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 the southeasterly banks of the Caloosahatchee River, between the 3rd and 4th bridges from west to east.
Our thanks to veteran cruiser David Bell for this good report from the Okeechobee Waterway. The popular Franklin Lock Boat-in Docks, which were closed for repairs in August of 2014, are open for business.
Left Stuart for Fort Myers with the lake level at 14.78′. Never saw less than 10′ of water the entire trip. We took the lake route instead of the rim route. All of the lock tenders were right on the ball. Never had a delay. But one quick note. The locks shut down at 1640. If you are not in the lock by then you will have to wait for a sunrise before you can pass. The Franklin lock docks on the NE side were empty. At $24.00 per night it is a great place to lay over and very protected.
A phone call to Specialist Campbell confirms that the popular Franklin Lock Boat-in Docks, which were closed for repairs in August of 2014, are now open ahead of schedule, see http://cruisersnet.net/?p=147537. Thanks to Kim for sending this update.
FWIW – Haven’t had a chance to go up river to check them out yet but received this note:
The boat-in docks at Franklin have reopened. You may make reservations online at www.reserveamerica.com or www.recreation.gov.
John H Campbell
Public Affairs Specialist
Jacksonville District, US Army Corps of Engineers
Join our online communities: http://about.me/usacejax/
All rim route users are aware that culvert replacement has been and will continue to be an ongoing process (November of 2017!). However, here is another construction site for your logbook.
FLORIDA – OKEECHOBEE WATERWAY: Herbert Hoover Dike Rehabilitation Project Culvert 2 – CLEWISTON
Harry Pepper & Associates, Inc. will be replacing one culvert along the Okeechobee Waterway near Clewiston (Culvert C-2) 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. Construction consists of steel and earthen cofferdams on both the lakeside and landside of the dike to create a selfcontained
work area. The coordinates for the work site are as follows; 26°45’51″N, 80°55’32″W. Recreational and commercial boaters are asked to use caution when navigating through this section of the waterway west and adjacent to the Hoover Dike Road City Boat Ramp and Clewiston City Marina and Boat Ramp. 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, reflectorized 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 in November 2017. For further information contact Mike Nelson, 863-902-1303 or email@example.com
The Rim Route along the southern shore of Lake Okeechobee avoids the sometimes choppy waters of a direct crossing, but has the reputation of being unsafe due to debris and construction. See http://cruisersnet.net/?p=147301 for a rim route report from March of this year. Let’s hope the rains from Erika will help alleviate the low water levels before the Fall Migration begins.
FLORIDA – OKEECHOBEE WATERWAY: Low Lake Levels Creating Hazardous Navigation.
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 low lake levels. Recreational and commercial vessels are asked to use caution and be aware of shallow water and submerged objects when navigating through these sections of waterway. Point of contact is Carl Williams at 863-983-8101. REFERENCE: a. 33 CFR Navigation and Navigable Waters. Chart 11428 LBNM 35/15
Let’s hope we never need this information, but it should definitely be included in your Hurricane Procedures folder.
OKEECHOBEE AND CANAVERAL LOCK OPERATIONS DURING TROPICAL STORMS AND HURRICANES: EFFECTIVE: 08/26/2015
00:00 thru 12/31/2015 24:00 EST (REFERENCES: a. 33 CFR Navigation and Navigable Waters
Notice to Navigation – 72 hours prior to a Tropical Storm or Hurricane making local landfall locks will be open 6:00 AM to 10:00 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 as 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 7:00 AM and 5:00 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
Chart 11428 11478 LNM 35/15
Those of you who are frequent Lake Okeechobee Waterway cruisers are certain to have answers for Skipper Bill’s questions. Let us hear from you! USACE daily lake level reports can be found at http://w3.saj.usace.army.mil/h2o/currentLL.shtml. However, Bill’s questions refer to ARGUS soundings for Lake Okeechobee. See http://cruisersnet.net/?p=148612. ARGUS soundings are shown on all SSECN Chartview pages by clicking the ARGUS button at the top of the chart.
What lake level are the soundings in Lake Okeechobee corrected to, or what lake level were they observed? Since there is no “MLLW” the lake level at observation or correction to the standard lake level is essential.
