extreme toxicity in four bodies of water in Martin County
    WPTV Webteam
    12:00 PM, Jul 15, 2016

    Water samples taken in Martin County show extreme toxicity in four bodies of water.
    The analysis, done by chemists at the SUNY-College of Environmental Science and Forestry in New York, found that water samples from Leighton Park, Sandsprit Park, Deck and Central contained levels of microcystins that were “extremely high, well above the levels allowed for recreational contact.”

    Special section: Toxic Water

    Microcystins are toxins produced by cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae.
    Those results are not surprising to Mary Radabaugh who manages Central Marine. That’s one of the locations where tests showed extreme toxicity.

    CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL REPORT AND VIDEO

  • Okeechobee Update

    Our sincere thanks to Captain Greg Allard for this excellent report and photos of the Okeechobee Waterway. Greg is an experienced cruiser and his observations and advice are definitely to be trusted and heeded.

    Okeechobee Update – June 24, 1016

    We just finished crossing the Okeechobee waterway from east to west.  Some observations:
    1) Obstruction report at MM34:  On January 12, 2016 the Cruisers Net contained a report of a vessel which hit an object and sustained damage in the vicinity of MM 34 on the St. Lucie Canal.
    On June 22, 2016, while we were underway we observed the scene below, at approximately MM34:Version 2
    This bird was perched on the limb of a tree, on the south side of the waterway.  The water was very murky, so we could not see any other parts of the tree or limb to be able to tell how far it extended into the waterway. The bird is approximately 30’+ from shore.
    I hit the MOB button, and recorded the location as we passed:  27 degrees 00.8582’N; 080 degrees, 32.8102′ W.
    In re-reading the report about the damaged vessel from January 12th, it appears that the vessel was “along the side of the canal which is the starboard side coming East from Port Mayaca,”which would have put it in approximately this location.  Of course we can’t be certain that this was the earlier reported obstruction.
    This type of hazard is not unusual along this portion of the St. Lucie Canal.  Just a mile further west, we took this photo:DSC_2417 (1)
    On both sides of the canal, there are stands of trees, including some tall casuarinas on the right side.  If one of them fell into the canal, it could easily become a hazard. The lesson here is to “stay in the middle”.  That won’t protect you from free-floating logs or pilings, but it will minimize the risk of contacting fallen trees.
    2) Lake Okeechobee water levels:  The water levels in the lake have been high, due to heavy rains.  Most cruisers use “Route 1” to cross (as opposed to Route 2, the southern rim route).  This link takes you to the Corp of Engineers site, showing you the current depths for each route:
    According to the Corps, the shallowest part of Route 1 is in the SW corner of the lake, from Clewiston out to where the channel stops its zig-zags. Follow the markers carefully, and don’t drift off.  When we crossed on June 22, the level was over 8.8’.
    It’s important to try to cross the lake as early as possible in the morning, before any strong winds develop, especially if the winds come from the north/northeast, or east. Where the water is only 8’ deep, if winds cause waves in the lake 2-4’ in height near the SW corner of the lake, a boat with a 5’ draft may start to bottom out in those conditions.  The bottom there is rock, not sand.
    3) Algae conditions:  
    Due to the heavy rains, there are severe algae blooms in the St Lucie canal, lower St. Lucie River, and the lake.  We saw none on the Caloosahatchee River side.  The algae is kelly green in color. Here’s what it looks like:DSC_2450
    According to local news reports, samples have been sent to
    Florida’s health lab for testing, so as of the time of this report it is unknown whether it will be considered toxic or not.  We observed no cooling issues with our engines as we passed through these patches. It is thin and “whispy” and did not accumulate at all in the engine strainer baskets.
    Favorite places to stay overnight:
    1) To position yourself for an early morning Okeechobee crossing, going west to east:
        a) Moore Haven docks (just before the lock). $1.00 a foot; electric available.
        b) Roland Martin’s Marina, in Clewiston.  Probably the best layover place; right on the edge of the lake.  The outdoor bar is terrific: it reminds us of the bar scene in the first Star Wars movie.
    When we stayed there in March on the way east, the small lock at Clewiston was actually in operation (the first time we have ever seen that.)  Our 65’ LOA boat barely fit into the lock.  On our most recent return trip, the lock was fully open, not in operation, and allowed full pass-through to the marina.   The Clewiston lock is not operated by the Corps of Engineers – it is private, and the people who run it are well intentioned, friendly amateurs.  Just because they tell you to do something, it doesn’t mean they know what they are talking about.  They put about 20 bass boats into the chamber with us, and they were hanging all over us, banging into us, and cutting us off as we entered the chamber; it was bedlam.
    Roland Martin’s is still the best place to stay on a west to east trip.  The dockmaster Sam is excellent.  Call for a reservation.
    2) To position yourself for an east to west crossing of the lake in the morning:
         a) Indiantown Marina: A true old fashioned time-warp. They have limited slip space, but at $1.00 a foot, it is a bargain.  It’s about 9.9 Statute Miles from the Port Mayaca lock, where you would begin to cross the lake.
         b) If Indiantown can’t take you, the River Forest marina, just 1/2 mile west of the St. Lucie lock, is a good alternative, at $1.35 a foot.  It will take you longer to get to the eastern edge of the lake in the morning, but there aren’t any other choices.
    4) Ortona Lock Restrictions:
        The Ortona lock is undergoing repairs, and there are restricted openings which have been reported on the Cruisers Net.
    Note that the restricted openings do not apply on weekends, when the lock will open on demand from 7:00 AM to 4:30 PM.
    On our recent trip across the waterway from east to west, we stayed at the River Forest location in Moore Haven, just 1/4 mile east of the Ortona lock. It’s perfectly positioned to allow us to arrive at the Ortona lock in time for the 7:00-7:30 limited opening.  We did hear the lockmaster, on the VHF, allowing a boat to lock through at a time other than the restricted windows, so it does not hurt to ask.  It depends on whether construction is actually going on.
    Corp of Engineers Contact:
    The day before we begin any Okeechobee crossing, we call the local Corp of Engineers office directly (they are in Clewiston), to be sure there aren’t any lock shutdowns or bridge problems. They are always very helpful.
    Here’s the phone number:  863-983-8101
    Many of our cruising friends would never consider using the Okeechobee.  We enjoy the trip.  It’s much shorter than going down through the Keys and then heading north, up through the endless and tiresome Florida Bay, which can be loaded with crab traps.  It is also easier to run the waterway in bad weather.  It presents a fascinating slice of old time Florida.  Scenes like this sunrise make it worthwhile:DSC_2494
    Greg Allard
     M/V “Meander”
  • Log of the Ideath, Captain Randy Mims, June 14, 2016

