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
This destroyed daybeacon is northeast of St. Lucie Lock approaching the two fixed bridges prior to the lock.
FLORIDA – ST. LUCIE INLET TO FORT MYERS AND LAKE OKEECHOBEE – ST. LUCIE CANAL: Hazard to Navigation
St. Lucie Canal Daybeacon 40A (LLNR 51140) is destroyed. The steel pile wreckage is marked with a TRLB WR40A displaying Fl Q R, 4NM characteristics. Mariners are advised to exercise extreme caution while transiting the area.
Chart 11428 LNM 29/17
From the description below, we assume that Hunky Dory was taking the direct Lake Route and not the Rim Route. Our thanks to Dan and Peggy for sharing their experience. See http://cruisersnet.net/165580 for advice given to Dan and Peggy by fellow Loopers.
For those that asked about Lake Okeechobee crossing….. In the Clewiston Channel heading East…. We hit rocks about 1 mile out from the lock. READ MORE!
We’re not going to chance another try at the Lake. We are heading around through the Keys when we get all of the repairs completed. We were just the first to arrive at River Forest Yachting Center with damage from the Lake. Just as few hours later, a boat that was totally disabled arrived from hitting the bottom.
Very helpful information on the Keys. We were trying to plan out our stops from Fort Myers to Miami and realized that we will have to take the Hawk Channel because of the shallow water on the inside. The lack of anchorages and many miles from Marathon to Key Biscayne had us wondering what to do. Now we know that Channel 5 can be a stop over if we need it.
We are a 50′ Ocean Alexander with a 4.5′ draft, if this info will help anyone else.
Thanks to everyone from Dan and Peggy Stricklin, aboard Hunky Dory.
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
Our thanks to Kim Russo for sharing this good news via AGLCA‘s Forum and also to Mike Bodin of MTOA. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that in the future this law will stand up to the pressure on legislators from wealthy landowners to restrict anchoring.
Great news! I was just notified by our lobbyist that HB 7043 was approved by the Governor. It is law. As of now, no local municipality or county in the state of Florida may ban, restrict, or otherwise regulate an anchorage in Florida coastal waters. READ MORE!
Congratulations to all Loopers, members of MTOA, SSCA, and others who supported this effort, stuck with it, and made your voices heard! You have made a difference to the boating community. Special thanks goes out to Jerry Paul of Capitol Access for his diligent efforts on our behalf. His guidance and hard work made all the difference.
America’s Great Loop Cruisers’ Association
And this from Mike Bodin, MTOA Public Affairs:
Thank you AGLCA, SSCA, MTOA and DeFever, for
your continued support. Florida’s anchoring Bill now
Florida’s new Mooring & Anchoring bill has become law. The Governor just approved HB 7043.
It is law. As of now, the new law explicitly states no local municipality or county in the state of
Florida may ban, restrict, or otherwise regulate an anchorage in Florida coastal waters. This
plainly worded section of the new law eliminates each community from setting its own
regulations. If this section was not plainly worded it would have resulted in many lost
anchorages over time with boaters challenging cities for the right to anchor. Instead, we got
the pre-emotion provision … preventing any local government from banning an anchorage.
It was important for us to ensure there were no unreasonable setbacks in this bill. But, as I have
said in the past, the single most valuable piece of this bill is the preemption provision. This seals
off local governments. The only way that a new anchorage can be banned is by an Act of the
entire Legislature and Governor. We can almost always kill such a bill. Moreover, we can likely
kill any future effort to overturn the preemption or add new band and ranges in state statute.
With the state level preemption and no local control, we are now in a position of strength. It is
a home-field advantage for our side. Without preemption, however, the entire issue is a home
game for all the anti-cruisers in EACH of their local communities… an infinite number battles
that we would not be able to fight piecemeal.
Moreover, SSCA, AGLCA, MTOA and DeFever prevented the enactment of any setbacks that
could have resulted in the elimination of any existing anchorages state wide.
