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Foiled by the Weather June 12, 2006

Posted by Kim in Bahamas, Cruising, Fishing.
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Storm over Lake Okeechobee

            (Storm over Lake Okeechobee)

We are sitting at the Ft. Myers Yacht Basin where we will spend the night.  It looks as though the storm will go in somewhere north of Cedar Key tomorrow so we will decide in the morning whether to remain another day here or head north in the ICW.  Here are some notes I Made over the past few days:

Saturday, 10 June 2006

Lets see…  where did I last leave off?  Oh yes, our journey home had just been delayed by the closure of one of the Locks on the Okeechobee Waterway and we had decided to wait it out in Stuart instead of traveling back south around the Keys and then up the West Coast to Tampa.  As it turns out, that was probably a wise choice though we couldn’t have seen it at the time.  We spend Wednesday through Friday nights in Stuart at the Pirate’s Cove Marina.  It is located in what the locals call the “Manatee Pocket” in the company of quite a few other marinas.  One of our cruising guides describes the place as being more like a series of New England maritime villages than the typical grouping of marinas in Florida.  The Pirates Cove had all the necessities to make our stay as comfortable as possible including swimming pool, restaurant, ships store and even provided complementary continental breakfasts during our stay.  Friday, we decided to try our luck fishing offshore part of the day but to no avail.  While we saw several “billfish” (even one swordfish, we think), we didn’t even get a strike.  Its being very calm and an almost full moon the night before might have had something to do with our success.  Anyway, when we returned, I made a call regarding the status of the Lock and was told it had been repaired ahead of schedule and that it would be open for business at 0600 in the morning (today).  We also learn that an area of unsettled weather was moving from west of Cuba into the Gulf and could be expected to intensify… possibly into a tropical storm.  We decide to leave this morning and at least try and get across Lake Okeechobee before the weather gets bad.  I am writing this from Moore Haven (Riverhouse Marina), west of Lake Okeechobee and about halfway across the state.  Our latest weather report indicates the storm has moved into the Gulf and is expected to reach tropical storm force in the next several hours and, if it does, will be named Alberto.  Projected path has it heading north along the west coast of Florida sort of aiming for the Cedar Key area sometime Tuesday.  That being the case, we will have to check the weather very closely in the morning and decide if we want to try and make it in to Ft. Myers or not…  No Wi-Fi so I can’t post this evening.

Sunday, 11 June 2006

Well, the latest report this morning states that the storm has yet to reach tropical storm strength and remains unnamed.  However, what ever you might call it, it is still heading north in the Gulf and we need to keep an eye on it.  As I write, a feeder ban stretches from between Naples and Ft. Myers across the state and as far east as Grand Bahamas.  This band is moving in our direction and we expect to get some weather sometime this morning.  For the time being, we will probably stay here at the docks in Moore Haven.  The cost is reasonable ($1/ft/night) and comes with free electricity, free ice and clean restrooms with showers.

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