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    • LNM: Width Restriction, St. Lucie Lock, OWW Statute Mile 15 Plus Revision


      St. Lucie Lock, the easternmost Okeechobee lock, lies west of Stuart, FL at Okeechobee Waterway Statute Mile 15. Our thanks to Specialist Erica Skolte for this notice and 2/11 revision below.

      Notice to Navigation: 2019-003 St. Lucie Lock and Dam Width Restriction on Okeechobee Waterway
      OKEECHOBEE WATERWAY
      ST. LUCIE LOCK & DAM WIDTH RESTRICTION

      1. Notice to Navigation

      Notice is given that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is advising commercial and recreational vessels that there is a 22 foot width restriction for vessels wanting to pass through the St. Lucie Lock & Dam. This restriction is due to an equipment failure. Maintenance staff is working diligently to repair issue. All vessels below restriction limit will be able to pass through.

      2/11 REVISION #1: Vessels wider than 22 feet will be able to pass but must call 772-287-2665 prior to arrival in order for operators to manually open the affected gate (please call at least 30 minutes in advance of arrival).

      For daily updated lake and route depths please see our website at: http://w3.saj.usace.army.mil/h2o/currentLL.shtml

      Point of contact is Gary Hipkins at 863-983-8101.
      Gary L. Hipkins
      Chief Navigation & Flood Risk Management
      South Florida Operations
      ———————————————
      Reminder:
      If you lock through Canaveral or the Okeechobee Waterway, please put the numbers for the Corps locks into your phone. Remember to listen to any direction offered by the lock operator to ensure everyone’s safety as you lock through! And remember to wear your life jacket!

      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
      —————————————————
      NOTICE TO NAVIGATION INTERESTS
      Notice to Navigation
      Notice to Navigation: 2019-003 St. Lucie Lock and Dam Width Restriction
      Read the NTN: https://www.saj.usace.army.mil/Missions/Civil-Works/Navigation/Notices-to-Navigation/Notice-to-Navigation-2019-003-St-Lucie-Lock-and-Dam-width-restriction/
      ———————————————————————————————————————
      Date: 02/08/2019
      US ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS
      JACKSONVILLE DISTRICT
      ATTN: CESAJ-OD-SN PO Box 4970
      JACKSONVILLE, FL 32232-0019
      863-983-8101
      NOTICE NUMBER: 003
      LOCAL NUMBER:2019003
      WATERWAY: OKEECHOBEE WATERWAY
      EFFECTIVE: 02/08/2019 00:00 thru UNTIL REPAIRED
      POC: http://www.saj.usace.army.mil/Missions/CivilWorks/Navigation/NoticestoNavigation.aspx

      Erica Skolte
      Public Affairs Specialist
      Corporate Communications Office
      U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District
      Palm Beach Gardens
      NOTE: NEW OFFICE PHONE 561-340-1527
      Cell: 561-801-5734
      erica.a.skolte@usace.army.mil
      Twitter @JaxStrong
      Jacksonville District Facebook:

      Jacksonville District: A team of professionals making tomorrow better
      “Keep Calm and Essayons”

      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

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    • Report from Moore Haven Lock, Okeechobee Waterway Statute Mile 78


      This report comes from our good friends and partners, Sara and Monty Lewis, of Explorer Charts. Search “Bahamas Chatter” from our Homepage for more on Explorer Charts.

      The Moore Haven lock had only one gate open and it was a narrow squeeze for our 17’ wide catamaran. All locks require life jackets now for all persons aboard and they all supply lines to tie up. Some of them hang in the water and are a bit slimy. Good to have a wiper handy.
      Sara and Monty

      Click Here To View the VA to NC Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Moore Haven Lock

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

      Comments from Cruisers (1)

      1. Winston Fowler -  February 8, 2019 - 9:04 am

        As for lock lines, we carried rubber utility gloves for line handlers. Easy to clean and very protective.
        Winston Fowler

        Reply to Winston
    • Cape Coral Cruise Club, Legacy Harbour Marina, Okeechobee Waterway Statute Mile 135.5


      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. And, of course, several CRUISERS NET SPONSORS will be visited in their 2019 spring cruise schedule: Legacy Harbor, Pink Shell Resort, and Fishermen’s Village.

      LEGACY HARBOUR CRUISE JANUARY 2019
      By Mike Stewart
      Ahh, good old bitter cold weather with high winds…perfect cruise conditions! Seems like a January constant.
      Legacy Harbour dock hands helped six boats to their berths on Tuesday, with two more boats arriving on Wednesday. The cruise leaders, Mike and Brenda Stewart, he with a shoulder replacement and she with a knee replacement less than a week away, left their boat at home and took a room in the Legacy Marina Hotel and Suites for the three days of the cruise. It took the Jettons, their two guests and two hotel employees to unload the Stewart’s car’s load into the room!
      The hotel room was most fortuitous as it served the group as respite from the brutal weather conditions. “Heavy” hors d’oeuvres, provided by the cruising ladies, were eagerly downed by the bone-chilled cruisers, who then escaped to the hotel room for cocktails and tales.
      Wednesday morning showed no warming trend so everyone gathered in the Stewart’s room for scrambled eggs, sausage, muffins, bagels, fruit and orange and tomato juices prepared by the cruise leaders, with early rising sausage chef Pete Oiderma. Couples Scavenger Hunt III was explained after breakfast. The couples had until 11:30 AM to return with their collection of items off their boat. Again, ingenuity and creativity were encouraged. The participants returned and each submission was documented and “inventive” items were agreed on or rejected by the group. Score sheets were left behind for Mike and Brenda to tally scores and determine First, Second and Last places to be announced with prizes to be awarded at 4:30 PM at happy hour.
      At 4:30 the hotel room again filled with boaters. After some time for everyone to warm up a bit, it was time for contest results. First place was Moonlighter, Lee and Brenda Jetton and guests. Second place was Semper Paratus, John and Patti Queen. Last place was claimed by Spoiled Yacht’n, Armond and Pam Sikes. Prizes were in large bags and a blind pick conducted according to placing. Deals were struck on trades afterwards and everyone was happy.
      Thursday. Oh well, just repeat Wednesday without the game! The weather relented some, so there were a couple of hours later in the day that negated the need for layered clothing. It was ideal weather for lunch and exploration downtown.
      It was back to the Stewart’s for cocktails before dinner at Pincher’s. Cruisers were joined by car attendees, some of whom had also joined the group for breakfast/cocktail activities. After some cancellations, we ended up with 26 attendees. We had a long table in a side room shared with a yacht club. Yes, it was loud!
      On Friday everyone left by boat or car and peace returned to Legacy Harbour.
      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