Finally, you did a lot to rehabilitate some of the negative imagery about anchoring cruisers that
had made its way to the Capitol.
Congratulations to each of you, this team, and all the members of MTOA, SSCA, AGLCA,
DeFever who supported your effort, stuck with you, and made your voices heard… to protect
the freedoms of cruisers.
The above is from our Tallahassee “Boaters Rights” Lobbyists Jerry Paul of Capitol Access who
skillfully guided this legislation through six committee hearings with unanimous approval.
Of major importance was the fact this was the accumulation of Florida’s 9-year, multi-million
dollar, anchoring study resulting in a 256 page report. It was thought Florida’s new law may be
a precedent for other states along the waterway. This was a primary cause to eliminate as
much as possible harmful to boater’s language which would be in the new law. Counties, cities,
waterside home owners and condominium groups were for local control to establish nonanchoring
zones. Local control was totally defeated. Today the new law requires very high
standards for counties to satisfy to even approach the state to establish new non-anchoring
Another major accomplishment, within the original FWC report, waterside residents were
insistent for non-anchoring setbacks of 150’ up to 300’ along the waterway. This would have
eliminated many now popular anchorages. The new law eliminated these setbacks for boaters.
During this same time, we were instrumental with Florida’s new Derelict Vessel law, the
previous bill was defeated because we felt it was too harsh for the boat owner, fines to high
and did not give adequate time for owner removal. The new Derelict Vessel Law corrects these
MTOA Public Advocate
And this from BoatUS
NEWS From BoatUS
Boat Owners Association of The United States
880 S. Pickett St., Alexandria VA 22304
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press Contact: D. Scott Croft, 703-461-2864, SCroft@BoatUS.com
Florida Bill Strengthens Derelict Vessel Fight,
Promotes Environmentally Sound Public Access
BoatUS thanks governor and legislature
TALLAHASSEE, Fla., June 27, 2017 – The results of an eight-year pilot program are in, and Gov. Rick Scott and the Florida Legislature have acted. Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) congratulates the governor and legislators on Friday’s passage of HB 7043 that promotes environmentally sound public access and helps address the issue of improperly stored, abandoned or derelict vessels. “These are sound regulations supported by responsible boaters,” said BoatUS Manager of Government Affairs David Kennedy.
When the pilot program was enacted in 2009, a patchwork of local anchoring regulations sometimes made stopping difficult. Some boaters reported fearing a visit from law enforcement advising that they had “overstayed” their visit and needed to move on.
Conducted by Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and five local governments including the City of St. Augustine, City of Stuart/Martin County, City of St. Petersburg, City of Sarasota and Monroe County/Marathon/Key West, the pilot tested a variety of methods of regulated anchoring, while still protecting the anchoring rights of the active cruising public. It also sought to reduce the growing population of derelict vessels in the state.
BoatUS expressly thanks Gov. Scott, Reps. Matt Caldwell (Lee County) Holly Raschein (Monroe County), Sen. Lauren Book (Broward County) and the FWC for their work on the bill.
Some of bill’s measures include:
providing commonsense anchoring regulations in and around mooring fields and waterway infrastructure.
broadening the definition of a “derelict vessel”; for boats in use, adding new penalties for those whose vessel registration is expired beyond six months; and making it illegal to affix a vessel to an unpermitted, unauthorized or otherwise “unlawful object,” affixed to the bottom of the waters of the state. This could include an unpermitted mooring or an old engine block.
giving local governments the option to require proof of pumpout after vessels have been anchored for 10 days or longer in federally managed no-discharge-zones (portions of the Florida Keys and waters off Destin).
As a recent report attests, groups, such as Cape Coral Cruise Club, love Legacy Harbour Marina, A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, which 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!
Our thanks to regular contributor and experienced cruiser, Greg Allard, for this log and photos of his recent west to east crossing of Lake Okeechobee and the Okeechobee Waterway.