Pink Shell Beach Resort and Marina, A SALTY SOUTHEAST CRUISERS’ NET SPONSOR!, overlooks the westerly banks of the Mantanzas Pass channel, west of marker #13.
Pink Shell Beach Resort & Marina Recognized As One Of The 17 Best Resorts in Florida
FORT MYERS BEACH, Fla., July 9, 2015
Travelers heading to the Sunshine State this summer will find one more exciting reason to stay at Pink Shell Beach Resort & Marina.
One of the premier resorts on Fort Myers Beach recently made the list of 17 Best Resorts in Florida by Traveluto. A rapidly growing travel blog covering exciting destinations all over the world in addition to other travel-related topics, Traveluto searched the Sunshine State’s most popular resorts – from the Panhandle to the Florida Keys to the infamous home of Walt Disney World – to honor 17 must-visit hotel destinations in the state.
Situated on the beautiful tip of Estero Island, the full-service Fort Myers Beach hotel was praised for its lagoon-style pool and large waterfall, convenient on-site marina, spa and tropical restaurants, making it the ideal setting for spurring romance or making memories with the whole family.
In addition to the resort’s on-site amenities, the travel blog referenced its outstanding reviews on TripAdvisor, the world’s largest travel website. Pink Shell received numerous guest reviews raving about “amazing rooms with lanais,” “incredible views,” the “luxurious spa” and “friendly and accommodating staff.”
On top of making the list of 17 Best Resorts in Florida, the renowned Fort Myers Beach resort has been recognized with numerous awards including the 2014 Best of Weddings by The Knot, 2015 TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence and Hall of Fame Award. Pink Shell also was voted the “Best Resort and Hotel of Fort Myers Beach” by Fort Myers Beach Observer and “Top 25 Best Places to Tie Up in North America” by the editors and readers of Power and Motoryacht magazine.
Starting off with a single cottage in 1953, Pink Shell has expanded across 12 lush acres and features 213 one- and two-bedroom condos, each offering sweeping ocean views from sunrise to sunset. Though it has grown, been renovated and rebranded since the original beachfront property that first sat on the sun-kissed sand, the resort celebrates the memories that were once made on Fort Myers Beach while providing all the amenities necessary for friends and families to make new ones.
About Pink Shell Beach Resort & Marina
Pink Shell Beach Resort & Marina at 275 Estero Blvd. in Fort Myers Beach, FL is on 12 lush acres of sugary white sand facing the Gulf of Mexico. The full-service destination resort features 213 one- and two-bedroom condos, all offering sweeping ocean views. Additional amenities include a 41-slip marina, full-service spa, 3 heated outdoor pools, 2 restaurants, 2 ballrooms, on-site sailing school and water sports. For information, visit www.PinkShell.com or call 1-888-222-7465. Like Pink Shell Beach Resort & Marina on Facebook, follow the resort on Twitter and add it to a circle on Google Plus.
About Boykin Management Company
Boykin Management Company, a leading hospitality management company with offices in Charlotte, NC and Fort Myers Beach, FL, is consistently recognized for excellence in delivering value-added lodging operations. Since 1958, BMC has been developing, managing and operating hotels, resorts, condominium hotels and conference centers. In addition to BMC’s long-standing relationships with the industry’s leading hotel brands including Marriott, Hilton, DoubleTree, Embassy Suites, Radisson, Crowne Plaza, Hampton Inn and Holiday Inn, BMC has operated numerous independent and resort hotels. BMC has managed more than 20,000 rooms in 23 states since its inception. For information, visit www.Boykin.com.
SOURCE Pink Shell Beach Resort & Marina
This culvert replacement has been ongoing for several years and is slated to be completed in 2017. The repairs involve some portions of 39 miles of the south rim route and were originally set as a Navigation Alert, but we have not heard of any difficulties passing through the construction sites. See http://cruisersnet.net/?p=147735, http://cruisersnet.net/?p=143557 and http://cruisersnet.net/?p=81398 for reports on earlier and on-going culvert repairs.
