Okeechoobee Waterway depths - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 05-09-2007
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Okeechoobee Waterway depths

Any one have any current info on the depths of the Okeechoobee Waterway. I had one person tell me, second hand, they were down to 4 feet. Trying to decide to cut across, or go all the way around the tip of Florida to head north.

Thanks,
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Old 05-09-2007
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I helped someone move S2 9.2 (draft of just under 6') from Jacksonville to Fort Pierce area. He subsequently went across Florida by Okeechoobee and up the Gulf coast.
Here is a quote from his email: "Okeechobee Canal was outstanding. It was one of the best parts. We saw lots of alligators. The water was okay but we were advised by the lockmaster not to take the rim route but rather to cross the lake."

I guess it's not too bad.
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Old 05-09-2007
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Tom Neals most recent report says:
East Coast Alerts
By Mel Neale

April 19, 2007
Italicized text indicates our comment. Plain text is copied from the Notices to Mariners or other sources given.
Lake Okeechobee Level Continues Fall: New Lock Restrictions:
Three “Notice to Navigation Interests” from the Jacksonville District US Army Corps of Engineers give grim news for Okeechobee Waterway boaters.

Highlights from April 6, 2007:
  • Water levels in the lake are averaging 10.41 feet and below.
  • Restricted depths occur along Lake Okeechobee Route 1 and the Route 2 split just west of the Port Mayaca Lock. At best, maximum draft would be 4.74 feet at a lake water elevation of 10.4 feet, NGVD 1929.
  • It is recommended navigation interests navigate strictly to the marked channel-Route 1, thereby avoiding uncharted waters.
  • Route 2 (the Rim Canal) is closed with navigation depths of 1.61 feet and less.
Highlights from April 9, 2007:
St. Lucie Lock: Restricted Lock Operations
Effective April 16, 2007 and until further notice:

East bound vessel lockages every other even hour commencing at 6:00 am and concluding at 6:00 pm.
West bound vessel lockages every other odd hour commencing at 7:00 am and concluding at 7:00 pm.
Highlights from April 13, 2007:
Franklin Lock: Restricted lock Operations:
Effective April 20, 2007 until further notice:

One lockage in each direction:
9:00 am
12:00 pm
4:00 pm
Contacts:
Susan Sanders: 239 229 7295
Clewiston Operations Office: 863 983 8101
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Old 05-09-2007
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CNN did a story on it this morning. They were showing huge areas that were once water, now all grass. They even had a shot of a pier about 12 feet tall over a field of grass.
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Old 05-09-2007
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Latest report at Salty Southeast cruisers net says that Okeechobee Now All But Too Shallow For Passage of ANY Cruising Size Craft. Lake is down to 3.5 ft
Salty Southeast Cruisers' Net ~ Your home for all the cruising news along the ICW
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Old 05-10-2007
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John,

Go around. Stop by the Tortugas. Plan on spending a lot of time there. If you want some specifics, let me know.

- CD
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Old 05-10-2007
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although I like to see alligators I'm more of a bird watcher and much prefer to see bikiniclad doublebreasted mattressthrashers which are indigenous to most beaches in Florida. the further south one travels the more frequent the sightings.

not enough water, No alligators for you! Damn the bad luck!!
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Old 05-10-2007
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Well, I guess that decides it then. Tortugas though are for this winter, right now, I just want to get headed north. Any thoughts on inside or outside (Hawk Channel) as being best? Or maybe you could just get your boat here CD, and let them haul me across after they drop you?
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Alive, is the one, that believes, in love.
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John...well...if speed is the objectve then you can skip Key West too and just head down inside to Marathon then hop outside in the Hawk Channel weather permitting and anchor at Rodriquez Key the next night..the next day you can cut back inside at Key Biscayne for a night in the big city.
Good luck & keep us posted on your advenures in motoring!! (G)
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Old 05-11-2007
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Not speed in the sense of miles per hour, just in going forward, rather than stopping along the way to see things or go places. The Keys will still be there this winter, when I come back south. The objective now, is to get headed north.

There is a lot more motoring though, than I'm happy with. Seems like where ever I want to go, that's where the wind is blowing from, when it does blow.
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Alive, is the one, that believes, in love.
JCP


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