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    • More on Proposed Lake Okeechobee Dry Season Depths

      Experienced cruiser and frequent Cruisers Net contributor, Greg Allard, comments on a recent movement to keep Lake Okeechobee’s dry season depths at 10.5ft, two feet lower than official low water for navigation. See USACE Requests Input for more on this issue and an opportunity to submit comments.

       
      Here is a link to a news report of a discussion between the State of Florida and the federal government about reducing the level of Lake Okeechobee.
      Today (Feb. 1, 2019), the level of Route #1 is 6.61’, and the “Stage” level is 12.67’, which is the height above sea level.  The proposed change would reduce the lake level by 2’, which as an example based on today’s data, would make the depth of Route #1 to be 4.61’. It is unknown whether this will be enacted, but any cruisers considering crossing Florida on the Okeechobee Waterway should pay close attention to any changes.Greg Allard
      M/V “Meander”

      https://www.tcpalm.com/story/news/local/indian-river-lagoon/politics/2019/01/29/lake-okeechobee-discharges/2711545002/

       
       
       
       

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    • River District Connections Calendar February 2019, Caloosahatchee River/Okeechobee Waterway Statute Mile 135


      The river is Caloosahatchee and the CRUISERS’ NET SPONSORS are Legacy Harbour Marina and Gulf Harbour Yacht and Country Club. Legacy Harbor Marina entrance is located on the Okeechobee Waterway East of Marker #49 and Gulf Harbour Yacht and Country Club is on the south side of the Caloosahatchee River opposite Cape Coral.

      Click here for Connections Calendar February 2019

      Melissa Moore
      Web/Graphics Technician
      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 Gulf Harbour

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Gulf Harbour Yacht Club

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    • LNM: USACE Requests Input on new Lake Okeechobee System Operating Manual

      Considering that a current movement to keep the lake level at 10.5 feet during the winter dry season is being proposed and considering that 12.5 feet is designated official low water, the level at which navigation alerts are issued, your comments concerning your use of the Okeechobee Waterway became very important. The public comment period ends on March 31, 2019. Our thanks to Specialist Erica Skolte for this notice.

      Corps invites public to provide input on new Lake Okeechobee System Operating Manual
      The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District invites the public to provide scoping input on the development of the new Lake Okeechobee System Operating Manual (LOSOM). A series of National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) public scoping meetings will be held throughout south Florida during the month of February and public scoping comments will be accepted until March 31, 2019.

      “At this point in the process, it is critical we hear about concerns and priorities from the public,” said Lt. Col. Jennifer Reynolds, Deputy Commander for South Florida. “What issues are important to you? What study outcomes do you want to see? How would you measure success? What solutions would you like us to consider? These are some of the important questions we need to explore, and we want to hear your thoughts.”

      “This series of public scoping meetings in south Florida is just the beginning of the process. There will be many other opportunities to become engaged and informed, including two series of workshops and opportunities to review the draft documents,” said Reynolds. “We look forward to working with the many people and groups who have expressed interest, and hope to get even more people involved during this robust public process. We value their time and suggestions, and appreciate their contributions.”

      The Corps is beginning preparation of a NEPA assessment for the LOSOM, which is required by Section 1106 of the 2018 Water Resource Development Act.

      The purpose of this effort is to reevaluate and define operations for the Lake Okeechobee regulation schedule that take into account additional infrastructure that will soon be operational. The additional infrastructure that will be taken into consideration includes the Herbert Hoover Dike rehabilitation, Kissimmee River Restoration Project, as well as the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) C-43 West Basin Storage Reservoir and C-44 Reservoir and Stormwater Treatment Area.

      This effort will result in a System Operating Manual that will include a new lake regulation schedule that addresses the congressionally authorized purposes that include flood risk management; water supply for agricultural irrigation, municipalities and industry, environment, and Native American Tribes; navigation; enhancement of fish and wildlife; and recreation. The process will be informed by public workshops to set goals and objectives, develop and evaluate alternatives (operational scenarios), and NEPA to incorporate CERP projects that will be completed in the near future. Information gained during recent extreme high and low water levels and harmful algal blooms will also be considered. The intent of the new lake regulation schedule is to balance the impacts from operations and achieve multiple authorized project purposes.

      Members of the public are invited to provide scoping comments, including the identification of issues with the current regulation schedule for Lake Okeechobee, what aspects need to be changed, and how those issues and changes should be implemented and evaluated.

      All comments will be summarized, addressed, and used to inform the LOSOM.

      Members of the public are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the water control plan from 2008. It is available for reference at: https://usace.contentdm.oclc.org/utils/getfile/collection/p16021coll7/id/8423 and on the LOSOM web page at: www.saj.usace.army.mil/LOSOM.

      Public scoping meetings scheduled for the Lake Okeechobee System Operations Manual (LOSOM)

      The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) Jacksonville District announces a series of public meetings to begin preparation of a National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) assessment for the Lake Okeechobee System Operations Manual (LOSOM) required by Section 1106 of the 2018 Water Resource Development Act.

