Please Note That Postings Below From Fellow Cruisers Are Listed in Chronological Order, Based on Publication Date
Please Note That Postings Below From Fellow Cruisers Are Listed in Chronological Order, Based on Publication Date
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
Notice to Navigation
Notice is given that Canaveral, WP Franklin, Ortona, Moore Haven, Port Mayaca and St Lucie Locks will have scheduled 4 hour closures 7:30-11:30 a.m. and 12-4 p.m. at locations and dates listed below to support annual maintenance to the Manatee Protection System. Read More
Additional locking hours may be available based on the contractors work. Call the Lock shift operator for current information.
W.P. Franklin Lock 239-694-5451
Ortona Lock 863-675-0616
Moore Haven Lock 863-946-0414
Port Mayaca Lock 561-924-2858
St Lucie Lock 772-287-2665
Canaveral Lock 321-783-5421
Thanks for helping to get the word out!
Public Affairs Specialist
Corporate Communications Office
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District
South Florida Restoration Office, West Palm Beach
St. Lucie Lock, the easternmost Okeechobee lock, lies west of Stuart, FL near Okeechobee Waterway Statute Mile 15.
U.S. Army Corps will suspend water flows to the St. Lucie Estuary beginning Friday
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.
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
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.
Our thanks to Communications Specialist Erica Skolte of the Jacksonville USACE for this notice.
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
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
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
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.
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….
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.
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
Digitally signed by WILLIAMS.CARL.MABRY.IV
Date: 2016.08.22 14:57:47 -04’00’
Chief Navigation & Flood Risk Management
South Florida Operations
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
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.”
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.
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
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.
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,
This destroyed daybeacon 37 is on the eastern side of the canal north of St. Lucie Lock
FLORIDA – ST LUCIE CANAL TO FORT MYERS AND LAKE OKEECHOBEE – ST LUCIE INLET: Hazard to Navigation
St Lucie Canal Daybeacon 37 (LLNR 51115) is destroyed. The remains of the concrete pile may pose a hazard to navigation. Wreckage has been marked with a TRLB, FL Q G, 3M light on its assigned position. Mariners are advised to exercise extreme caution while transiting the area. Chart 11428 LNM 22/16
February 27: As reported in the article below from WPTV of West Palm Beach, Gov. Scott has declared a State of Emergency regarding Lake Okeechobee discharge:
And this 2/23 article from Mother Jones:
Except for the possibility of floating debris, the high levels are good news (well, maybe not good for all boaters: see Philips Lange’s comments below!) for boaters transiting the Okeechobee Waterway, but bad news for fishermen in the St. Lucie River.
Lake Okeechobee discharges could last for months
Monday level was 16.14 feet
Lake Okeechobee discharges could last for months Monday level was 16.14 feet
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!
Cape Coral Cruise Club Cruises to Legacy Harbour Marina
By John Queen, Commodore, Cape Coral Cruise Club
Each month, the Cape Coral Cruise Club makes a scheduled cruise to a different marina in SW Florida and stays for several days enjoying the amenities and hospitality of the marina. We do this nine times a year along with an extended cruise each spring. We take a break during the summer months of July and August, as many members return north. This January vessel compasses pointed towards Legacy Harbour Marina in downtown Fort Myers.
Club boats headed out on Tuesday, January 26th on what was actually a nice dry day, and boats headed home on Friday, January 29th, also a nice dry day. Everything in between – fergetaboutit! It was rain, rain, and more rain. Did I mention it was wet? The Club plans its monthly cruises months ahead of time and cannot of course control Mother Nature, but did she really have to rain on our parade all that week?
Seven Cape Coral Cruise Club member boats made the journey plus 2 club members live-aboard and reside at Legacy Harbour year round (they didn’t have to go far). On Tuesday night, club members gathered at the Tiki Hut for drinks and a potluck dinner. That’s when the rain began. It didn’t stop until Friday morning.
Wednesday morning, after serving up a breakfast of scrambled eggs, sausage and Bennett’s doughnuts, a tour was planned at the Edison-Ford Estates Museum and Laboratory. Seven club members made the trip only to find that Edison-Ford had closed the estate tours and grounds due to inclement weather. We toured the museum and laboratory, but it was disappointing that that the main estate was not accessible.
Wednesday night, several members brought out their best chili recipes for a chili cook-off contest. The Tiki Hut at Legacy was lined with 7 crock pots, each vying for attention. After scouting the marina to find a person who would serve as our ‘official’ chili judge, as luck would have it, Eric, the Legacy Dock Master volunteered. At the time, we didn’t realize what a true chili aficionado Eric was.
At the stroke of 6:00 PM, Eric showed up with a clipboard and judging sheet divided into 5 or 6 categories of aroma, texture, and consistency…, from which to judge. Before judging, Eric also gave an impromptu verbal lesson on the history of chili. Eric was the perfect judge! After carefully writing notes and quickly sampling each offering, Eric rose from the steam laden crocks and declared victory: Pati Queen was declared the winner followed by 2nd place to Stephanie Carrico, and 3rd place going to Bonnie Martin.