Okeechobee Update – June 19, 2017
The water levels in Lake Okeechobee and the Waterway have been very low this spring, prompting an earlier request by the Corp of Engineers to avoid using the waterway if possible.
Recent rains have restored the water level to some extent, and boats are using the Okeechobee waterway. All of the locks are fully operational, with no reduced operating schedule.
Here is a report based on our crossing of the lake on Sunday, June 18, 2017; we crossed from east to west. READ MORE!
The latest Corp of Engineers report (on 6/17) showed the lake level for Route 1 was 5.93 feet. Route 1 is the deeper, more preferable route across. It runs from Clewiston (in the SW corner of the lake) to the Port Mayaca lock on the eastern shore.
Here is a link to the Corp of Engineers site, which gives the daily report of lake levels:
Our boat has a 4’7” draft. With our carefully calibrated depth finders (3 of them), adjusted for their mounting positions in the hull, during our entire crossing the actual depth of the water from the western side of the Port Mayaca lock to Clewiston was never less than 6.6 feet. (Remember, the report for Route 1 indicated 5.93’) The shallowest section was, as expected, in the zig-zag channel which runs between Clewiston, and ends at green marker #7 – (which is at the north-eastern end of the zig-zag channel, out in the deeper portion of the lake.)
Two days earlier, another boat, with a 4’8” draft, and a careful observer aboard, noted that the shallowest water along the same route was 6.25 feet; the Corp of Engineers report for that day was 5.78 for Route 1.
You can used these reports, in combination with the latest Corp of Engineers report of lake depth, to
help you evaluate whether you have sufficient water to cross. Remember, these reported depths are
along the exact route which those boats took; if your position differs even a little, your depths readings may differ.
There has been some discussion on this site about an obstruction in the marked entry/exit channel between the western end of the Port Mayaca lock and the lake. I questioned the lock master at Port Mayaca, and he advised that we should “keep close to the the green markers.” We stayed within 50-75 feet of the greens, and the shallowest water we observed was 7 feet.
It is critical to stay within the marked channel, especially in the Clewiston channel, which is unforgiving.
It is not mud, it is not sand, it is rock. It’s the same for the channel from the lake into the Port Mayaca lock… all rock.
Since we were traveling generally west-bound in the waterway, this was our view of “G7” which is the first marker for west-bound boats at the start of the Clewiston zig-zag channel. This marker is at the NE end of that cut, and normally there would be a green day board facing north-east. That marker is missing from the structure. This can make the west-bound approach deceptive, since there are other structures and aids to navigation in the area. The other green day board is in place (upper right corner of structure) and visible if you are coming towards this structure, generally eastbound from Clewiston.
Finally, with the lake in such a shallow condition, it is more important than ever that you cross the lake when it is calm. Usually that means early in the morning, when you can depart from either Indiantown marina (if you are westbound) or, if you are eastbound, plan to depart from either Clewiston (Roland Martin marina) or from the docks at Moore Haven. It is surprising how rough it gets in Lake Okeechobee, even in relatively light winds. Here’s the problem: if the winds produce 2-3′ waves in the lake, that gives you 2-3’ less water under your keel. In shallow conditions you could easily bottom-out. If winds are coming from north through east, the problem develops in the SW corner of the lake….right in the Clewiston cut. If the winds are from the north through southwest or even the south, the shallow channel from the lake into Port Mayaca lock can become a problem.
Our thanks to Kim Russo of AGLCA for posting this summary on Forum.
Here’s a very helpful summary prepared by our lobbyist, Jerry Paul, out-lining the action to date on the current bill and what it includes. [exoand title=”Read More!“]
HB 7043 – “Vessels”
2017 Florida Legislative Session
Pursuant to Florida Statutes adopted in 2009, Florida’s FWC (Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission) conducted an Anchoring & Mooring Pilot Program which concluded in 2017. The 2009 law also required the FWC to issue a report and required the Florida Legislature to act on recommendations from the pilot program. It is this mandate that HB 7043 addresses. The bill incorporates many of the findings and recommendations from the pilot program. As of May 1, 2017, the bill has been adopted by the Florida House of Representative and the Florida Senate. The bill has been “enrolled” and sent to the Florida Governor for consideration.