      Members of the public and other stakeholders are invited to learn more and provide input to the team at the following series of public scoping meetings:

      Lehigh Acres
      Tuesday, February 5, 2019, 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
      Lee County Mosquito Control District Training Center
      15191 Homestead Road, Lehigh Acres, FL 33971

      Okeechobee
      Wednesday, February 6, 2019, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
      Indian River State College
      Williamson Conference and Education Center
      2229 N.W. 9th Avenue, Okeechobee, FL 34972

      Clewiston
      Monday, February 11, 2019, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
      John Boy Auditorium
      1200 South W.C. Owen Ave, Clewiston, FL 33440

      Stuart
      Tuesday, February 19, 2019, 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
      Indian River State College
      The Clare and Gladys Wolf High-Technology Center
      2400 SE Salerno Road, Stuart, FL 34997

      Broward County
      Tuesday, February 26, 2019, Time TBD
      Location TBD

      West Palm Beach
      Wednesday, February 27, 2019, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
      South Florida Water Management District
      Governing Board Auditorium
      3301 Gun Club Road, West Palm Beach, FL 33406

      Miami Gardens
      Thursday, February 28, 2019, 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
      North Dade Regional Library
      2455 NW 183rd Street, Miami Gardens, FL 33056

      Public Scoping Comments

      The Corps believes this effort will benefit significantly from public involvement and encourages participation in the NEPA scoping process. We welcome your views, comments, concerns, suggestions and solutions. Scoping comments may be provided during public meetings, via email or by mail.

      The public comment period ends on March 31, 2019.

      Submit comments by email:
      LakeOComments@usace.army.mil

      Submit comments by mail:
      Dr. Ann Hodgson
      U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District
      P.O. Box 4970
      Jacksonville, FL 32232-0019

      “Scoping” is the step in the NEPA process when the public is invited to participate in identifying issues, alternatives, and potentially significant effects to be considered in the analysis. This helps the Corps identify and eliminate any issues that are not significant or that have been covered by prior environmental review.

      The Lake Okeechobee System Operating Manual (LOSOM) is a component of the Central & Southern Florida (C&SF) System Operating Plan.

      Authority:
      Section 1106 of the 2018 Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) directs “The Secretary shall expedite completion of the Lake Okeechobee regulation schedule to coincide with completion of the Herbert Hoover Dike project, and may include all relevant aspects of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan described in section 601 of the Water Resources Development Act of 2000 (114 Stat. 2680).”

      Information will be available at the Lake Okeechobee System Operating Manual (LOSOM) web page: www.saj.usace.army.mil/LOSOM and on social media on the Jacksonville District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/JacksonvilleDistrict/ and on Twitter @JaxStrong.

      Contact: Erica Skolte 561-340-1527 or cell 561-801-5734 or Erica.A.Skolte@usace.army.mil.

      ————————————
      Thanks for getting the word out!
      Erica

      Erica Skolte
      Public Affairs Specialist
      Corporate Communications Office
      U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District
      Palm Beach Gardens
      NOTE: NEW OFFICE PHONE 561-340-1527
      Cell: 561-801-5734
      erica.a.skolte@usace.army.mil
      Twitter @JaxStrong
      Jacksonville District Facebook:

      Jacksonville District: A team of professionals making tomorrow better
      “Keep Calm and Essayons”

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    • Okeechobee Route 2 Now Open to Sailing Vessels at Torry Island Bridge Statute Mile 60


      This low hanging cable at Torry Island Bridge on Lake Okeechobee Route 2 has restricted navigation to vessels with less than 35ft air draft. See UPDATE: Low Cable from 11/26/18. Our thanks to Office Erica Skolte for this good news for sailing vessels.

      Good news- Route 2 is open for navigation for sail boats. I expect that I will have an additional notice to navigation in the next day or so.
      Erica

      Erica Skolte
      Public Affairs Specialist
      Corporate Communications Office
      U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District
      Palm Beach Gardens
      NOTE: NEW OFFICE PHONE 561-340-1527
      Cell: 561-801-5734
      erica.a.skolte@usace.army.mil
      Twitter @JaxStrong
      Jacksonville District Facebook:

      Jacksonville District: A team of professionals making tomorrow better
      “Keep Calm and Essayons”

      Click Here To View the Okeechobee 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

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    • LNM: ICW Daybeacon 40 Destroyed, OWW Statute Mile 144, Fort Myers, FL


      Daybeacon 40 is on the northwest side of the Okeechobee Waterway approaching westbound the Edson Twin Bridges.

      FLORIDA – ST. LUCIE INLET TO FORT MYERS AND LAKE OKEECHOBEE – OKEECHOBEE WATERWAY – CALOOSAHATCHEE RIVER:
      Hazard to Navigation.

      Caloosahatchee River Daybeacon 40 (LLNR 52630) is destroyed. The remains of the wreckage is marked with a TRLB displaying FL Q R, 4NM characteristics. Chart 11427 11428 LNM 04/19

      Area Sponsoring Marinas

      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 VA to NC Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Gulf Harbour Marina

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

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    • LNM: Effect of Water Releases on Okeechobee Waterway Naviagtion

      The water releases can similar to crossing against an outgoing tide, especially at narrow ICW/inlet intersections. Be prepared a for the turbulence and the effect on your vessel.

