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Old 04-23-2011, 07:56 PM   #1
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SW FL to Chesapeake---OWW or Keys?

We are getting a little worried about our plan to cross the Okeechobee Waterway to reach the East coast of FL.* As of today the controlling depth of the shallowest spot is 5.10' and falling.* We need 4' just to clear our draft.* With a week to go before departure, the OWW looks doubtful.* It looks like a run to Marathon in the Keys then up Hawks Channel to Miami.* We've done it before, but it adds a couple of hundred miles to the already long trip.* We had the same situation in '07.

From Boca Grande Inlet, it is about a 160 mile passage on the open water to Marathon.* With good weather, it is a piece of cake.* Usually in May there is good weather.* We'll see.* May not have any choice.* Wouldn't mind spending the night at Boca Chita Key in Biscayne Bay.* Timing is everything

AHHHHHH THE CRUISING LIFE
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Old 04-23-2011, 09:07 PM   #2
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RE: SW FL to Chesapeake---OWW or Keys?

Don, If your draft is indeed 4 foot, you will have no problem crossing the Okeechobee. We have several reports from boats with deeper draft than yours making the crossing with no problem. Here is one of the reports......

"In the rim canal between Moore Haven and Clewiston, at one of the control gates, depths in the canal decreased to 6.2'. In the channel from Clewiston out into the lake, there are two shallow spots. In the vicinity of 1/4 mile on both sides of G"9", water depth blipped to 5.9' in places. And again in the 1/2 mile of so south of R "2", water depths dip to 6.0'.

At Port Mayaca, we had been advised to "favor the greens." We approached the lock in the green quarter of the channel, and saw water depths of 6.5'."

The locks are on three times a day schedules, 7AM, 1 PM and 7PM. I doubt much will change in a week but a call to the Jacksonville Corps Of Engineers will get the current info just before you cross. Chuck
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Old 04-24-2011, 06:36 AM   #3
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RE: SW FL to Chesapeake---OWW or Keys?

Thanks, Cap'n Chuck.
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Old 04-24-2011, 08:57 AM   #4
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RE: SW FL to Chesapeake---OWW or Keys?

Here is a link to the locks that has their phone numbers. We were going to cross last week but something came up and we did not cross. The last info I had from the lock masters themselves was the that the two end locks were every other hour going your direction and the middle locks were on demand.

http://www.saj.usace.army.mil/Divisi...ks.htm#WPFLock

I draw 4'6" and I would go now if I needed to. There are only a few places on the open water route that one should be careful of.
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Old 04-27-2011, 03:36 PM   #5
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RE: SW FL to Chesapeake---OWW or Keys?

I'm so sorry about this terrible*dilemma you are facing Don!*



*
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Old 04-28-2011, 07:25 AM   #6
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RE: SW FL to Chesapeake---OWW or Keys?

Thanks, Jennifer.* Doc and Capt.Chuck, I hope you are right.* This is Thursday. The mimimum draft listed today is 5.01'.* Our crossing is planned for Sunday.* We will be checking depth, but if it holds we will cross.* Probably won't know until Saturday.

Any way, it's an 11 hour drive to the boat tomorrow, service the engines and a couple of chores Saturday, and leave Sunday.* So I will be out of your hair for awhile.* We will be posting our blog along the way.* The trip should take 3-4 weeks.
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Old 04-28-2011, 09:50 AM   #7
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RE: SW FL to Chesapeake---OWW or Keys?

I'm looking forward to following your progress!* Safe travels!
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Old 05-02-2011, 01:54 PM   #8
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RE: SW FL to Chesapeake---OWW or Keys?

ok i know you just left but when are you gonna update your Blog????

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Old 05-02-2011, 06:57 PM   #9
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RE: SW FL to Chesapeake---OWW or Keys?

Quote:
Pineapple Girl wrote:
Alright Jennifer, I deserved that.* it has been an incredibly busy four days.* We have made it across the Okeechobee Waterway today.* We arrived Ft. Pierce City Marina this afternoon.* We plan 2 nights here to rest up a little.* We are now on the East coast heading north.

I have some pictures of the trip and some for Tim (timjet) and Steve (Forklift) of the bow locker arc for the dinghy.* It worked great.* We* had several small jobs to get done before leaving.* Then we dropped the rental car, got a taxi back to the marina, and left the next morning (Sunday).

There are 5 locks of the OWW.* The eastern end and the western end locks work on a 7-1-7 schedule.* This makes a one day crossing a two day crossing.

Other than Troy the wonder dog jumping overboard in the marina, we just gutted it out to get here.* I promise to update the blog when time allows.

*

*

ok i know you just left but when are you gonna update your Blog????

*

*
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Old 05-03-2011, 06:12 PM   #10
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RE: SW FL to Chesapeake---OWW or Keys?

Jennifer and Bess, the first blog post is up.* Not much, but a few pictures.* I will try to catch up as we go along.* There are a couple of stories to tell.
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Old 05-04-2011, 11:16 AM   #11
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RE: SW FL to Chesapeake---OWW or Keys?

i enjoyed the photos and look forward to the stories.* We were in stuart briefly a few years ago and it sure seemed like a nice area.

*
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Old 05-09-2011, 12:07 PM   #12
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RE: SW FL to Chesapeake---OWW or Keys?

