Through the Big Lake

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Basin at River Forest (La Belle) Marina as we left.

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Waterway in the morning.

We eased out of the marina channel just after 7 AM and continued east on the waterway. We locked up one last time near the edge of Lake Okeechobee.

The locks on this waterway are the only ones we have been in where the gates in front of us are opened a few inches to equalize the water levels, although the Trent Severn locks were similar with the sliding plates that opened in the gates to let water in on the high side or out on the low. When locking up we normally hung back to keep out of the turbulence near the gate opening, but this time a boat came in behind us so we were nearer to the front. We still did not feel much movement while the water rose, but leftover currents did push the bow back and forth just past the gate when leaving.

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Waiting for a train after we locked out of Lake Okeechobee

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Seagulls follow our Star Gazer on Lake Okeechobee

The channel goes eastward along the bottom of the lake and then 25 miles through its center. There was a lock down where we came out of the lake and into the channel on the east side. From there, except for a short wait for a commuter train, it was a clear sail up the channel to the Stuart FL River Forest Yacht Basin.

This River Forest boat yard was a long narrow basin with boats parked on each side extending off the canal side. Most boats were larger than ours but no megayachts. There was only one space in there so we took that. No one came out to help us dock at either River Forest marina, but with the calm conditions we were able to easily turn around and float up to the dock. Tying up is easy when the boat is not straining to follow the wind or current.

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The boys down on the swim platform catching fish at River Forest (Stuart) Marina.

Other than the boys’ excitement with the latest fish they caught we passed a second quiet night.

 

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