24 October 2011


The decision has been made, we are now the Westbound sailing vessel Kairos. When calling a bridge or lock we had been identifying ourselves as the Southbound vessel but yesterday we passed through the Roosevelt bridge in Stuart and officially started our Westbound trip through the Okeechobee waterway.
A certain crew member was celebrating a birthday and so we picked up a mooring at the Sunset marina and anchorage and followed the boardwalk along the St Lucie river into the town of Stuart. Live music and waterfront restaurants abounded and we added Stuart to our list of places to return to when time is free.
We started this Westward voyage because Winter is still Winter even if most people are wearing shorts. An extended period of Northerly wind blowing from 10-15 knits has resulted in large seas offshore as it fought the northbound gulf stream. Without time to wait for a weather window and with a deep dread of the patience required to make it through the multitude of Southeast Florida bridges with openings timed for a vessel making more than 5 knots we turned West.
The Okeechobee waterway is made up of the St Lucie river, Lake Okeechobee, the Caloosahatchee river and canals connecting them all. Our plan is to take the rim route, following the channel along the Southern coast of the lake. We will spend one night anchored in the lake and then one night East of Ft. Myers in the Caloosahatchee river. The forecast for the Gulf of Mexico calls for calmer waters and if the Winter gods are willing we will have a week to explore the waters and state parks North of Ft Myers before heading South to our Winter berth.
Stay tuned for alligator, manatee and bird sightings as we transit what is advertised as a nature lovers paradise.

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