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Bruce & Beverly's Blog

Leaving Ft. Myers!
By Beverly Kness
Posted on 4/15/2019 12:00 PM

We went with a broker and put the "For Sale" sign on Seaquest before we left Ft. Myers. 

We were watching the wind and weather forecasts carefully because Lake Okeechobee
can be very choppy if the wind is strong! In fact, boaters don't cross the lake unless the
conditions are favorable. We also heard that the depth of Lake Okeechobee was getting
very low, so we wanted to get through that area before the water got any "skinnier"! 

We were anxious to travel because the forecast showed we would have a day and 1/2
of good weather. The company that was replacing the canvas and strataglass on
Cal and Cheryl's boat got it done at 8:00 pm and we left the
following morning, to begin our journey east. 

We had a fleet of three, Greg and Nancy on TxAu (Texas Gold), Cheryl and Cal on
No Snow and Bruce and Bev on Seaquest.  Our first day of travel took us through
two locks, the Franklin Lock and the Ortona Lock, ending our day on the dock
at the River House Marina in the town of Moore Haven. 

The photo below shows a palm tree that is very slanted, notice our boats docked
along the wall on the lower right hand side of the photo. 

It had been a warm day on the water.
We were happy to see the marina had a swimming pool and it felt wonderful.  

It was 61 degrees and overcast as we left the River House Marina the following morning. 
The Moore Haven Lock was very close, we called the lock master on VHF Channel 13
and he told us to come right in.  Lucky for us, just as we got to the lock, we heard a
west bound boat hale the lockmaster. That boat had to wait for us to come through
the lock before he could come through. 

From Moore Haven we followed the lower brim of the lake to Clewiston. 
At Clewiston we followed Route 1 across Lake Okeechobee to Port Mayaca.  

We were happy that we were able to cross Lake Okeechobee before the wind came up! 

Below: The Seagulls, looking for a fish snack, like to follow our boats!

Below:  Even the birds need to rest now and then.  lol

Below: this high speed fishing boat passed us in a hurry! 

Our buddy boats, No Snow and Tx Au (Texas Gold) are waiting for a lock to open, for our fleet of three.

We had a good crossing across Lake Okeechobee.  As we were traveling down the Okeechobee
Waterway we cruised past the Honey Fitz from Washington, D.C. This was the former presidential
yacht, a 93-foot wooden motor yacht built in 1931 and used by five U.S. Presidents, Truman,
Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon.  You may wonder which President named this yacht
"Honey Fitz"? The answer is, it was President Kennedy.   


We continued on to a marina near Stewart, FL, American Custom Yachts. 

Later that afternoon, it started to rain and the wind blew!

We were happy to be tied up at the marina and stayed there two nights as the weather system blew
through. Our Canadian boating friends, Mike and Tammi, were in the area, with their RV camper, so
they picked us up at the marina and we went out to eat with them on that rainy evening.

After two nights there, our fleet was ready to move on to Ft. Pierce, FL. We didn't have any
more locks for the day, but we had a few bridges that would need to be opened. 

The bridges open on demand, so we simply haled them on Channel 9 and asked for an opening.  


It was about 2:00 pm when we arrived at the Ft. Pierce City Marina. 

We had a nice time with Greg and Nancy on TxAu and Cheryl and Cal on No Snow.

While at Ft. Pierce, No Snow got hit by another boat, while they were tied at the dock! 

We were thankful that No Snow could still travel and that no one, on either boat, got hurt.

It was 60 degrees with light north winds when our fleet of three, continued north from Ft. Pierce.

We are seeing lots of dolphins again! 
Below: this was the first time that we saw an identification number on the dolphin's fin!

Below: three dolphins in front of Seaquest. 
Bev said to Bruce, "don't hit them", Bruce said he wouldn't. 

From Ft. Pierce we continued on to Melbourne.

Right at the dock in Melbourne we saw this Manatee.