      FLORIDA – ST. LUCIE INLET TO FORT MYERS AND LAKE OKEECHOBEE – OKEECHOBEE WATERWAY: NOTICES TO NAVIGATION INTERESTS.
      Mariners are reminded that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District post regularly “Notices to Navigation” News at: https://www.saj.usace.army.mil/Missions/Civil-Works/Navigation/Notices-to-Navigation/
      Due to the changing water levels of Lake Okeechobee, The Army Corps of Engineers often release water through the Okeechobee Waterway Lock and Dam system. The water released often creates high currents along the waterway. During this time, boaters can expect unfavorable conditions between Port Mayaca lock and St. Lucie lock. Such as, unexpected high current conditions east of the St. Lucie lock where the released water funnels thus creating unexpected hazardous conditions for mariners expecting slack tide where the bridges intercept the waterway.
      https://www.saj.usace.army.mil/Missions/Civil-Works/Navigation/Navigation-Locks/Bridges/

      LOW LAKE LEVELS CREATING HAZARDOUS NAVIGATION ROUTE 1 & 2: EFFECTIVE JANUARY 1 THRU AUGUST 31, 2019
      Commercial and recreational vessels advised to use extreme caution while traveling the Okeechobee Waterway Route 1 and 2 and be cautious of shallow water and submerged objects when navigating through these sections of waterway. https://www.saj.usace.army
      mil/NTNOkeechobeeWaterwayLowWaterNavHazard/

      CANAVERAL HARBOR AND OKEECHOBEE WATERWAY LOCK PROCEDURES: JANUARY 4 THRU DECEMBER 31, 2019
      https://www.saj.usace.army.mil/Missions/Civil-Works/Navigation/Notices-to-Navigation/Notice-to-Navigation-2019-001-Guidance-aboutCanaveral-and-Okeechobee-Waterway-Lock-procedures/

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    • Cape Coral Cruise Club 2019 Spring Cruise Schedule

      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.
      Pink Shell Beach Resort and Marina
      Fisherman's Village Marina and Resort, Punta Gorda, FL

      The Cape Coral Cruise Club is a group of dedicated cruisers who always provide unique reports from the marinas they visit. Please note how many CRUISERS NET SPONSORS are included in their 2019 spring cruise schedule: Legacy Harbor, Pink Shell Resort, and Fishermen’s Village.

      Cape Coral Cruise Club 2019 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. 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.

      The Club welcomes boaters who are new to the area who are unfamiliar with the local, many times very shallow, Southwest Florida waters, yet are anxious to use their boats on a year round basis. Many of the Cruise Club members have been boating in south Florida for many years and are more than willing to share the gained local knowledge with others.

      Because the Club is a cruising organization, in addition to the Island picnics, members can participate in monthly cruises to local destinations. The spring 2019 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.
      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 2019 March cruise The Club is returning to “Tween Waters Resort and Marina. In 2018 this facility upgraded both of its restaurant kitchens and we are looking forward to returning to this excellent facility. The Resort has an excellent pool, two fine restaurants, and access to a beautiful Gulf of Mexico beach.

      April destination: For the past few years the Club promotes a cruise that is longer than most, sometimes lasting as long as two weeks. The 2018 destination was downtown Tampa. In past years the Club’s long spring cruise went as far as Tarpon Springs, the Georgia Isles, and the Bahamas. Final specifics are not available at this writing, but if past cruises are any indication, the experienced cruise leaders will put together an enjoyable west coast of Florida cruise.

      May destination: It has been a few years since the Club went east on the GICW, crossed Lake Okeechobee and enjoyed boating on the East Coast. In May we will be heading to Stuart, Florida, with possible side trips from there.

      June destination: Rounding out the spring cruise schedule the Club will return to Fisherman’s Village Marina on Charlotte Harbor. This is a very popular location and this cruise normally fills quickly as there are so many interesting things to do and see in Punta Gorda.

      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

      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

      Click Here To View the Western Florida Cruisers’ Net Marina Directory Listing For Fishermen’s Village

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Fishermen’s Village

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    • LNM: USACE 2019 Manual for Locking Procedures

      Our thanks to Specialist Erica Skolte for this record length Local Notice. This information is essential for safely locking through, especially during storms and emergencies, and should be kept near your steering station.

      Notice to Navigation 2019-001 Guidance for Canaveral and Okeechobee Waterway Locks (EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT LOCK PROCEDURES!)

      All, please share widely with other interested parties, including our post of Facebook https://twitter.com/JaxStrong and on Twitter @JaxStrong.

      Reminder:
      If you lock through Canaveral or the Okeechobee Waterway, please put the numbers for the Corps locks into your phone. Remember to listen to any direction offered by the lock operator to ensure everyone’s safety as you lock through!

      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
      —————————————————
      Notice to Navigation
      Notice to Navigation: 2019-001 Guidance for Canaveral and Okeechobee Waterway Locks
      Read the NTN: https://www.saj.usace.army.mil/Missions/Civil-Works/Navigation/Notices-to-Navigation/Notice-to-Navigation-2019-001-Guidance-about-Canaveral-and-Okeechobee-Waterway-Lock-procedures/
      ———————————————————————————————————————

      Notice to Navigation: GENERAL:
      Reference revised Regulations, 33 C.F.R. 207.300, and their tributaries; use, administration, and navigation, and 33
      C.F.R. 207.800, Collection of navigation statistics.

      The following information is furnished in addition to the above-referenced regulations to provide guidance about the procedures, control, and management of the locks on the Okeechobee Waterway and Canaveral Harbor Lock. Suggested towboat operations are also included that will enhance safety and reduce damage to Government structures, commercial vessels, and recreational craft.

      SAFETY:

      1. Vessels shall not pass under dam or spillway gates when they are out of the water and the river is flowing freely through the gate openings.

      2. Lockage of leaking, listing vessels or overloaded vessels may be refused. Leaking, listing vessels or overloaded vessels shall be moored in a location outside of the channel and outside of the Arrival Point so as not to interfere with passing navigation.

      3. All craft and tows approaching a lock, within a distance of 200 feet of the upper or lower lock gates, shall proceed at a speed not greater than two miles per hour (rate of a slow walk) during normal flow conditions.

      4. All tows entering the lock shall be properly aligned with the guide or lock wall.

      5. It is the responsibility of the vessel operator to provide adequate mooring lines. The lock operator may require mooring lines to be replaced with satisfactory lines before lockage is made if the lines appear to be of such quality, size, or condition that would make safe lockage questionable.