Summary of the bill:
Prohibits local governments (cities and counties) from adopting new laws that ban or restrict anchoring and mooring outside the boundaries of existing mooring fields.This regulatory authority is reserved to the State so that local governments cannot create a confusing patchwork that varies by location.
Provides more flexibility for removal of derelict vessels. For example, a vessel is at risk of becoming derelict if the vessel does not have effective means of propulsion for safe navigation within 72 hours after the owner or operator of the vessel receives notice of such from a law enforcement officer and cannot provide proof of purchase of parts necessary for repair.
The bill does not create any new anchoring restricted areas.The bill does not include the drastic anchoring “set-backs” had been proposed by some local governments and anti-anchoring activists.The bill does, however, include the following setbacks:
Prohibits a vessel or floating structure from anchoring or mooring within 150 feet of a marina, boat ramp, boatyard, or other vessel launching or loading facility, within 300 feet of a superyacht repair facility.
Prohibits anchoring within 100 feet outward from the marked boundary of a public mooring field. A local government may establish a distance less than this (but not more) upon notification to FWC.
Provides exceptions to these restrictions in situations such as when weather requires temporary anchoring for safety.
Note: As stated above, the bill does not create any new anchoring restricted areas. Remember, however, that a bill was adopted during the 2016 legislative session that established anchoring restricted areas in the following locations: (a) The section of Middle River lying between Northeast 21st Court and the Intracoastal Waterway in Broward County; (b) Sunset Lake in Miami-Dade County; (c) The sections of Biscayne Bay in Miami-Dade County lying between: 1. Rivo Alto Island and Di Lido Island, 2. San Marino Island and San Marco Island, and 3. San Marco Island and Biscayne Island.
Prohibits a vessel or floating structure from anchoring, mooring, tying, or otherwise affixing to an unpermitted or unauthorized object that is on or affixed to the bottom of waters of the state.
Allows local governments to adopt the Monroe County/Florida Keys standard program for requiring proof of pump-outs within 10-14 days in certain locations such as no-discharge zones and mooring fields.
America’s Great Loop Cruisers’ Association
Wally Moran adds his thoughts on this legislation via his blog, LiveBloggin’ the ICW[/expand]
Pahokee Marina is on the Lake Okeechobee Rim Route just west of Mile 50. Pahokee Marina/Lake Okeechobee KOA is part of Pahokee State Park, north of Bacom Point.
FLORIDA – ST. LUCIE INLET TO FORT MYERS AND LAKE OKEECHOBEE – PAHOKEE MARINA: Hazard to Navigation/Marina Entrance Waterway Levels
The U.S Coast Guard has received a report of extremely shallow water levels in the marina entrance to Pahokee Marina in Lake Okeechobee in approximate position 26-49.36N, 080-40.54W. When the lake water levels fall below 12.5ft the water depths in the marina entrance become extremely shallow, less than 6ft. Vessels that draw greater than 4ft should exercise extreme caution until water levels rise to greater than 12.5ft.
Legacy Harbour Marina, A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR, is located at Statute Mile 135 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!
THE SAFE HAVEN AT THE CENTER OF IT ALL
Situated just east of Marker 49 on the Okeechobee Waterway is Legacy Harbour Marina. Its central location along the Caloosahatchee River makes it the ideal spot for stopovers or extended stays. Just a few blocks from the historic Edison & Ford Winter Estates and just a short walk from the diverse nightlife of downtown Fort Myers, Legacy Harbour Marina is both a safe haven and a safe bet for those looking to make the most of their visit.
