28 October 2011


Day 1: Stuart to St mile 63.5 via route 2, the rim route (2 locks, 1 bridge opening)

    I-95 bridge, headed West! 

St. Lucie lock - going up - Okeechobee is above sea level. 

The bridge at Torry island was opening by a gentleman who disembarged from his golf cart, manually lowered the gates then used a long bar to manually swing the bridge into it's open position.
We anchored in a lovely deep bight North of the canal surrounded by mangroves and were serenaded by the love songs of alligators throughout the night.

Man pushing pole to open bridge.

Day 2: mile 63.5 to mile 103 (2 locks, 1 bridge opening)

We anchored on both sides of the La Belle bridge, first to the East because it won't open from 4-6pm, and 7-9 am and then in the West at 1815, so we could get an early start.

Standing on the dike looking North over the canal to the lake
Day 3: Mile 103 to 134.8 (Ft. Myers municipal marina) (1 lock, 3 bridge openings)

The Okeechobee waterway was billed in the guidebooks as a nature lovers paradise, and it was. We saw alligators, turtles, herons, buzzards, and many birds missing from our bird book. We caught the largest mosquito we have ever seen. It is also proof of the survival of the army Corp of Engineers who maintain and run 5 locks so that pleasure boaters can transit the waterway. The power of the sugar industry was also in evidence in the massive rebuilding of the Southern dike at the cost of $10 million per mile. A highly recommended side trip just expect to get a stiff neck as you look North into the wilderness and away from the scarred landscape of the South coast.

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