Day 2 Fort Meyers-Clewiston FL.
Monday April 4, 2016
First night sleeping on the boat and we each got a “solid” 1-2 hours of sleep, hope things improve in that department. We had rain/drizzle in the morning so we weren’t in a hurry to leave but as the sun started to shine we began the process of removing the canvas tops. Next stop was for fuel, 190 gallons which took 30 mins to add, and then we were underway.
At this point in the river the water begins changing to fresh water from salt water, and after traveling 13 miles we came upon our first lock, the Franklin Lock in which we had to be raised 3 feet. Along for the ride with us were 2 manatees and a lovely yacht the “SS Sophie”. The procedure for the locks down here differ from what we are used to as the lock employee throws us down a rope to hold on to and they just slightly open the end doors to allow water to come in and bring us up to the proper level.
We were having another great weather day as we motored along the river cruising at 9-10 mph with a couple of more locks to navigate to bring us up to Lake Okeechobee levels. This lake is the highest elevation point in Florida at about 13-15 ft above sea level. The scenery today was of undeveloped land and farms along the river system which gave the animals a wonderful view. The last lock was at Moore Haven and we were then on Lake Okeechobee with a short distance to travel up the shoreline to Clewiston for the night and as we arrived at the Marina-“Roland & Mary Anne Martins Marina” we were greeted by Cap’n Sam. Now he was a character, very helpful in assisting us with our docking and getting us familiarized with the marina. We enjoyed a meal out at the Marina Tiki Bar and as dusk settled in so did the bugs. They were brutal so we fired up the therma-cell with some success before retiring for the night. I was eaten alive and left with many welts from the bites. We had been on the water from 11:00 am till 5:30 pm and looked forward to a good nights sleep.
Today we had a couple more malfunctions the most important being that our ice maker wasn’t making ice-catastrophe!! Apparently the captain failed to try the operation of the unit before hand. As well, one of the engines alarms went off indicating low pressure but seemed to rectify itself – fortunately.
Today we travelled 69 miles at an average speed of 13.9 mph and look forward to crossing Lake Okeechobee tomorrow, or as the Captain calls it “Lake Ocheegochee”.
Captain Jim & Bumper Girl Wendy