April 10, 2016

April 9, 2016  Days 4-5  Spring 2016
Ft. Pierce City Marina
Ft. Pierce, FL

We departed Moore Haven at 0750 on Friday and went right into the Moore Haven Lock with one other boat.  The waterway is narrow and is lined by some farmlands, swamp, and occasional small marinas, and homes along the way. 

Bill spotted something swimming in the water right in front of our boat and slowed down to avoid hitting it. He immediately realized it was an alligator. Fortunately for the gator and for us, we missed it!  We did not expect to see one in the middle of the canal – they usually stay along the banks or in the protected swamps.

We reached Lake Okeechobee around 10:00 and had an easy crossing. The lake was a little choppy but not a problem.  At the end of the lake we entered the Port Mayaca Lock and were alone in the lock which lowered us all of six inches.  We were now in the Sr. Lucie Canal at 1:00.  We continued on past Indiantown and had to wait about ten minutes for the railroad bridge to open.  We entered the final lock, at St. Lucie, at 3:40. Again, we were alone in the lock which dropped us about 14 feet.  By 4:00 we were on our way again, and headed into Stuart.  We anchored at Stuart with a few sailboats just after 5pm. We cooked dinner on the grill, relaxed, and spent a very nice, calm evening at anchor after our nine hour day of cruising.

On Saturday, we left our anchorage at 0800 and continued north on the ICW.  By 0920 we passed the St. Lucie Inlet, and by 10:00 we were passing Jensen Beach. There were several recreational boats out plus the boats heading back north to their home ports.  A typical Saturday on the ICW!

Today was at least a shorter travel day and we arrived at the Ft. Pierce City Marina at 11:50.  There is a strong current here, and that plus the wind, made docking very interesting and challenging, but Bill handled it well. We went to the fuel dock first and then to a face dock.  We were greeted by friends, Bob and Janet, on Harmony shortly after our arrival.  Since they are here for a month, they positioned their car here in advance.

Joyce and Janet went to Publix in the afternoon with two other Loopers, Ann and Julie, to do some provisioning.  Then at 5:30 the four couples all walked to a nearby seafood restaurant, “Cobbs Landing” for a very relaxing dinner.  After dinner we went back to Bob and Janet’s boat so we could see their puppy, Zeus. We first saw him when he was just seven weeks old. At 45 pounds now, he is a big puppy and so much fun!

Our plans were to stay in Ft. Pierce just one night, but as always we remain flexible. The wind forecast for Sunday is strong and we did not want to anchor in those conditions.  So, we will remain here an extra night!