On Thursday morning, we laid out a nice breakfast of scrambled eggs, sausage, dry cereals and juices for everyone. Of course it rained the night before, and the rain continued throughout the day.
Thursday evening about 45 club members converged on Pincher’s Restaurant a few blocks west of Legacy Harbour. Since several members came to Pincher’s by car, they helped shuttle boaters stay out of the rain. It’s always nice to have non boating club members join the boaters for the group dinner. Pincher’s was quite hospitable by housing all club members in a private dining area.
On Friday morning the rain finally stopped and the boaters headed out to the Caloosahatchee returning to their home slips scattered around Cape Coral. The Club certainly thanks the staff of Legacy Harbour Marina for their hospitality, as well as Pincher’s Restaurant for accommodating us on this event. We thank Mother Nature for giving us a dry trip back home on Friday.
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. The Club website is being updated so the short video of recent Club activities and additional Club information may not be accessible. Club website, www.c-c-c-c.org
These two reports on City of Fort Myers Yacht Basin, A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, come from our friends at AGLCA Forum. Fort Myers Yacht Basin lies along the southeasterly banks of the Caloosahatchee River, between the 3rd and 4th bridges from west to east.
We spent a lovely month at Fort Myers municipal marina last year about this time.
They were helpful, and kind. Legacy is closer to the Publix grocery. But if you need some exercise, the Publix is a 22 minute brisk walk from the city marina. We walked up to restaurants downtown and enjoyed the many festivals that abound on the area. There were car shows, parades and the like.
An added advantage was the saxophone player who serenaded us and the rest of the marina from under the highway bridge. Hope you are there when he is.
Because it is close to a city street , there are early morning runners if you are docked by the street. We have also found that docking close to the city walk invites ants to join you…depending on your thoughts, you may want to spray your dock lines with a Raid like thing.
But we loved it. Stayed a month.
Just stayed a month there, great experience. Very friendly and helpful staff, reasonable rates, and metered elec only totaled 25 bucks for the whole month.
Was not on the street side so can’t comment on that. Did hear the sax player a few times, very pleasant sounds. Close to most things you might need and a free shuttle to get you around the area. Highly recommended facility.
David and Barbara Doyl
Our thanks to SSECN Team Member, Curtis Hoff, for these navigation notes along the Okeechobee Waterway.
I just crossed the Okeechobee from Stuart to Ft. Myers the past two days and these are the items I noted during my trip.
Indiantown Railway Bridge was down as I approached with no signs of a train. Had to call on channel 9 to have it opened. Therefore don’t assume it will be ‘normally’ open unless a train is expected.
*** IMPORTANT ONE ***
Regarding this recent SSECN post. The obstruction is clearly visible at MM 33.5 less than halfway between the centerline and the south edge. Looks to be 6-8″ dia wood sticking vertically up only an inch or two above the water. Stay on center or slightly north.
Also, found two similar hazards at MM34.3 and 35.2. Both are a bit further off center maybe 20% channel width from the north (Note: north, not south) edge but could be hit in a passing condition or if someone drifted off the centerline. They are a bit smaller, maybe 6″ dia but also just slightly above the water – a bird was perched on one of them when I passed.
Construction just east of Moore Haven (26°49.594’N, 081°03.890’W). Nothing to worry about right now – channel is currently very wide. Some web resources are reporting it is very narrow (20 ft) – currently at least 50 ft wide. No other construction trouble spots, but I crossed the lake and didn’t take the rim route.
Ortona Lock – at least one other web resource is incorrectly stating there is a limited schedule from mid-December to mid-June That is currently incorrect – on demand according to the lock tender and he wasn’t sure if/when it would become restricted. He even checked the notices on line since he was unaware – but he did think that it could occur at some point – I believe it may be due to construction. Since the schedule could change it would be best to either check the notices online or call the lock since it could be restricted to a few openings a day at some point. But at this point don’t assume it is restricted since it wasn’t today, 1/29.
Our thanks to Sue Ward for sending this alert. As soon as we receive more specific information as to location of the obstruction, it will be posted. Indiantown Marina is at statute mile 29.5, so the obstruction would be at roughly mile 34 in the St Lucie Canal.
Sue Ward 1:43pm Jan 12
Hi. We are in Indiantown marina on the St Lucie waterway. A motor yacht has just come and been lifted from the water as an emergency. There is some sort of underwater obstruction submerged about 4-5 miles west of here on the way to Port Mayaca. The guy thinks he hit a tree but it got caught up in his propellers and has demolished the starboard prop and damaged a blade on the port prop. It is not clear whether the obstructions is attached to the bottom of canal or floating free but it has caused a huge amount of damage. He was traveling along one side of the canal which is the starboard side coming East from Port Mayaca. Hope this of help.