Okeechobee to Ft. Myers


Thursday morning started with searches and phone calls to local marine dealers in search of a replacement prop for the dinghy, but in the end, it was simpler to order one online, and have it delivered to an intercept point. The supplier is in central Florida, and assured me that delivery would be Friday, so I ordered the prop and some other spare parts and had it delivered to Indiantown Marina, our 1st stopover on the Okeechobee Waterway. We arrived at Indiantown Thursday afternoon, with a plan to stay until the parts were delivered.


FedEx delivered the packages by 10 AM, so the prop was installed and we were on our way by 11. Our day began overcast and breezy, and as we headed out through the lock at Mayaca and onto the lake the breeze picked up a bit, but our thirty some mile trip across Lake Okeechobee was calm except for the last hour or so. The lake isn’t deep, we generally saw 13 ft or less. Our destination was Clewiston, where we had a slip reserved at Martin’s Marina. The marina consists of a long pier in a canal behind a lock that’s part of the levee system that protects the shoreline communities from hurricanes. The lock is the hurricane gate in the levee.

We tied up down the pier from Curt & Judy, cruisers we met back in Brunswick, and joined them for cocktails with Frank & Rita aboard Calypso. Both couples are from Solomon’s and are headed back north to be there in time to start yard work. Oh yeah, I’d like to be doin’ that!!!

Gator Candy

The docks at Martin’s are floating, about 20 ft. away and parallel to the shore line. But the space between the dock and the shore is carpeted with water hyacinths, and looks very similar to a grass carpet. At least Sammy seemed to think it was just a short cut to the shore and hopped off the dock onto the carpet of hyacinth, only to be swallowed up as he dropped through the green into the water! Of course Molly keyed right in on the excitement and jumped in next to him. Now we had seen at least two gators on the other side of the canal from the dock, about 200 ft away, so the excitement was a bit intense as we attempted to retrieve both the dogs before the gators realized they had an unexpected treat drop in on them…. gator candy…. Our MO in gator country will tighten up on the discipline and leashes!


The leg from Clewiston took us through several more locks, and onto the Caloosahatchee River. The route is mostly canal, winding through central Florida. It’s rural. We passed through a variety of areas from cattle country, sod farms, orange groves with the intense aroma of blossoms, and many small communities, all reminiscent of “Old Florida”. A different flavor from the hustle and bustle of the east coast and the conspicuous pretentiousness of row after rows of mega-homes. It was a delightful cruise, aided by beautifully stunning weather, the best we’ve had since October. We also passed Glades boat yard, the place where our cruising really began in June of 2006 when we flew from home to have a look at a 43 ft. Solo we thought we might make an offer on… it was fun to reminisce as we motored past the place it all started.


We arrived in Ft. Myers just before 6 PM, got a slip at Ft. Myers City Yacht Basin, and got  tied up in time for a stroll around town and stretch our 12 collective legs before dinner!  It was great to be cruising up on the fly bridge in the sun and warm weather!

2 Responses to “Okeechobee to Ft. Myers”

  1. Lisa on 29 Mar 2010 at 11:29 AM #

    Sounds delightful.
    I bet it was a bit of adrenaline rush warding of the gators
    Maybe you will find some fresh strawberries for Easter Dinner YUM!

  2. Mother on 30 Mar 2010 at 8:45 PM #

    Certainly don’t like the gators or the snakes! Did Sammy or Molly see the gators and did they move?
    Enjoy Easter. Mother