Stuart to Clewiston and through Okeechobee

Today we began our trek across Florida through the Okeechobee waterway and the rather large, but shallow, Lake Okeechobee. Our first of two days brought 3 locks and a few bridges. The bridges were all simple, the locks....well, they were locks - usually never simple. Locks are not difficult, but they're just not simple. Each one is unique in its' details and characteristics. And every passage through one brings its' own experiences.

Here we await the opening of the St Lucie lock for us to enter. This time we will be moving upward about 14 feet (or something like that).

This was the view from our stern of the doors closing before the water was allowed enter and raise us up for exiting the other side:

And here were the same doors as the water was fully risen for us to exit from the other side. We have done probably a dozen locks so far, and every time it's still a cool thing to watch.

 

Two of the locks we encountered today were very different than any others we had seen before. These included the locks entering and exiting Lake Okeechobee. The first of these locks was what we describe as a "flow through" lock. In this case, there was not enough differential in the water levels to require a functional locking procedure. Here we just motored right on through - easy peazy! The second was technically not a "lock" but what they call a "Hurricane Gate" but it looked the same as a flow through lock to us. I think this is the hurrican gate.... forgot to write it down (sorry). Cool, though, huh?

 

At the end of this day, we stopped over in Clewiston at the Roland and Mary Ann Martin marina. It was a long day - I think something close to 65 miles - so we were really beat. Roland Martin was a very cool marina, though.  We met some nice people and enjoyed a little time in the Tiki Bar with a nice cold beer and a quick burger - and boy was it an awesome burger! We made it an early night and were off once again at 7:30 in the morning.