      6. All towboat crews, while locking or moving a tow into or out of a lock chamber, must station themselves to preclude the possibility of being injured by the parting of a cable or line under strain. Single part lines only will be used to check a moving tow. Working lines shall be kept dry and in good working condition to allow lines to be worked properly and to prevent injury to personnel.

      7. Towboat crewmembers shall not jump between moving tows and lock or guide walls while preparing for lockage, locking, or departing lock

      8. Tabulated below are the minimum numbers of vessel personnel required for handling lines during lockages. The captain/pilot cannot act as a deckhand.

      9. All vessels, when in the locks, shall be moored and/or moved as directed by the lock operator.

      10. Commercial towing companies shall ensure that vessel operators and boat crew members have received orientation and training in all aspects of deck work and lockage procedures to ensure the safety of personnel, floating plant, and structures.

      11. All cylinders or containers holding gases or liquids under pressure or any other chemical or substance shall be securely fastened to the hull of the vessel to prevent their rolling overboard into the lock chamber.

      12. All containers holding paint, gasoline, or other volatile materials shall be securely fastened with tight fitting covers.

      13. The sides of all vessels passing through the locks shall be free from projections that may damage lock structures or Manatee Protection System sensors. Suitable fenders shall be used with all commercial tows passing through the locks to prevent damage to the lock walls and structures. Fenders shall be cylindrical in shape and no less than 6 inches in diameter. The fenders shall be used on guide walls and lock chambers to protect the structures. The fenders shall be manufactured or fabricated for the purpose of fendering, using woven rope; laminated, molded reinforced, natural, or synthetic rubber, or other suitable material. Single, double, or triple strands of mooring line, with or without knots, and old tires will not be considered as suitable fenders. Lock operators may refuse lockage to all commercial and recreational vessels and/or tows not conforming to the above.

      OPERATIONAL ASPECTS:

      PART A. RECREATIONAL CRAFT

      1. Commercial fishing craft and Vessel Delivery craft are included in the classification “recreational craft” when considering the precedent at the locks. Operators of recreational craft and their passengers are required to wear Coast Guard approved PFDs during lockage. All vessels will be required to turn off engines during lockages to include bow thrusters.

      2. Personal watercraft of the “sit-down” variety, (those you sit on and ride), will be accepted for lockage. The “stand-up” variety, (those that require the vessel to be moving for the operator to be out of the water), will not be accepted for lockage unless the craft is tied off to and locked through with an approved vessel, and the operator of the “stand-up” craft boards the approved vessel. Operators of personal watercraft and their passengers are required to wear Coast Guard approved PFDs during lockage.

      3. Kayaks and canoes will be locked without other vessels in the chamber for safety reason. Operators and their passengers are required to wear Coast Guard approved PFDs during lockage.

      4. Paddleboards, sailboards and surfboards will not be locked.

      5. Lock operators may refuse lockage to all commercial and recreational vessels and/or tows not conforming to the above.

      PART B. COMMERCIAL TOWS

      1. Lock Personnel will monitor the Marine Channel 13. All tows awaiting lockage shall monitor the appropriate lock channel at all times.

      2. Radio communications between a lock and an approaching tow are required at all times. All tows shall have a positive two-way voice communication between the pilot and the head of the tow to facilitate proper and safe approach to the lock guide wall and subsequent entrance into the lock chamber. All tows that decide to switch to another channel during the locking process for communication with their deckhands will be required to inform the lock personnel as to what channel they are changing to. Prior to beginning each lockage, procedural aspects of the lockage will be coordinated between the lock and vessel operators in an effort to insure a mutual and thorough understanding of the locking procedure.

      3. At no time will a tow or barge be left unattended. Tows will not tie off to mooring dolphins overnight or any unnecessary length of time during hours of operation.

      4. Under normal conditions, tows that can be arranged to avoid a double lockage shall be rearranged prior to approaching the lock. Non-compliance will result in not being assigned a lock turn, until tow has been rearranged to comply or until no other vessel awaits lockage. In a knockout lockage, the towboat shall be placed in the hole alongside the rear barges and should be located sufficiently forward to allow for ample clearance between its stern and the gates. While exiting from any lockage, the towboat shall proceed slowly to reduce backwash action and possible damage to lock gates.

      5. Towboats, when entering a lock, must remain fully attached to the barges until the tow has been stopped and properly moored. Barges within the tow configuration must be properly cabled. Lockage may be refused if lock operator considers barge couplings inadequate.

      6. When leaving the lock in down bound movement, rearrangement of tows in motion will be permitted while passing out of the lock at the discretion of the lockmaster. If there is a floating plant, bridges, or other structure located immediately downstream from the lock, these procedures shall not be used.

      7. Lockage lengths in excess of 230 feet, but not more than 245 feet, will be permitted in a 250 foot chamber with the following conditions:
      a. The vessel operator shall inform the lock operator by radio, prior to arrival, as to the precise overall length of an integrated tow (single lockage) or the cut lengths of a multiple lockage, the number of barges in the tow, cargo type, and tonnage. Failure to provide all information may result in refusal of lockage.
      b. The pilot shall be in the pilothouse and be in constant radio contact with lock personnel during the entire lockage procedure.
      c. Experienced deck personnel shall be stationed at each end of the tow to monitor movement.

      8. When requested, the pilot of the towboat shall provide an accurate description of the contents of any covered or tank barge in their tow. Transiting of the locks with unknown cargos will not be permitted. All towboat pilots are required to provide accurate, detailed information concerning commodity classification and tonnage. Lockage turn may be forfeited if tow pilots do not provide this data.

      9. All deck barges loaded with rock, scrap material, construction equipment and other material shall be loaded to allow for safe passage of crew members along the edge of the barges. A minimum of 2 feet of clear space shall be maintained along the edge of all of the barges. To protect the lock walls and equipment, nothing loaded on the barge shall extend beyond this 2-foot clear space from the edge of the barge. The barges shall be loaded such that the material does not move or fall into the 2-foot wide clear space while moving or transporting the barges. Additionally, material shall be loaded on barges such that it will not become dislodged or moved during the locking process, possibly falling off the barge into the lock chamber or coming to rest protruding off the edge of the barge. Lock operators may refuse lockage to all commercial tows not conforming to the above.

