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Old 05-11-2018, 03:34 PM   #1
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Ortona Lock Closure

I just ran across this and hadn't seen it mentioned here. I know we have many who use the Okeechobee.

OKEECHOBEE WATERWAY
ORTONA LOCK
CLOSURE FOR MAINTENANCE
4 THROUGH 16 JUNE 2018
REFERENCE:
a. 33 CFR Navigation and Navigable Waters
1. Notice to Navigation
Notice is given that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is notifying the public, marinas, commercial and recreational vessels traveling the Okeechobee Waterway that Ortona Lock will be closed for maintenance 4 through 16 June 2018. This will be the first lock closure along the Okeechobee Waterway in 6 years, maintenance is necessary to repair aging and damaged infrastructure in addition to improving public and vessel safety. Repairs will require the lock chamber to be dewatered for crews to perform inspections, replace gate seals and repair Manatee Protection system components. During the closure barges, floating cranes and divers will be working in the lock entrance requiring vessel operators in the area to use minimal speed and caution for safety.
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Old 05-11-2018, 04:26 PM   #2
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Timely notice. We’d intended on coming through the lake around the 4th doing the FL loop. Might go the other way around now.
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Old 05-11-2018, 04:36 PM   #3
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That’s a long time but as they say it’s the first time in six years. We went through there on April 16 and they had restricted openings but at least we could get through. The Manatee Protection protection system maintenance was going on. They must have found some deficiencies.

Notice to Navigation 2018-007 Lock Closures for Manatee Protection System Maintenance
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Old 05-11-2018, 07:12 PM   #4
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Call, call, call the lock before changing your plans. We almost called off a crossing due to a notice like this. Turned out the work did not begin until 3 WEEKS after the stated start date!!!
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Old 05-11-2018, 09:29 PM   #5
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Good tip, Archie. Thanks.
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Old 05-11-2018, 09:45 PM   #6
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Thanks for the tip. I was planning going thru during 1st week of June. I will move the plan up a week.
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Old 05-14-2018, 10:26 AM   #7
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Thanks for the heads up. Our current plans are to cross the lake the latter part of June heading north.


If it finishes by the 16th then we are good. I guess if it doesn't then we will take the longer trip through the Keys.


Have done both. Actually prefer the Keys, but hard to pass up the savings in time that the Lake crossing provides.
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Old 05-14-2018, 10:47 AM   #8
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Thanks for the heads up. Our current plans are to cross the lake the latter part of June heading north.


If it finishes by the 16th then we are good. I guess if it doesn't then we will take the longer trip through the Keys.


Have done both. Actually prefer the Keys, but hard to pass up the savings in time that the Lake crossing provides.

I'll be headed east on June 29th and most likely will be at the OWW by July 1.

How much more of a delay is it to go around?
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Old 05-14-2018, 11:48 AM   #9
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I'll be headed east on June 29th and most likely will be at the OWW by July 1.

How much more of a delay is it to go around?
From Clearwater - based on how long we cruise in a day.

Day 1 Clearwater to Fort Meyers (outside)
Day 2 Fort Meyers to Marathon
Day 3 Marathon to Fort Lauderdale
Day 4 Easy day Fort Lauderdale to Stuart.

In the past we have crossed the lake from Fort Meyers to Stuart (or the other way) in a day. But that is a hard day and that was when the locks were open later.

This year we will probably take 2 days to cross, so overall savings is 1 day. This is assuming weather holds.

Our route through the Keys is outside the entire time - so any weather comes up - we are potentially delayed.

From Fort Meyers to Stuart via lake, probably no weather concerns. Lake gets choppy - but that's only 20 miles or so.
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Old 05-14-2018, 01:52 PM   #10
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That sounds similar to what I would wind up doing. Right now I have Crystal River down to Sarasota, then to Ft, Myers and across.
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Old 05-14-2018, 03:32 PM   #11
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What lake level is it safe to take a 5’ draft vessel? I was thinking anything less than 12.5 was iffy.

http://w3.saj.usace.army.mil/h2o/currentLL.shtml

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Old 05-14-2018, 04:56 PM   #12
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I have crossed with 5ft draft and 12 feet fine.


Only have crossed with the route directly across the lake. I don't consider rim route as an option.


Current boat is 6ft. Will be checking with a delivery captain friend to confirm before I go.
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Old 05-14-2018, 04:57 PM   #13
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That sounds similar to what I would wind up doing. Right now I have Crystal River down to Sarasota, then to Ft, Myers and across.

K9 - we will be floating around the area next week. Going down on Sunday 20th, staying till 29th.
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Old 05-14-2018, 05:26 PM   #14
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I have crossed with 5ft draft and 12 feet fine.


Only have crossed with the route directly across the lake. I don't consider rim route as an option.


Current boat is 6ft. Will be checking with a delivery captain friend to confirm before I go.
At current levels, I wouldn't take a 6' draft boat. Much too close for comfort. Just check levels when you're closer to the time. Greatest draft I've taken through is 5'.
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Old 05-14-2018, 05:53 PM   #15
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That sounds similar to what I would wind up doing. Right now I have Crystal River down to Sarasota, then to Ft, Myers and across.
If your sarasota stop is Marina Jacks lets us know
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Old 05-14-2018, 06:00 PM   #16
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siestakey/ & FBF, not sure where we will stop for the night.

I'm "leading" a small group over to the Bahamas and one boat is a trawler. We will be pulling a 16' skiff behind us so if the weather is good I'll run outside from CR as far south as I can get in 14 hours which is about 105nm.

Heading out of Stuart on the 5th though and returning to Stuart on the 22nd.
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Old 05-14-2018, 06:23 PM   #17
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siestakey/ & FBF, not sure where we will stop for the night.

I'm "leading" a small group over to the Bahamas and one boat is a trawler. We will be pulling a 16' skiff behind us so if the weather is good I'll run outside from CR as far south as I can get in 14 hours which is about 105nm.

Heading out of Stuart on the 5th though and returning to Stuart on the 22nd.
Sounds great have fun!!
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