The temperature was near perfect and the color of sky reminded us of a Robin's egg,
as we continued our journey.  We cruised to Titusville, Halifax Harbor Marina in
Daytona and then on to St. Augustine Municipal Marina. 

a few houses, on stilts, that are located between the ICW and the Atlantic Ocean.  wow!

The currents in St. Augustine are known to be strong!
We've learned that the best time to enter the marina is during "slack tide".  Slack tide is
35-40 minutes after low or high tide. We were happy that we could arrange our arrival
time to be close to "slack tide". 

We met up with other looper friends in St. Augustine. 

Pictured below is Mike and Tammi, from Canada, Cheryl and Cal, No Snow, Rob and Lee,
Sea Trolley, Greg and Nancy on TxAu and Bruce and Bev on Seaquest.  


While in St. Augustine, Cal and Cheryl took No Snow to a boat yard to get their boat damage fixed. 

We continued on to Amelia Island because we had someone coming to look at our boat
upon arrival at the Amelia Island Marina. A nice couple from Indiana spent about three hours
on our boat, looking and asking questions about Seaquest.  They seemed very interested! 
We wondered will they be the new owners of Seaquest?? 

It was 61 degrees, with clear beautiful blue skies as we left FL and entered into Georgia. 
Our destination for the day was Brunswick Landing Marina. 

The tides have changed significantly from Ft. Myers to Brunswick, Georgia, both in regularity and
scope.  The Atlantic Ocean produces two high and two low tides daily.  In the Gulf of Mexico along
the FL panhandle, the Gulf produces one high and one low tide daily.  Much of Florida's Gulf coast,
is caught between these two tidal patterns and experiences irregular tides as the two patterns
sometimes complement and sometimes cancel one another.  The height of the tide in Naples, FL,
for example, is between 2-3 ft.  The further north we traveled up the Atlantic coast of FL, the greater
the tides we encountered.  As we got into Georgia, the tide height was up to 7-8 feet, twice daily! 
As we cruised the ICW (Intracoastal Waterway) we had to be aware of the tides as there are
areas that can not be crossed at low tide! 

Our cruise up the Florida ICW had been beautiful and relaxing.  We left populated,
tropical Florida behind and were transitioning into a marshy, lowland environment. 

We arrived at Brunswick Landing Marina on Friday and on Saturday we received an offer from the
couple that looked at Seaquest.  It didn't take long until we agreed on the details and locked in the deal! 
The sale is pending now on the sea trial and surveys that are scheduled for the 16th of April. 

The photo below shows the shoreline at the Brunswick Landing Marina at low tide. 

The photo below is close to high tide.  The pilings under the dock show that the tide
actually gets about two feet higher than it is in the photo. 

We had a group of ''loopers here!  From left to right: Bruce and Bev on Seaquest, Greg
and Nancy on TxAu, Rob and Lee on SeaTrolley, Jim and Pat on Arriverderci, Jax and Russ
on Cat-n-Dogs and Bruce and Bev on Bay Tripper.  Can't believe we met another
Bruce and Bev and they are also from Minnesota!  Afton, MN.

Below:  Looper fun!   lol

The marina provided an oyster roast one afternoon!  How fun was that! 
We scoop the oysters out of the container and put them into the steamer.

After steaming several minutes they were placed on a table to be shucked, garnished and enjoyed! 

Below: a plate of freshly shucked oysters!  yum!

We were happy that Cheryl and Cal arrived in time to enjoy the Oyster Roast!

Looper friends, Robin and Charlie, also arrived at Brunswick Landing. 
It was so fun to see them again! 

Most marinas will have laundry available, however it has been our experience that there are
very few marinas that do not charge for the use of their machines!  Brunswick Marina
is one of those rare marinas that not only has free laundry but also has an abundance
of machines! It was a big relief to our stack of laundry quarters! 

We are busy cleaning and clearing out Seaquest to make her ready for the new owners!

~Our next blog will be our last one~ 


Winter Harbor
Utsch's marina