      10. When moving or making up tows prior to leaving the lock in an upbound movement, towboat operators are required to keep all barges secured to the lock or guide wall. Generally, the deckhand will not release snubbing and holding lines from the lock or guide walls until the towboat is properly secured to the tow. For a single lockage, with a towboat only set over, deviating from this procedure will be allowed if the immediate situation will permit

      safe departure under power and a lock operator walks a line out with the tow until the towboat is again adequately secured to the tow. However, when moving barges from the lock chamber, it is the responsibility of the vessel master to assure that adequate lines and personnel are available for safe handling and mooring of the tow or sections to the lock or guide walls. Sufficient personnel shall remain with the other sections to assure its security.

      11. It is the responsibility of the Vessel Master to ensure that deckhands that are assisting with lockages are familiar with the location and proper use of life saving devices or rescue equipment such as safety blocks and ring buoys and are wearing Coast Guard approved PFDs during lockage.

      12. Outdraft warning signs are not used on the Okeechobee waterway or at Canaveral Harbor Lock. All tow boat operators upon request when calling a lock system will be provided with the Dam Gate opening, if applicable and available, the upper and lower river gages and the current river predictions as provided by the National Weather Service. All Decisions concerning the existence of an outdraft and the effect of said outdraft will have upon their tows will be made by each vessel operator.

      13. Waterways Action Plans provides the marine industry, U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), States and local governments with a plan for facilitating the safe and orderly movement of traffic during extreme conditions on the inland rivers.

      14. Barges will be moored to the lock wall at all times during the lockage cycle. On all lockages, deckhands will not remove mooring lines until signaled to do so by the lock operator. This will be done by use of a whistle or by verbal command. On knockout single cut lockages, once the deckhand has been signaled to remove the mooring lines, the tow boat may proceed out of the chamber and the tow boat may face back up to the tow as the tow moves forward. If requested by the deckhand, the lock operator will assist to moor the tow to the lock wall once the tow has moved a sufficient distance along the wall so that the tow boat can face up to the tow. On all set-over lockages, the tow will move far enough along the wall to provide room to set the barges back over and face up to the rest of the tow. The tow will then be moored to the wall until the face up process is completed. The lock operator will then remove the mooring lines at the request of the deckhand. On all multiple cut lockages, the cut will be pulled from the chamber using the assistance from a helper boat. The tow will then be moored to the wall outside of the chamber until the remaining cuts of the tow have been faced up to the first cut. Once the tow is faced up and ready to depart, the mooring lines will be removed by the lock operator at the request of the deckhand.

      15. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers maintains an eight foot channel depth. Draft of vessels: No vessel shall attempt to enter a lock unless its draft is at least three (3) inches less than the least depth of water over the gate sills. Information concerning control depth over sills can be obtained from the District Navigation Charts. For general purpose information Route 1 has a maximum recommended of 8 feet @ 14.00 ft NGVD 1929. Route 2 has a maximum recommended draft of 6 feet @14.00 ft NGVD 1929

      PART C: LOCK OPERATIONS DURING TROPICAL STORMS, HURRICANES AND HIGH WATER EVENTS

      Notice is given that 72 hours prior to a Tropical Storm or Hurricane making local landfall locks will be open 7 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. No mooring will be allowed at any lock, approach walls or dolphins during a storm event.

      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.

      Operations during high water and floods in designated vulnerable areas: Vessels operating on these waters during periods when water stages exceed the level of “ordinary high water,” as designated on Corps of Engineers’ navigation charts, shall exercise reasonable care to minimize the effects of their bow waves and propeller washes on river banks; submerged or partially submerged structures or habitations; terrestrial growth such as trees and bushes; and man-made amenities that may be present. Vessels shall operate carefully when passing close to levees and other flood control structures and shall observe minimum distances from banks which may be prescribed from time to time in Notices to Navigation Interests. Pilots should exercise particular care not to direct propeller wash at river banks, levees, revetments, structures or other appurtenances subject to damage from wave action.

      Lock operators have no means of pulling tows from the chamber An assist tow will be required of sufficient size to maintain safe control of the tow in any wind or current condition.

      Lock hours are based on USACE Inland Marine Transportation System (IMTS) Standard Levels of Service.

      Canaveral Harbor:
      Canaveral Lock 6:00 AM to 9:30 PM Daily (Last lockage starting at 9:00PM)

      Okeechobee Waterway:
      St Lucie Lock 7:00 AM to 5:00 PM Daily (Last lockage starting at 4:30 PM) Port Mayaca Lock 7:00 AM to 5:00 PM Daily (Last lockage starting at 4:30 PM) Moore Haven Lock 7:00 AM to 5:00 PM Daily (Last lockage starting at 4:30 PM) Ortona Lock 7:00 AM to 5:00 PM Daily (Last lockage starting at 4:30 PM) WP Franklin Lock 7:00 AM to 5:00 PM Daily (Last lockage starting at 4:30 PM)

      PART D: USEFUL INFORMATION

      Lake Okeechobee water level can be viewed on the Corps of Engineers web site at http://w3.saj.usace.army.mil/h2o/currentLL.shtml

      Maximum vessel width and lengths are listed below for each lock. Vessels larger than the maximum dimensions will be refused lockage.

      Canaveral Harbor
      Canaveral Lock maximum vessel size 85′ X 585′

      Okeechobee Waterway
      St Lucie, Moore Haven and Ortona Locks maximum vessel size 45′ X 235′ Port Mayaca and W.P. Franklin Locks maximum vessel size 51′ X 385′

      REPAIR SCHEDULE FOR 2019

      It is anticipated that maintenance and repairs will be performed at the following locations during Calendar Year 2019. This notice may require periodic revision. It is given so that industrial waterway users may have a general knowledge of the lock outages and can plan their operations accordingly. Factors, which may affect this schedule, are the delivery of materials, repairs required but not anticipated, emergency repairs as a result of accidents, and funding.

