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Old 04-22-2017, 07:49 PM   #1
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Okeechobee waterway passage

All,

Getting up to speed with doing the Okeechobee waterway soon, and looking for info.

There's a ton of info out there and here's my plan:

Take note of the locks and try to time to get there when they open. Is that info broadcast on CH 13, just listening and hearing what other boaters are doing?

Take note of the few bridge openings that will affect me, less than 20ft clearance.

I'm planning on two days to cross, with an RON probably at Clewiston or a bit further. I'm thinking that I don't want to be caught without a good place to stay as it gets dark, so will plan on the RON place early. Other favorites, or ideas?

Seems like once one gets reasonably close to Ft Myers, there's lots of choices and options.

Thoughts?

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Old 04-22-2017, 08:50 PM   #2
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The locks are on special opening schedules due to low water. The channel across the lake is getting shallow. I would not go the lake route until the survey read is above 12.5'. Here is the link to the army corps of engineers
http://w3.saj.usace.army.mil/h2o/currentLL.shtml
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Old 04-22-2017, 09:03 PM   #3
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The locks are on special opening schedules due to low water. The channel across the lake is getting shallow. I would not go the lake route until the survey read is above 12.5'. Here is the link to the army corps of engineers
USACE Jacksonville District
Yea, I've been following the water levels, which aren't doing very well.

From the Army Corp today,
"This morning the stage was 11.78 feet providing a navigation depth for Route 1 of 5.72 feet and for Route 2 (Rim) 3.92 feet"

I assume these are fairly accurate, and 5.72 ft for a draft of 3.8 should be doable. Am I missing something?
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Old 04-22-2017, 09:10 PM   #4
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The locks are on special opening schedules due to low water. The channel across the lake is getting shallow. I would not go the lake route until the survey read is above 12.5'. Here is the link to the army corps of engineers
http://w3.saj.usace.army.mil/h2o/currentLL.shtml

How sure are you of that? I called St Lucie lock on Friday late morning and they were still on a normal schedule (on demand). The lake is low enough that it could change at any moment, but as of my call it had not.

Here's another link with links to the depth one, notices to navigation, phone numbers for locks, etc etc. http://www.saj.usace.army.mil/Missio...to-Navigation/

I'm looking to head from the west coast to the east in early May (heading for the Abacos). I'm now 90% certain of going through the keys. It will add 100 nm to the trip to West End, so I'm holding out some hope. But if central FL doesn't get some decent rain soon, that 10% is evaporating fast (pun intended).
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Old 04-22-2017, 09:13 PM   #5
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Old 04-23-2017, 10:53 AM   #6
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I wouldn't hesitate to anchor overnight most anyplace on either river (or the lake if the weather is good). The locks close around six so there will be a minimum amount of traffic, if any.
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Old 04-23-2017, 10:55 AM   #7
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Okeechobee waterway passage

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Old 04-23-2017, 11:09 AM   #8
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I wouldn't hesitate to anchor overnight most anyplace on either river (or the lake if the weather is good). The locks close around six so there will be a minimum amount of traffic, if any.
Last lock through starts at 4:30, locks close at 5. I guess the Army Corp decided us recreational boaters are not worth overtime for 5 lockkeepers.
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Old 04-23-2017, 12:13 PM   #9
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Another question....

Where can one find mile markers on a map. Don't see it on Active Captain or Garmin Blue Chart or is it on a chart at all?

Also, on this listings, seems to be in SM not NM, but can live with that.
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Old 04-23-2017, 12:32 PM   #10
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All intracoastal mile marks are in SM as far as I know. In 5 mile increments as I also recall.

They are on the paper charts. Never noticed them on the electronic ones. (At least on the ones that don't use the actual NOAA charts.)

If you stop in Clewiston, you might want to get drinks and dinner at the Clewiston Inn. Cool little bar with decent home style food. Very old school Florida type of place. They normally will send someone in a car to pick you up at the marina (Rowland Martin's).
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Old 04-23-2017, 01:20 PM   #11
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See Vee, don't believe those project depths. I marked several places less than those a couple weeks ago when I crossed. and the lake was higher then.
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Old 04-23-2017, 01:40 PM   #12
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Another question....

