David and I left Fort Myers on the west coast / gulf side of Florida, Thursday, April 22, and from there had eight days of traveling to reach the east coast and begin our journey up the intracoastal waterway.
We traveled for several hours to the first of five locks along the river, the Franklin Lock. Once through the lock we continued up the river to Alva and found the most beautiful place to anchor for the night. It was so remote and wild that we could easily have been anywhere in the world. We watched egrets, ducks, heron and manatees. It was heavenly.
From Alva we set out to Clewiston, Florida, on the southwest shore of Lake Okeechobee. We stayed at a pretty funky marina called Roland Martin’s on the eve of a bass tournament out on the lake. 180 boats arrived by dawn and it was a pretty amazing experience to see so much life that frankly, we had never imagined before. Saw some pretty epic mullets too! LOVED the people we met here, especially Captain Sam. He met us at the dock, gave us the lay of the land and water and was a fast friend. I wish I’d taken a picture of Captain Sam. Big blue eyes, shark tooth around his neck, tube socks, 81 years of wisdom going strong.
The next morning we crossed Lake Okeechobee, which is the only way to reach the Atlantic from the Gulf without going around the Florida Keys. It was a wild ride followed by a series of locks up the Saint Luci Canal and Saint Luci River later and then the Indian River. We spent eight hours on the water that day and it was so intense that this blog that I intended to spend a bit of time on each day, continued to be completely neglected because taking care of the boat, provisioning for the day ahead and resting, those became our priorities. That night we stayed in Stuart, Florida. David claims he had the best fajita of his life followed the best nights sleep. Just what the doctor ordered.
I’m going to leave this right here for now and hope to catch up on the next four days, sooner than later.