      All interested parties should review the maintenance schedule for impact. Additional notices furnishing specific information and operating requirements will be published approximately two weeks in advance of commencing the work items listed.

      Canaveral Harbor:
      Canaveral Lock Sector Gate Manatee Screen Repair and cleaning TBD

      Okeechobee Waterway:
      St Lucie Lock and Dam Sector Gate Manatee Screen Repair and cleaning TBD
      Port Mayaca Lock and Dam Sector Gate Manatee Screen Repair and cleaning TBD
      Moore Haven Lock and Dam Sector Gate Manatee Screen Repair and cleaning TBD
      Ortona Lock and Dam Sector Gate Manatee Screen Repair and cleaning TBD
      W.P. Franklin Lock and Dam Sector Gate Manatee Screen Repair and cleaning TBD

      For up to date Lock information contact the shift operator 7 AM to 5 PM at:

      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

      Point of contact is Gary Hipkins at 863-983-8101.

      //signed//
      Gary L.Hipkins
      Chief Navigation & Flood Risk Management
      South Florida Operations

      —————————————–

      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
      Palm Beach Gardens
      NOTE: NEW OFFICE PHONE 561-340-1527
      Cell: 561-801-5734
      erica.a.skolte@usace.army.mil
      Twitter @JaxStrong
      Jacksonville District Facebook:
      https://www.facebook.com/JacksonvilleDistrict
      Jacksonville District: A team of professionals making tomorrow better
      “Keep Calm and Essayons”

      3 Facebook Likes, 4 Facebook Reactions

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    • UPDATE: Low Cable Continues to Restrict Air Space at Torry Island Bridge, Okeechobee Waterway Statute Mile 60


      This low hanging cable on Lake Okeechobee Route 2 was last reported in December of 2017, see Low Cable Restricting Air Space and, as Sue Ward sadly confirms, nothing has been done to remedy the situation. High-masted vessels are encouraged to use Route 1

      Sad to report that the low line across the waterway has still not been lifted from around 30 odd feet. This blocks access to all cruising yachts trying to follow the Rim route across Florida. Its nearly 12 months since this route was blocked. Some friends who had not been south for a couple of years, found out the hard way yesterday and had to back track back north to Port Mayaca then cross the lake to Clewiston.
      Sue Ward

      11/26 Good afternoon Larry and Sue,
      I was able to get a status-
      The lines will be raised when ATT relocates its lines. We expect this work to start in December. FPL must do work first, and they have already dropped off their poles, so we expect this to move forward in the near future.
      Thanks for checking in with us!
      Wishing you both Happy Holidays-
      Erica
      Public Affairs Specialist
      Corporate Communications Office
      U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District

      Click Here To View the Okeechobee 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

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    • LNM: Construction with Divers to Begin Dec 3, Okeechobee Waterway, Statute Miles 104-116


      This longterm construction project involving divers in the water will be on the south side of the Okeechobee Waterway between Miles 104 and 116. This is not a wide body of water and slow speed and a sharp lookout are the order of the day.

      FLORIDA – CALOOSAHATCHEE RIVER – TOWNSEND CANAL: WEST BASIN STORAGE RESERVOIR PROJECT – DIVERS
      Harry Pepper and Associates, Inc. will be conducting construction along the south shoreline of the Caloosahatchee River, at the mouth of the Townsend Canal, between Labelle, FL and Alva, FL. The project is expected to commence December 3, 2018 and conclude on or around May 3, 2022; operations will be occurring during daylight hours only. Signs will be posted to notify mariners that work is being conducted at the Townsend Canal, as well as to indicate the installation and location of a temporary manatee barrier. Mariners are advised to exercise caution, as divers will be periodically working inside the manatee barrier in the Caloosahatchee River and inside the weir on the Townsend Canal. Equipment will be conducting work from the banks of the Caloosahatchee River and Townsend Canal with barges present inside the weir. Chart 11428 LNM 46/18

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of LaBelle on the Okeechobee Waterway

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    • LNM: Phone Numbers for Florida Lock Operators

      If you lock through Canaveral or the Okeechobee Waterway, please put the numbers for the Corps locks into your phone. Remember to listen to any direction offered by the lock operator to ensure everyone’s safety as you lock through! Our thanks to Officer Erica Skolte for this information and advice.

      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

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    • LNM: Okeechobee Lock Procedures in Hurricane Conditions

      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:08/26/2018 00:00 thru 12/31/2018 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 35/18

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    • Toxic Fish Kills on Lake Okeechobee

      Our thanks to experienced cruiser, Sonny Reeves, for sending in this report on Lake Okeechobee from weather.com.

      Lake O and our fish kills/toxic beaches

      This is not a new problem. Video and story of who is making money off this is from 2016

      https://weather.com/news/news/florida-toxic-lake-okeechobee

      Sad to mad……

      Sonny Reeves
      Be Salt and Light, wash feet!
      on the ICW see blog for where http://ontheofficewautoteacher.blogspot.com/

      Comments from Cruisers (1)

    • BoatUS News: TowBoatUS Comes to Lake Okeechobee, Clewiston, FL


      These two TowBoat US vessels will be stationed at Roland Martins Marina found on a small canal in Clewiston, Florida.

      TowBoatUS Comes to Lake Okeechobee

      Bringing around-the-clock assistance to boaters in need on Florida’s Inland Sea

      CLEWISTON, Fl., July 23, 2018 – More than 15 years ago, Captain Michael Ammons’ professional career on the water began when he became the owner of three TowBoatUS locations, which offer 24-hour on-water towing and assistance for recreational boaters. After selling the businesses 10 years ago, he’s found his way back to the company, opening TowBoatUS Lake Okeechobee earlier this year.