Here is an update on the cruise.* There have been new developments.* Below is a copied section from our blog.

Now here is where the story takes a new twist.* Saturday was a beautiful cruising day.* As we exited the Cooper River into Calabogue Sound the sun was shining brightly, and the water sparkled.* We called around for a slip, and found one at Shelter Cove Harbour on Broad Creek.* This was probably a mistake.* We have had four extended stays at Shelter Cove.* When we walked in the office, Pam was on duty, grinned and said, welcome back.* We have loved staying at Shelter Cove.* The harbor is the best.* The area is the best. The facilities are the best.* 8 or 10 restaurants within walking distance.* I have recommended it to others.

Many of you know of the recent storms that have torn through the South.* In one of the early ones, a very large white pine tree split and fell across the roof of Lous cabin.* This whole trip she has been on the phone and e-mail with the insurance company and contractor.* It is not settled.* We have been having a problem to get the four grandkids together for a time long enough to take them to the Chesapeake.* It looks like the only time their schedules will allow all four together is Memorial Day weekend.* With getting the mountain cabin put back together and less time to spend on the Chesapeake, it seems that another time would be better to go on to the Chesapeake.* We love it up there, and want to spend allot of time when we go.* That all being said, we asked about another seasonal stay at Shelter Cove.* They didnt have a slip that we wanted, so it seemed like that was out-but wait, theres more.* They said they would move a boat if we will stay again.* This is truly unexpected, and above normal service.* So, we caved and said sure.* We will be at Shelter Cove until November when we plan to go back to Ft. Pierce, FL for an extended stay.

We were checking out the Ft. Pierc e City Marina*to see if we wanted to stay there for a seaon.* The Ft. Pierce inlet is a good one,*and it is a good jumping off point for the Bahamas.* It will save the 400 mile round trip from*Boca Grande to the east coast.* So, there you have it folks.* New plan!* Shelter Cove is a 6 hour drive from home.* Maryland*is an 11 hour drive.* This will allow us more short trips.* It will give us time for taking care of some things and, hopefully get the cabin painted.* We have been wanting to do that.* What was it Jimmy Buffet said?* I got too much stuff.*** Well*stuff happens.* We could have been happy either way.

Not only that but my sons boat is down here now.* It is great for offshore fishing.* The dinghy is great for fishing along the marsh grass at the edges of the creeks.* This will give us more time to see them,* There is also entertainment around the harbor at night.* Sometimes 3 live bands going at different places.* The kids love it.* There are bicycle paths everywhere.* No need to get on or cross the main road.* We can be happy here.
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Old 05-10-2011, 08:59 AM   #13
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RE: SW FL to Chesapeake---OWW or Keys?

Just thinking out loud here.* We have found that there are few cruisers other than full time live aboards that do our style of cruising.* We think having the boat on different parts of the coast is really a beautiful thing.* However, coming "home" to Shelter Cove started me thinking about the two kinds of boating.

We are snugged in our slip with our very own electrical and cable TV connection.*We know and have the numbers in our log book of the various service providers.* We know where restaurants, marine stores, hardware stores, and bakeries are located.* All this plus we have the luxury of our very own dock box for storing extra stuff.* Capt. Jim Warren looks after our boat when we are away.* The boat is stored in the water, so it is ready when we get here.* There are allot of good things about being semi-permanent.

On the other hand we will miss the stops along the ICW.* We will miss cruising the Chesapeake Bay and above all the magical time of fall on the Chesapeake.* That will have to wait for later when we have more time to enjoy that.* Hearing the sounds of a night flight of geese flying over the anchorage------there is nothing like it.* Did I mention the crab cakes?* Everyone knows they are the best you can get.* Galesville, Tangier, Oxford, Chester Town, Solomons, Annapolis, Baltimore, and all the great anchorages will still be there if and when we can make it back.
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Old 05-10-2011, 09:43 AM   #14
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RE: SW FL to Chesapeake---OWW or Keys?

Don......Love the new avatar.
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Old 05-10-2011, 01:09 PM   #15
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SW FL to Chesapeake---OWW or Keys?

How great is that! Find a spot that feels right, tie up and spend the next 6 months in comfort! I love it.* You're living the dream, Moonstruck.

My retirement cannot come fast enough when I read stories like this. 1.5 years and counting....(tic-toc, tic-toc)


-- Edited by FlyWright on Tuesday 10th of May 2011 01:10:26 PM
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Old 05-12-2011, 09:27 PM   #16
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RE: SW FL to Chesapeake---OWW or Keys?

Quote:
SeaHorse II wrote:
Don......Love the new avatar.
*Thanks, Walt.* That was taken as dawn broke over Shelter Cove Harbour.* It truly is a great place.

Flywight, get out there and do it.* We have been doing it for years.* We just move the boat to different areas we like.* Then we travel back and forth to it to cruise around the area.* Sometimes a harbor just feels right.
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Old 05-13-2011, 04:09 PM   #17
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RE: SW FL to Chesapeake---OWW or Keys?

Quote:
Moonstruck wrote:Flywight, get out there and do it.* We have been doing it for years.* We just move the boat to different areas we like.* Then we travel back and forth to it to cruise around the area.* Sometimes a harbor just feels right.
*After I finish this pesky wage-earner stuff, I plan to join you!!* Great thread!
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