- 5/1: Sarasota to Fort Myers (Calusa Jack Marina)
- 5/2: Fort Myers to Labelle/Stuart??? Florida (River Forest Yachting Center)
|Photo Art: A wreck along the Okeechobee Waterway|
This is what happens when things go VERY wrong
|Sunrise as we approach the Franklin Lock|
There's even more good news. But first I want to share our progress and a few adventures along the way.
|The Crew. Tom, Les and Wylie|
|Official Departure Photo. Wylie, Connie, Diana, Tom and kodi|
|Sarasota Big Pass Recommended Route|
Notice the shallow water just north and west (port astern) of the boat
|Tom working hard|
|Wylie at the helm|
- Distance traveled: 89.2 NM
- Time en-route: 11:51 hours
- Fuel Used: 97 gallons this leg.
- Fuel Taken On: 306.24 gallons (last fueling early November at Clewiston)
- Fuel Price: $2.229/gal including tax
- Fuel Cost: $682.24
- Dockage: $83.48
Monday was a spectacular day. We had warm mild weather, piloted from the flybridge, traversed 3 bridges without having to wait more than 2 minutes and, most impressive, traversed a total of four locks, with no wait at Franklin, Ortona and Moorehaven and an open lock at Mayaka. Oh, and did I mention that the planned construction on Ortona Lock had not started.
Back to the bank error story. Being able to make Labelle on Monday evening meant that if we leave there at 7:00 AM we we would reach the Fort Pierce inlet at noon on Tuesday instead of 6:00 PM. That translated into 2 more saved hours (for a total of 5 hours). Why you ask is that important? The answer deals with the time required to reach Morehead City North Carolina, which is 23 hours and 51 minutes from the Fort Pierce Inlet. Morehead City Yacht Basin closes at 7:00 PM. Hence, with 574 NM to travel trying to make a 7;00 PM deadline is tight. With the five hours saved we have plenty of time to make our fueling (pit stop) and, weather at Cape Hatteras permitting, get back on the road.
|Mayaka Lock open to through traffic|
Speaking of errors, I made a doozy. It turns out River Forest Yacht Center has two locations with the same name, one in Labelle on the WEST side of Okeechobee and one in Stuart on the east side. I booked the reservation at the WRONG location. Oops its 5:00 PM and we've cleared the Mayaka Lock and I discover MY ERROR. Murphy's Law. Did I mention it's 5:00 PM. The world of Okeechobee closes at 5:00 PM. Active Captain to the rescue. They list after hours phone numbers for both marinas. I was fortunate to reach John Helfich at the Labelle location and he made contact with his wife, Tracy, who runs the Stuart location. Fortunately they had space available in Stuart and the day was saved.
|Guided Discovery docked a River Forest Yacht Center - Stuart|
Side Note: I called the Indiantown Marina which 8 NM east of the Mayaka Lock and "begged" them for help. The person I talked to said "no room at the inn." A few minutes later we passed Indiantown and surprise, surprise, there was 55 feet of space at their launch ramp with a 45 foot sailboat tied close to shore (indicating plenty of depth). So we pulled in and with some assistance from some people from, of all places, Hull Massachusetts, where I spent my summers from age 5 to 20, tied up to the very nicely protected wall. No sooner were we tied off than Tracy called with the good news. Now we had a choice. Push on to River Forest Yacht Center, one hour further east or stay put. We chose the former as it secures one of the five hours already saved.
So, I very nice ending to a perfect day filled with errors. We beat Murphy.
Data: Fort Myers to Stuat (River Forest Yacht Basin)
- Distance Traveled: 91.8 NM
- Cumulative Distance: 181.0 NM
- Time en-route: 12:54 hours
- Fuel Used: gallons this leg. 100.84 gallons
Bottom line: Prior planning prevents piss (sorry) poor performance. However, that is true only if it is accurate.
Written by Les