    You only have to spend a short time talking with Randy Mims to know that he has the soul of a true sailor. Randy not only built his 27ft gaff-rigged cutter, Ideath, but each year he single-hands the cutter from North Carolina to the Northern Gulf Coast and back again. “Ideath” is pronounced Idea-th and loosely translates as “house of ideas”. Randy stops along the way to visit maritime museums and, indulging his passion for music, he volunteers to sing in church choirs along the way. He also takes time to share his travels with his friends and has agreed to allow SSECN to post his emails. For more photos and more on Randy, go to http://towndock.net/shippingnews/ideath?pg=1 from TownDock.net in Oriental. See previous installment: http://cruisersnet.net/156986.

    Dear Friends,
    I am sending this update from LaBelle, Florida. It is located on the Caloosahatchee river in the Okeechobee waterway. I have crossed Lake Okeechobee numerous times both under sail and power depending on the wind. The first time, the wind quit completely and I anchored for the night. The next morning it was so absolutely calm that I spent half a day marveling at how quiet it was. When you are in the middle of a vast body of water and it is so still there is nothing to reflect sound , you can yell as loud as you can and as soon as it leaves your mouth it is like it is just absorbed by the universe. There are two possible routes to the a other side. There is the directly across way which I have always taken and what is called the rim route. Because of disastrous floods in the 1920’s, a channel was dug around the lake and the rock and dirt was used to build the “Herbert Hoover Dike”. This channel has always been too shallow to allow Ideath to try. This year I was pleased to learn that the lake is over two feet above the normal full pool. I have always wanted to experience this route even though it is eleven mile further. Many marsh islands and habitats dot the length of this channel. Near Belle Glade there is a park on Torry Island which is reached by an antique “hand operated” swing bridge. After calling the bridge tender and requesting an opening, a young man walked to the center of the bridge and inserted what looked like about an eight foot long metal tube into the deck of the bridge at about a 45 degree angle and began pushing it around in a circle. Obviously pretty hard to get moving, once he got it going it seemed pretty easy to get it all the way open. One added bonus was that during the entire operation no cars were waiting behind the swing arm barricades. I spent a wonderful day watching clouds of birds and aquatic flowering plants of all descriptions glide past. One of the best things about voyaging on Ideath is that no matter how long I have been doing it, there are always the opportunities to go somewhere or do something that I have always wanted to do but was prevented by some circumstance. Always be ready to take advantage of of an opportunity to do something or be someone when the universe makes it possible. I am starting to get close enough to the end of the voyage that I find myself longing to be there and wishing that it would never end. I hope your adventure is just as fantastic.
    Love and Peace to you all,
    Randy

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