      “TowBoatUS has always been a cut above the rest, and the boats are easily recognized on the water,” said Ammons. “When I came back to Lake Okeechobee after working a few years abroad, I knew there wasn’t anyone out here with the company, so I applied and got back into the business.”

      Much like an auto club for boaters, BoatUS offers on-water Unlimited Towing Memberships for boaters and anglers for just $149 per year. Boaters without BoatUS towing services face costs that average $750 per towing incident, with some paying into the thousands out of pocket.

      From his years of experience boating in Florida waters, Ammons knows the types of problems boaters can face, which is why his company offers an extended service area. Not only does the company service Lake Okeechobee in its entirety, but it also provides service to transient boaters passing through the Okeechobee Waterway on their way to fish the east or west coasts of the Sunshine State.

      With the lake attracting bass fishermen, saltwater sport fishermen passing through to the coasts and other area boaters, Ammons is confident he’ll stay busy year-round helping boaters get home safely, no matter what boating activity they’re partaking in. “It’s a difficult area, and there are tons of locks and restrictions around the lake,” he explained. “It’s a really chopped up waterway, and it creates a lot of issues for boaters, including hazardous water fluctuations, rocky areas, and more.”

      TowBoatUS Lake Okeechobee operates a 22-foot Lund Alaskan, a sturdy shallow-water vessel, and a 22-foot Angler deep-v center-console for salvage jobs. Both response vessels are kept at Roland Martin Marina. Ammons’ boats are easily recognizable by their red hulls and TowBoatUS logos emblazoned in bright white letters on their sides, and they’re rigged and ready for towing, jump starts, fuel delivery and soft ungroundings.

      Boaters can reach TowBoatUS Lake Okeechobee by hailing on VHF channel 16, by calling the company directly at (239) 600-0140, by phoning the BoatUS toll-free 24/7 Dispatch Center at (800) 391-4869, or via smartphone using the new BoatUS App. More information can be found at BoatUS.com/Towing, or call (800) 888-4869.

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Clewiston and Roland Martins Marina

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    • NAV ALERT: LNM: Low Cable Restricting Air Space at Torry Island Bridge, Okeechobee Waterway Statute Mile 60


      This hazard was first posted on Cruisers’ Net in December of 2017, https://cruisersnet.net/168847, and, obviously, no progress is being made to raise the cable from 35ft to its charted height of 52ft.

      FLORIDA – ST. LUCIE INLET TO FORT MYERS AND LAKE OKEECHOBEE – OKEECHOBEE WATERWAY – LAKE OKEECHOBEE (ROUTE
      2): Hazard to Navigation

      The US Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District has identified a low hanging fiber optic cable at the Torrey Island Bridge in RT-2 of the Okeechobee Waterway. The fiber optic cable is estimated to be 35 feet above the water; high mast vessels are encouraged to use RT-1 until the cable is raised to 52 feet. Recreational and commercial boaters are to use caution when navigating through these sections of waterway. Once the cable is raised to the required 52 feet normal traffic will be restored. USACOE POC is Gary Hipkins at 863-983-8101.
      Chart 11428 LNM 21/18

      Click Here To View the Okeechobee 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

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    • WARNING – ARREST- Bimini Basin Anchorage, Cape Coral , FL, OWW Statute Mile 145


      The entrance to Cape Coral Bimini Basin is on the north shore of the Caloosahatchee River from Waterway marker 86 off Piney Point. These arrest allegations are unconfirmed at this time. See Bimini Basin Anchorage by Claiborne Young from a kinder, gentler time. 

      Bimini Basin in Cape Coral is a sheltered, convenient anchorage on the Caloosahatchee River (Florida Cross Waterway-Okeechobee waterway). The news has reported that the city fathers have decided that ANYONE THAT DINGHIES ASHORE WILL BE ARRESTED!
      August Trometer

      Bad behavior  has been an issue in Bimini Basin for some time:

      Cape residents want more regulations on boaters in Bimini Basin from NBC Channel 2 

      Cape considering ordinance after boats left unattended in Basin form NBC Channel

      Click Here To View the Cruisers’ Net’s Western Florida Anchorage Directory Listing For the Bimini Basin Anchorage

      Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of the Bimini Basin Anchorage

      1 Facebook Likes, 3 Facebook Reactions

      Comments from Cruisers (4)

      1. Mo seymour -  November 5, 2018 - 2:45 pm

        What law is being broken? First- we are all for the mooring field. This place needs to be cleaned up. We anchor there for 3 days max to provision. We have a huge holding tank so that’s not an issue but there are too many unscrupulous dregs that ruin it for the rest of us responsible sailors a bad name. It’s a safe harbor for us and we use it as such. We’d rather be sailing the rumbline trust me. Fishbowls we no like.

        Reply to Mo
      2. Sean -  October 3, 2018 - 1:10 am

        Any update on this? Are you allowed to dingy to shore?

        Reply to Sean
      3. MAJOR WEBER -  May 1, 2018 - 8:58 pm

        There has been a growing collection of boats anchored in Bimini Basin. The majority are sailboats that appear abandoned or poorly maintained. There have been a few very nice boats that are occupied and this is what is generating issues with water quality since there are no pumpouts and those folks are not holding it until they go ashore to some facility. The basin is tidal and surrounded by high density housing therefor it is not certain that some or all of the pollution is from anchored boats. Many smaller powerboats pass through the basin everyday. There have been no arrests that I am aware of. There are two concrete docking piers for dingies.

        Reply to MAJOR
      4. Beryl Nelson -  May 1, 2018 - 5:29 pm

        I am in the Turks and Caicos and was surprised to have this message displayed when I clicked on the above link: “Forbidden – Visitors from your country are not permitted to browse this site.” ???

        Reply to Beryl
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