FLORIDA – OKEECHOBEE WATERWAY ROUTE 2: Culvert Construction Restricting Navigation
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has multiple contracted companies in the process of replacing culverts along Route 2 of the Okeechobee Waterway from Port Mayaca to Moore Haven as part of the Herbert Hoover Dike Rehabilitation Project. Construction consists of steel and earthen cofferdams on the lakeside and landside of the dike to create a self-contained work area. The waterway will be obstructed during installation and removal of the cofferdams and during the process of replacing culverts. Recreational and commercial boaters are asked to use caution when navigating through these sections of waterway. Buoys, lights and reflectorized hazard signs will be placed at each cofferdam to delineate its location and assist boaters through the work zone. Once culvert replacements are complete, the cofferdams will be removed and waterway restored. Construction will occur 5 to 6 days a week with the possibility of night time work. The projects are anticipated to be completed in 2017. Point of contact is Carl Williams at 863-983-8101. Chart 11428 LNM 28/15
Our thanks to Skipper Susan Parker for notifying us of this change of schedule and to Officer Lieberum for clarifying this “Old Bridge” – “New Bridge” situation. Our bridge directory has been updated.
Good Morning Larry,
Even I’m a little confused, mostly due to wording. Roosevelt Bridge use to be US 1 and Dixie in this area. When they built the new high level fixed US 1 Bridge the US 1 designation was removed from the Roosevelt Bridge; however it was never removed from the CFR verbiage therefore, the description in 33 CFR 117.317 makes it sound like the old US 1 bridge, this is incorrect as this is the NW Dixie Hwy regulation below – at some point the CFR will need to be corrected to reflect the correct roadway. As the bridges in this portion of the CFR are listed from east to west you will note that the FEC R/R comes before the US 1 bridge; therefore, one can determine that this is the correct regulation for this bridge.
According to 33 CFR 117.317 (d) Roosevelt (US1) bridge, mile 7.4 at Stuart. The draw shall open on signal; except Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays, from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. the draw need open only on the hour and half hour. However, the draw need not open between 7:30 a.m. and 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. except at 8:15 a.m. and 4:45 p.m. On Saturdays, Sundays, and federal holidays from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. the draw need open only on the hour, 20 minutes after the hour, and 40 minutes after the hour. When the adjacent railway bridge is in the closed position at the time of a scheduled opening the draw need not open, but it must then open immediately upon opening of the railroad bridge to pass all accumulated vessels. Exempt vessels shall be passed at any time.
Hope this explanation helps.
Seventh Coast Guard District
Bridge Management Specialist
Franklin Lock, westernmost lock on the Okeechobee Waterway, is located at Statute Mile 121 and St. Lucie Lock, the easternmost lock, lies west of Stuart, FL near Statute Mile 15. This notice was posted on AGLCA’s Forum by good friends Chuck Baier and Susan Landry.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District has announced restrictions for lock operations on the Okeechobee Waterway due to receding water levels on Lake Okeechobee, effective immediately.
Locking operations at the W.P. Franklin Lock & Dam near Fort Myers and the St. Lucie Lock & Dam near Stuart will be conducted every two hours from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily. This action is the result of the water level at
Lake Okeechobee falling below 12.5 feet.
“This is standard operating procedure whenever the lake falls below 12.5 feet” said Steve Dunham, Chief of the Corps’ South Florida Operations Office. “We encourage boaters to be aware of the lake level and consider that drafts will continue to decrease if the lake drops more in coming weeks.”
Under the updated schedule, boats will be locked through at the Franklin and St. Lucie Locks at 7 a.m., 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 3 p.m., and 4:30 p.m. Operations at the other three locks, Ortona, Moore Haven, and Port Mayaca, will continue on demand between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. with final lockage beginning at 4:30 p.m.
Should the lake drop below 11.5 feet, additional reductions in service will be necessary. For more information on navigation notices concerning the Okeechobee Waterway, please visit the following website:
Torry Island Swing Bridge crosses the Okeechobee Waterway’s Rim Route at Statute Mile 61, hard by Torry Island. This interesting report was posted by Skipper Dwelle on AGLCA’s Forum.
We did the rim route at the end of May, 2015–no problems as everyone else has noted. Anchored overnight at South Bay–well protected but not the greatest anchoring bottom. One of the most interesting things was the swing bridge at Torrey Island. We called for an opening on VHF, and tender said he’d be there in 15 minutes. We saw him drive up with a partner in a pickup. They walked across the bridge, took out a long long pole, inserted to into a big gear socket, and began walking in circles, to open up the bridge. Don’t think we’ve heard of another human-powered swing bridge on the Loop.
