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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Destinations > Florida & SE US East Coast
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Old 06-20-2011
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A route across Florida?

I have heard about a water route across Florida, from Ft Myers to Stuart through Lake Okeechobee. Supposedly there is one bridge with a low clearance, that is negotiated by having locals tip your boat so that the mast will fit through. Has anyone got personal experience with this or any details? I am very curious about depths, bridge clearance, etc. Thanks, very much.
Al
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Old 06-21-2011
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You are refering to the Okeechobee Waterway. It goes from Ft, Myers on the Caloosahatchee River, thru locks , then the Caloosahatchee Canal to Lake Okeechobee with another set of locks and then into Lake Okeechobee at Moore Haven. Follow the rim route channel markers around the lake to Port Mayaca. At this time of year, do NOT even THINK about taking the cross lake route. The lake is REAL low and the channel is narrow. Running aground in the middle of Lake Okeechobee in the dry season is an ugly way to wait for the rainy season which usually means hurricane rain. From Port Mayaca follow the St. Lucie Canal to Port St. Lucie. Active Captain and NOAA chart 11428 will give you the information you need. Active Captain has a lot of information supplied by boaters, power and sail, on places to anchor, fuel up and general information along the route that is very usefull. Between the two of them you can plan your trip and know what to expect and where to find it. Just do NOT take the route across the lake at this time. Stick to the rim route. Stay safe and enjoy. BTW, take Off Insect Repellant at this time of year. We sure do have a lot of annoying bugs in my state during this time of year.
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Old 06-21-2011
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dashman, aside from the air draft, bear in mind that Florida is having a drought, so keel depth may be an issue too.
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Old 06-21-2011
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he's right, I think the rim route is closed for all practical purposes.

"....Lake Okeechobee today stands at 9.73 feet NGVD and continues to drop. A lake elevation of 9.73 feet results in a channel depth of approximately 3.67 feet on Route 1 of the Okeechobee Waterway, which crosses the lake. The Route 2, or Rim Canal, channel depth is currently approximately 1.87 feet. ....

http://www.saj.usace.army.mil/Docume...011/NR1135.pdf
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Last edited by TropicCat; 06-21-2011 at 09:09 PM.
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Old 06-21-2011
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If the rim route is closed then you'll have to wait till a small 'cane fills the lake back up. At least we can HOPE for a small, wet 'cane. Otherwise you're stuck going the long way around.
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Re: A route across Florida?

LOTS of info on the Okeechobee Waterway at:

Cruiser's Net Ľ Content Okeechobee
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Old 05-23-2012
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Re: A route across Florida?

First of all, I'd like to point out that this thread has been dead for almost a year.

There is only only one source for Lake Okeechobee navigation information.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

All posts on every forum are derived from this data.

Todays info:

Today's Lake Okeechobee Stage = 11.78 (Feet-NGVD29)

Today's Route 1 Navigational Depth ≈ 5.72 Feet
Today's Route 2 Navigational Depth ≈ 3.92 Feet
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