For starters, our marina is protected by one of the largest floating breakwaters on Florida’s Gulf Coast. Its 131 floating slips are easily accessible by your vessel regardless of tide conditions. While the tidal range is very small in this part of the world, wind-driven tides can be a factor, with winter bringing wind-driven (NE) low tides and summer wind-driven (SW) high tides. This makes our floating docks very desirable for easy boarding and docking. To see a layout of our docks click here.
This 131-slip marina features state-of-the-art floating docks that accommodate boats up to 120 feet. Surrounded by one of the largest ‘floating breakwaters’ on the Gulf of Mexico, its open layout and large fairways make its slips easily accessible to almost any size craft.
If you feel right at home on the water, you’ll feel right at home with us.
From its many amenities to its convenient location, Legacy Harbour Marina is the ideal place to dock your boat. Whether your plans call to stay for just a few days, months or on an annual basis, you’ll find our facility—and our rates—to be as accommodating as any of Florida’s finest marinas.
Once here, you’ll enjoy a full-featured facility with all the conveniences of home. Relax in our heated pool or work out in our fitness center. Enjoy spectacular views from The Boaters’ Lounge; perfect for everything from after-cruise cocktails to private parties. Our beautifully-manicured grounds provide great riverfront strolling and excellent access to all of historic downtown Fort Myers.
Other conveniences include cable TV, laundry, air-conditioned showers, metered-at-the-slip electric, wireless internet connections and in-slip pump-out station.
In addition to its well-equipped dock area, Legacy Harbour Marina offers skippers and their guests the Boaters’ Lounge where the entire crew can relax and unwind after a day on the water to some of the most spectacular sunsets in the world.
Or, enjoy The Chickee Hut and relax by the refreshing pool. Hungry? Joe’s Crab Shack is located on the adjacent property just a short stroll down our beautiful walkway and the downtown River District is just a few blocks to the east.
Need to provision your boat? A grocery store is within walking distance as well as several restaurants, a liquor store, beauty and nail salons and retail shops. For your landlubber guests, the Legacy Harbour Hotel & Suites offers waterfront suites and hotel rooms. Just click on the link above for more information.
This damaged, unspecified Florida Wildlife Commission marker is on the south side of the Okeechobee Waterway west of the fixed bridge at OWW Mile 135.
FLORIDA – OKEECHOBEE WATERWAY – CALOOSAHATCHEE RIVER – Hazard To Navigation:
The U.S. Coast Guard received a report from FWC that one of their markers is damaged in position 26-38-47N, -81-52-38W and may pose a hazard to navigation. Mariners are advised to exercise extreme caution when transiting the area.
Chart 11428 LNM 16/17
We thought you non-Loopers would enjoy this discussion of crossing Lake Okeechobee as recorded on AGLCA’s Forum. Thank you, Loopers, for the advice and warnings!Read More!
Another boat and myself crossed last week. There was an issue with a bridge on the rim route, not sure if still the same but we went the other route. We had no issues. The first lock on the east side of the lake allowed us to pass through at idle speed. Safe travels.
M/V Livin’ the Dream
Congraulations, you have started something you will never forget. We went thought from Ft. Meyers to Stuart a week and a half ago. We did not do the Rim Route due to the bridge. We went route 1 across the lake. Depths were fine ACOE was reporting depths in channel of 12.5 feet. The crossing was plesant. Make sure to check winds as lake is a large body of water and can build waves quickly.
Enjoy the ride!
Kurt & Barbarajean Walter
M/v “in HIS time”
We just finished an East -West crossing two days ago and had no problems. Both nights we tied between dolphins near the locks waiting for the locks to open in the morning.
Easy trip and the lock masters were very helpful.
Only issue was with a couple of fast cruisers passing us at speed.
Curtis and Bonnie Combs
Off The Radar
The current Okeechobee water stage is 12.07 feet providing a depth of 6.01 feet. On April 2 we crossed with a depth of 6.5 feet but found coming out of Clewiston east bound just a little over 5.0 feet. There are a few low spots in the canal west of Clewiston. Our draft is 5.0 feet.