Where can one find mile markers on a map. Don't see it on Active Captain or Garmin Blue Chart or is it on a chart at all?

Also, on this listings, seems to be in SM not NM, but can live with that.

Statue mile marks are on Active Captain "live map"
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Old 04-23-2017, 03:08 PM   #13
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My rule of thumb is to always have at least a foot more than the minimum clearance. So, if I have a 5' draft, I'm not going if the Okeechobee is showing less than 6'. Today with 11.73 ft which translates to 5.67' on route 1 and 3.87' on route 2, I would not cross if my draft was greater than 4'8" and I wouldn't try route 2 with anything over 2'10".
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Old 04-23-2017, 04:47 PM   #14
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My rule of thumb is to always have at least a foot more than the minimum clearance. So, if I have a 5' draft, I'm not going if the Okeechobee is showing less than 6'. Today with 11.73 ft which translates to 5.67' on route 1 and 3.87' on route 2, I would not cross if my draft was greater than 4'8" and I wouldn't try route 2 with anything over 2'10".
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Old 04-23-2017, 04:59 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by BandB View Post
My rule of thumb is to always have at least a foot more than the minimum clearance. So, if I have a 5' draft, I'm not going if the Okeechobee is showing less than 6'. Today with 11.73 ft which translates to 5.67' on route 1 and 3.87' on route 2, I would not cross if my draft was greater than 4'8" and I wouldn't try route 2 with anything over 2'10".

BandB,

That's pretty tight, I was thinking 1.5 or 2 ft or so, depending on how accurate I felt the readings were. I don't know that waterway at all so will have to edge on the conservative side. From what IKJ says, not very accurate. I draft 3'8" so getting a bit tight. Hope it rains....
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Old 04-23-2017, 06:32 PM   #16
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See Vee, don't believe those project depths. I marked several places less than those a couple weeks ago when I crossed. and the lake was higher then.


This is the problem when you transit the lake at a time when the water level is below 13'.
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Old 04-23-2017, 07:20 PM   #17
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BandB,

That's pretty tight, I was thinking 1.5 or 2 ft or so, depending on how accurate I felt the readings were. I don't know that waterway at all so will have to edge on the conservative side. From what IKJ says, not very accurate. I draft 3'8" so getting a bit tight. Hope it rains....
3'8" gives you nearly two feet. Also, I'm comfortable tighter as I'm familiar with the waterway plus confident of our electronics.
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Old 04-23-2017, 09:54 PM   #18
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I crossed in early April on my GB36. Your best bet is to call the Corps of Engineers to determine the exact status of locks. number: 863-983-8101

Lake level was about 12.45 when we crossed. Only concern was marker 6 in the approach channel to Clewiston. Sounder read 0 but we didn't touch.

Others who passed the day before had bumped or plowed through something in the channel. On the North side of the channel close to the marker.

Captain Sam with Roland's Marina gave us that tip and was a big help.

Good luck and feel free to toss me any other questions. Two full days from Ft Myers to Hutchison Island that were great!
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Old 04-23-2017, 09:56 PM   #19
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Greetings,
Mr. gt. Welcome aboard!
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Old 04-23-2017, 10:28 PM   #20
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I crossed in early April on my GB36. Your best bet is to call the Corps of Engineers to determine the exact status of locks. number: 863-983-8101

Lake level was about 12.45 when we crossed. Only concern was marker 6 in the approach channel to Clewiston. Sounder read 0 but we didn't touch.

Others who passed the day before had bumped or plowed through something in the channel. On the North side of the channel close to the marker.

Captain Sam with Roland's Marina gave us that tip and was a big help.

Good luck and feel free to toss me any other questions. Two full days from Ft Myers to Hutchison Island that were great!
Here's the exact level. This is where I got the information I posted above. Way down from when you crossed.

USACE Jacksonville District
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