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Old 12-11-2016, 04:03 PM   #1
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Crossing Florida?

We are planning to move our boat from Punta Gorda on the Gulf via Okeechobee to St Mary's Georgia (just across the line from Florida) in early February. This will be our first experience boating in FL, so I could use a bit of trip planning advice. Specifically ...

1. How much time should we allow for the Okeechobee west to east leg?

2. Once we reach the ICW on the east side, how long should it take us to reach St. Mary's GA?

Let's assume we travel 8 hours a day at 7 or 8 knots.

Obviously I can plot the course and do the D/S/T calculation, but I don't have a feel for what allowance to make for locks, bridges, and traffic. Any advice would be most appreciated.

David
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Old 12-11-2016, 04:27 PM   #2
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I use three days to cross from one coast to the other.
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Old 12-11-2016, 04:37 PM   #3
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We took five days to cross last year. We stopped at FF's dock, Labelle for a couple of days (free dock and power) and just took our time. After we did the trip, we both said we'd do it again and stop at more places.

Stuart to St. Mary's can be a nice trip. We take our time with Vero Beach and St Augustine Must stops for more than an over night.
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Old 12-11-2016, 04:50 PM   #4
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I'd figure total trip five days if you are kickin' it, seven days if you take time to enjoy it. Maybe longer if you really enjoy it!!
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Old 12-11-2016, 05:02 PM   #5
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Spend the first night at Roland Martin's Marina in Clewiston, then cross the lake the next morning and spend night 2 in Stuart (several marinas to choose from). You can make up near Melbourne 3rd night and St Augustine 4th night. You could make St Mary's 5 afternoon. That's pushing pretty hard up the ICW each day dawn to dusk. Weather won't be an issue as it's all protected.
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Old 12-11-2016, 05:39 PM   #6
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If you have the time, there are some great places to spend a couple of days, or alternatively make shorter runs and get in early enough to look around a bit.
However:

Crossing the Okeechobee, I would allow Three days from Fort Myers to the AICW.
From there it is about 276 miles (ICW measures in statute miles) up to St Mary's. Which is 4 to 5 days. So a total of 7 to 8 days I think.

Weather that time of year can slow you down depending on your tolerance for rain and wind.

Fun trip, enjoy.

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Old 12-11-2016, 05:52 PM   #7
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Great advice ... thanks everyone!
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Old 12-11-2016, 05:59 PM   #8
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My normal crossing from Stuart to Fort Myers is 2 days. Hitting the 5 locks at the wrong intervals could slow you down significantly. 4 out of 5 trips have been in 2 days with a top speed of 7 knots.

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Old 12-11-2016, 07:04 PM   #9
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Quote:
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Spend the first night at Roland Martin's Marina in Clewiston, then cross the lake the next morning and spend night 2 in Stuart (several marinas to choose from). You can make up near Melbourne 3rd night and St Augustine 4th night. You could make St Mary's 5 afternoon. That's pushing pretty hard up the ICW each day dawn to dusk. Weather won't be an issue as it's all protected.
That sounds about right to me. Another convenient overnight stop on the canal is the public dock at Moore Haven. Slips are parallel to the channel, on the north bank just west of the U.S. 27 highway bridge.

From Stuart to St. Marys in three running days ought to be no problem, but as Larry says, there are nice stops along the way if you don't have to hustle. It's all a very nice trip!
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Old 12-11-2016, 07:10 PM   #10
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I ran across in 2 days at a 6kt pace. We stayed in Labelle at the free dock and had no issues with the locks on the way.
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Old 12-11-2016, 09:43 PM   #11
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My normal crossing from Stuart to Fort Myers is 2 days. Hitting the 5 locks at the wrong intervals could slow you down significantly. 4 out of 5 trips have been in 2 days with a top speed of 7 knots.

Ted
If not stopping somewhere for an extended time along the way, we always find two days. Coming west to east we'll move to Moore Haven on day one and then hit the Moore Haven lock at 7:00 AM.
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Old 12-12-2016, 12:17 PM   #12
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So here's what I came up with ...

