Clewiston to Stuart; December 10

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

Sunrise as "Arkansas Traveler" leaves Roland Martin Marina, headed for Lake Okeechobee

It's a straight shot through the hurricane gates and to the lake.

We looked forward to the three-hour crossing and the sun warming the day as we progressed across the open water.

The morning sun over easy seas.

Laughing gulls fishing above the "Traveler's" wake.

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.

Within minutes fog descended, restricting visibility to 50 feet.

As we reached the Port Mayaca lock on the lake's eastern shore, the fog began to lift.

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.

A picturesque railroad bridge on the St. Lucie canal.

Nightfall at anchor is a special time on any day.

North Fork of the St. Lucie River

This entry was posted in X - December 2010; Sanibel Island to Fort Lauderdale, FL. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Clewiston to Stuart; December 10

  1. greetings travelers ! love your posts…..adored the otter in an earlier post — take more non human animal photos please …..happy birthday , a day early !! leaving for lafayette/ germany thursday ….dec 16th –back around jan 4th or 5th …….will be thinking of ya’ll …..having the front office mail your birthday cards week of dec 20th so they will be more on top of your mail pile when you arrive home ….much affection ….jodie elizabeth

  2. susan wendel says:

    Photography is beautiful — enjoying the travel with you in the nice quiet confines of the house. Looking forward to seeing you and Bob soon.

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