The Pahokee Marina/Lake Okeechobee KOA is part of Pahokee State Park, north of Bacom Point, on the Rim Route of Lake Okeechobee. For more information go to: www.cityofpahokee.com/Marina & Campground/Marina.html
Pahokee Marina (3-18-15)
We traveled to Pahokee via the rim canal, no problems, the lake water was up and thanks to the Cruisers Net for letting us know the canal had been cleaned.
The first night was a great night, no wind. We were also warned not to leave the marina after dark. The area is a little rough. Everyone was friendly and helpful.
The second night the wind picked up and clocked around from the north to north west at about 8-10 knots. That got scary in the marina. One of the regulars (liveaboards) in the marina knocked on the boat and told us we had better put on more lines and helped us to cross tie everything so we were not rubbing the dock. They also told us if the wind gets more than what we have it starts to get dangerous inside the marina.
The town is within walking distance so food stuffs are within half mile walk. They also have a pool and restaurant.
Moore Haven City Dock, the first stop west of Lake Okeechobee, is located at Okeechobee Waterway Statute Mile 78, on the Moore Haven waterfront. Our thanks to Phil Herl for this advice and report.
Moore Haven City Marina (3/18/15)
Great docking and electric, Lots of space on a face type dock, if you arrive early remember to tie as close as possible to the other boats, to leave as much room as possible for other boats. Also help to encourage others to do the same. Eating places and grocery store are within walking distance.
This notice of schedule changes was copied from East Coast Alerts by Mel Neale, April 9, 2015.
Changes in Okeechobee Waterway Lock Schedule, April 1, 2015:
a. 33 CFR Navigation and Navigable Waters
1. Notice to Navigation Notice is given that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District will change hours of operation at all five Locks along the Okeechobee Waterway beginning 1 April 2015. Changes will affect operations at the St Lucie, Port Mayaca, Moore Haven, Ortona and W.P. Franklin Locks. Hours of operation will be 7:00 AM to 5:00 PM daily with lockages at St Lucie and WP Franklin based on Lake Okeechobee’s water level as outlined below.
Lake Okeechobee Level:
1) Above 12.5′ Lock operations on demand 07:00 AM to 5:00 PM daily.
2) Below 12.5′ Lock operations every 2 hours (07:00 AM, 09:00 AM, 11:00 AM, 1:00 PM, 3:00 PM, 4:30 PM)
3) Below 12.0′ Lock operations 4 per-day (07:00 AM, 10:00 AM, 1:00 PM, 4:30 PM)
4) Below 11.5′ Lock operations 3 per-day (07:00 AM, 12:00 PM, 4:30 PM)
5) Below 11.0′ Lock operations 2 per-day (07:00 AM, 4:30 PM)
Lake Okeechobee water level can be viewed on the Corps of Engineers web site at http://w3.saj.usace.army.mil/h2o/currentLL.shtml
Canaveral Lock near Canaveral Harbor will continue to operate from 6 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. daily. (from NOTICE TO NAVIGATION INTERESTS Date: 03/19/2015 NOTICE NUMBER: 003 US ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS LOCAL NUMBER: 20150319 JACKSONVILLE DISTRICT)*
These repairs were originally set as a Navigation Alert, but we have not heard of any difficulties passing through the construction sites. See http://cruisersnet.net/?p=143557 and http://cruisersnet.net/?p=81398 for reports on earlier and on-going culvert repairs.