Day 1 - Depart Punta Gorda, Fisherman's Village
Night 1 - Glover Bight - anchor
Night 2 - LaBelle - tie up
Night 3 - Moore Haven - City Docks
Night 4 - Stuart - Shepard Park
Night 5 - Coconut Point South
Night 6 - Smyrna Beach
Night 7 - St Augustine - mooring
Day 8 - arrive St. Mary's, GA.

Between anchoring out and city facilities, looks pretty inexpensive.

Any comments?
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Old 12-12-2016, 12:23 PM   #13
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Should be a piece of cake - easy days and cheap nights!
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Old 12-12-2016, 12:34 PM   #14
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Great schedule, but why? If you can do it, take your time "Its about the Journey, not the Destination!"
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Old 12-12-2016, 01:49 PM   #15
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Hi Sea-Duction. The admiral and I are not retired yet. We have to get this move done in 10 days and get back to work. The new to us boat has to leave FL for 6 months so we don't get hit by sales tax.
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Old 12-12-2016, 02:52 PM   #16
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We brought Sonas up from the St Lucie River to Jacksonville last February. Three Days.

1. St Lucie to Sebastian
2. Sebastian to Daytona.
3. Daytona to Jacksonville

Due to shorter daylight hours we stared at first light around 6:30, and ran around 10 hours per day. If you are running 8 hours then you will need four days to make Jacksonville. Add another day for the run to St Mary's. So five days - but pretty longish days. If you just want to get her home and will be basing your cruising from there then you can do St Augustine, Palm Coast, Fernandina, Jeykyll, St Simons Hilton Head etc. at your leisure afterwards.

You will not have any delays due to bridges or locks once you hit the ICW. There are very few drawbridges left (they just removed the Sisters Creek one a couple of months ago for example).
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Old 12-12-2016, 03:38 PM   #17
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Another option is to stay at the Franklin locks Corps of Engineers camp ground and marina. There are 6 slips there and can be reserved on line. We stayed there last January and met some very friendly folks staying at the slips. We all joined in for happy hour under one of the picnic table shelters.

From there Roland Martins is an easy day where the bar is usually hopping on the week ends and the burgers are pretty good.

After that Stuart and the mooring field is an easy day. Nice town to walk around and some pretty good restaurants. If you want a good and expensive eat, try Sailors Return next to the marina.

On your way north St. Augustine and Fernandina Beach both have mooring fields. Watch out for the ICW trouble spot between the Fernandina Beach mooring field and the bridge to the south.
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Old 12-12-2016, 06:10 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Rive View Post
So here's what I came up with ...

Day 1 - Depart Punta Gorda, Fisherman's Village
Night 1 - Glover Bight - anchor
Night 2 - LaBelle - tie up
Night 3 - Moore Haven - City Docks
Night 4 - Stuart - Shepard Park
Night 5 - Coconut Point South
Night 6 - Smyrna Beach
Night 7 - St Augustine - mooring
Day 8 - arrive St. Mary's, GA.

Between anchoring out and city facilities, looks pretty inexpensive.

Any comments?


Only comment is LaBelle to Moore Haven is nothing at all...you're adding a whole day for no reason. It's very easy to go from Glover Bight to Moore Haven in one day. My boat is at Tarpon Point Marina at Glover, so I've done it all the way to Clewiston and Roland Martins never exceeding eight knots. Not hard.
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Old 12-12-2016, 06:34 PM   #19
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Only comment is LaBelle to Moore Haven is nothing at all...you're adding a whole day for no reason. It's very easy to go from Glover Bight to Moore Haven in one day. My boat is at Tarpon Point Marina at Glover, so I've done it all the way to Clewiston and Roland Martins never exceeding eight knots. Not hard.
I agree on skipping Labelle when he's trying to do it in a time constraint.
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Old 12-12-2016, 08:10 PM   #20
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I agree on skipping Labelle when he's trying to do it in a time constraint.
Second the motion, besides which LaBelle is not exactly the most scintillating of yacht destinations (with due respect to my LaBellian friends)!
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