Thursday morning came with rain and a chilly wind, creating the perfect day to stay tied at the dock. We spent our time working on projects and resting. In the afternoon, the sun came out and we borrowed the marina courtesy car (a vintage Cadillac Limo with an 8-track tape player complete with a Kenny Rogers tape) and set out for a grocery store. Clewiston is not the ideal port for provisioning.
We could hear the strains of music from the local tiki bar, but declined to visit and instead spent the evening watching a ’40s Alfred Hitchcock movie onboard.
Early Friday morning, the NOAA weather forecast was favorable for the lake crossing. We anticipated cool air, sunny skies and light winds of 6 to 9 knots. The temperature was 45 degrees as we cast off our lines and headed out the hurricane gates that protected Clewiston
We looked forward to the three-hour crossing and the sun warming the day as we progressed across the open water.
Thirty minutes after entering the lake, a thick fog descended. Visibility fell to 50 feet and remained there for the entire crossing.
There have been several moments on this journey when I was taken from any zones of comfort and my skills, sometimes nonexistent, were put to the test. This was one. But I learned that I can sit still and concentrate, well-focused, for several hours; all the while ever-alert, watching, listening, being ready to change course in an instant should a day beacon or vessel loom out of the fog.
Two and one-half hours later we reached Port Mayaca. It was almost 1100 hours and we were exhausted and hungry from the morning’s tension-filled trek across the lake. The St. Lucie canal flowed east to the Atlantic Ocean and we proceeded through her quiet waters to the lock at the eastern end where we entered the St. Lucie River. We worked our way up the North Fork of the river to a quiet anchorage where we enjoyed the day’s end and a good night’s sleep.
Nightfall at anchor is a special time on any day.