FLORIDA – OKEECHOBEE WATERWAY: Herbert Hoover Dike Rehabilitation Project CULVERT C-3 Replacement Adjacent to the Okeechobee Waterway
Mariners transiting the Okeechobee Waterway (OWW) are advised of water based construction activity on the Herbert Hoover Dike. The C3 location is 870,313.9N, 704,735.5E to 870,494.6N, 704,418.6E or from 26° 43’ 40.66”N, 80° 51’ 4.31”W to 26° 43’ 42.45”N, 80° 51’ 7.81”W. Archer Western Construction will be replacing one culvert along the Okeechobee Waterway near Clewiston (Culvert C-3) as part of the overall Herbert Hoover Dike Rehabilitation Project sponsored by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Work is scheduled to be completed September 1, 2016. A ‘No Wake Zone’ has been established extending 1000 feet either side of the projects to ensure safe management of bi-directional traffic throughout the construction period. Mariners are advised they transit at their own risk. Transiting vessels are restricted to a controlling width of 20-ft minimum through Culvert C-3 project area, limited by a controlling depth of 6ft when the lake is at elevation +11.0-ft Mean Sea Level. Once culvert replacement is complete, the cofferdam will be removed and waterway restored. Construction will occur 5 to 6 days a week, with the possibility of night time work. Reports of vessel grounding have been received. Mariners should be aware of and diligently follow the instructions of signage located along the shoreline. Flagmen will be present as needed to signal vessels to stop or to proceed with caution. Mariners should be prepared to stop their vessel or proceed with caution as directed by flagmen. Construction consists of steel and earthen cofferdams on both the lakeside and landside of the dike to create a self-contained work area. The waterway will be restricted and may be intermittently obstructed during the installation and removal of the cofferdams and during the process of replacing the culverts.
Recreational and commercial boaters are asked to use caution and be prepared to stop when navigating through this section of the waterway.
Additional information concerning Lake Okeechobee, the Okeechobee Waterway and related navigation bulletins including controlling depths may be obtained on Jacksonville District’s website at http://www.saj.usace.army.mil/ Chart 11428 LNM: 14/15
This request asks for your comments on lake restoration in South Florida, including Lake Okeechobee.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has applied for a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District to conduct restoration activities on four lakes and water bodies in the FWC’s South Region.
This permit is required pursuant to Section 404 of the Clean Water Act and Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899. The request is part of an overall initiative in which the FWC is working with the Corps to obtain permits for routine restoration work in 95 lakes and water bodies throughout Florida.
The public can review the request and comment on it (see link below).
The following water bodies within the FWC’s South Region are included in the permit application:
•Lake Okeechobee in Glades, Hendry, Okeechobee, Martin and Palm Beach counties;
•Lake Trafford in Collier County;
•Lake Hicpochee in Glades County;
•Lake Osborne in Palm Beach County.
The Corps permitting process requires the opportunity for public comment. The Corps has published a Public Notice for the proposed work on its website at: http://www.saj.usace.army.mil/Missions/Regulatory/PublicNotices.aspx. To view the notice, click on the following file number to open the Public Notice: SAJ-2015-00641 (SP-SLR). If you would like to provide comments or have any questions regarding the Corps permit process, please follow the directions included in the Public Notice. Note that the Web address is case sensitive and should be entered as it appears above.
Click Here to read the complete Bulletin
This AGLCA Forum report is another concerning options for a west to east crossing of Lake Okeechobee. See http://cruisersnet.net/?p=147224. Skippers Jenny and Kenny Beach chose the rim route despite warnings about the numerous pitfalls possible.
Today we did the rim route west to east. Thanks to all the replies which took away the unnecessary anxiety. It was beautiful, totally void of debris, and a much smoother ride than the almost straight across route had to offer. We cut the northeast corner off by heading for the canal entrance from day marker 24. We stuck to the rim route at marker 60 since the lake was very choppy at that point and the rim route provided some wind and wave protection. I think the lowest depth we saw all day was 9.8′. There is no reason to be hesitant at all about exploring this scenic area.
Jeanne & Kenny Beach
This AGLCA Forum report documents the Beach’s careful planning for a rim route versus direct route crossing of Lake Okeechobee. For their decision and description of their crossing, go to http://cruisersnet.net/?p=147301.
So the captain would like to take the rim route to cross the lake. The lock tenders say it is not recommended. The other boaters here at Roland Martin’s, who have not made the trip, say it is a bad idea. They claim that
everyone they know who has done it says it is loaded with debris, tree limbs, old refrigerators, and such. The captain is not buying the horror stories but the admiral won’t go since “everyone” says it is a bad idea.
Would love for some “experienced” boater feedback. Today’s water depth was 6.88′; we draw 4′.
Jeanne & Kenny Beach