The Indiantown RR Bridge was being opened and closed manually when we passed April 2 taking about an hour.
Jim & Pam Shipp
aboard Silver Boots
Check the lake depths here before you commit: http://w3.saj.usace.army.mil/h2o/currentLL.shtml.
Use the cross lake route at this time of year, not the rim route.
The shallowest water is the 5 mile channel leaving Clewiston, but there are some shoaling problems in the canal between Moore Haven and Clewiston.
Leaving the Port Mayaca lock, eastbound, you will see a set of commercial dolphins. There is a red/green pair of dashboards there. Honor them. DO NOT cut instead the red.
There has been some work going on that the Indiantown RR bridge. Check that the bridge is operating (it’s normally open).
Mind the markers carefully after you leave the St. Lucie Lock eastbound. The St. Lucie River there is very shoal outside the channel.
Quote “Depths were fine ACOE was reporting depths in channel of 12.5 feet.”
Just a reminder, on Lake Okeechobee if the ACOE reports the water level, eg 12.5 feet.
It is necessary to subtract six feet to get the water depth, eg 6.5 feet
Author, Great Loop Navigation Notes
We also started our Loop from Stuart (actually Port Salerno) but in February of 2014 and went across the OWaterway to Ft Myers, Naples, Key West, and back up to Stuart before continuing north. On the O Waterway we stopped at Indiantown and Clewiston (on Lake O).
Indiantown is a fun small town and has an interesting marina. A small marina, so call ahead, but a HUGE boat dry storage area. Folks like it because it is relatively inexpensive for dry storage and it is far enough inland to have negligible threat of storm surge.
We had good weather for crossing the middle of the lake and topped at Clewiston , an interesting collection of rednecks, motorcycles, Key West style Roland Martin Tiki Bar and Grill, and sometimes huge pleasure boats. The dockmaster there is a legend, although I can’t right now recall his name. One comes through what appears to be a lock but is actually a storm gate, and then ties up to the long dock parallel to the relatively narrow channel with boulders on the far side. As we were finishing drinks and our meal at the Tiki Hut, I felt a shadow and presence go by. A boat approximately 100′ long was backing up the channel past our 31′ Camano. I would not have guessed there was sufficient room between our boat and the boulders to fit the width of the vessel (Margaritteville?) However, there obviously was, and the captain was standing on the stern manipulating his joy sticks controlling all his thrusters to bring the ship through the gap and to the dock.
After stopping at Ft Myers (City Marina), Ft. Myers Beach (marina under the bridge), and Naples (City Dock), the first time we went directly to Key West, about 110 miles. At bit of stretch to get there during daylight that is available in the winter. After finishing our Loop at Ft Myers in January of 2016, we went from Naples down the old ICS to Marco Island, then Everglads City, and Flamngo, before crossing to Marathon. The coastal route has shorter jumps and less challenging for daylight.
Have a great trip!
John & Susan Gunning
Two days ago I spoke with the lock tender at the Franklin Lock, as the Cruise Club I belong to goes up river through the Franklin Lock monthly.
I was advised that at this time there is no directive from either the Clewiston or Jacksonville USACE offices on any restricted lock openings.
It would be prudent, in my opinion that you contact the lock tenders by phone at each end of the Waterway to make sure. Franklin Lock, 239.694.5451.
Stay well clear of the south side of the canal from Moorehaven eastward, near a site involving a steam shovel (or equivalent) digging rock from the canal edge. The Boat U. S. Team that piled us off of a sandbar (rock pile) said that debris from the construction activity had created (or more generously, “contributed to”) the creation of several such hazards that have helped keep him in business.
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.
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
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!
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
OKEECHOBEE WATERWAY (OWW)
TORREY ISLAND BRIDGE CLOSURE
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
Chief Navigation &
Flood Risk Management
South Florida Operations
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.
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
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.
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
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 email@example.com.
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
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.