Lake Okeechobee

I’m anchored in South Bay, on the edge of Lake O. Here. Nobody around but me, I have the anchorage to myself. Most bigger boats go across the middle of the lake but I chose the longer rim route.

I really enjoyed today’s travels. Slow cruising up the Caloosahatchee river, through a couple of locks, and on to the lake. So far it’s been a canal, with a dike on the left and marshlands on the right.

I finally saw live gators. Lots of them.

I left from LaBelle, where I’d been for a couple of days. Nice stop.

Will try to do regular entries…

Peace River

Today was fun. I’m anchored here, up the river from Punta Gorda. Very quiet and peaceful here, mangrove swamp all around.

Yesterday I was up and underway early. Followed the ICW south. When I got to the mouth of Charlotte Harbor I turned in. Anchored here last night. Nothing remarkable about the day, except for ongoing spectacular weather.

Today I went into the creek to have a look around, then skirted mud flats to go around to Punta Gorda.

I anchored just off Fisherman’s Village and was thinking of going ashore for lunch, but then saw some boats racing in the bay, and got curious. Went over to watch them. Harbor 20 class, looks like a fun boat for older sailors.

Then I headed up the Peace River. Went as far as I could before running out of water, about five miles upstream of where I am now.

I really like following rivers. Tomorrow I’m going to head up the Myakka River on the other side of the bay. I read in one of my cruising guides that it’s navigable a long way up. We’ll see.

Here’s my depth Sounder in the middle of the bay today. I start bumping bottom at about 0.8 feet :-). The water’s pretty skinny around here.

Gulf Coast

I left Tarpon Springs yesterday just after lunch time and headed south on the ICW. Weather has been perfect, mid 70s, sunny and light winds.

There really isn’t much to report. Mostly cruising by big houses or following the channel closely across more open water.

That last picture is the bridge across the mouth of Tampa Harbour. I remember seeing the predecessor bridge in early 1981 not long after a bunch of people had died after a ship took out part of the span. Read here. Pretty horrific accident.

I’m anchored here. Am sitting on the flybridge enjoying the sunset now that the sun is down. I stopped here around 4 and went inside to hide from the sun.

Nice spot apart from the odd wake – I lost another coffee cup here :-(. But that’ll die down at dark I think.

Last night I anchored off the channel here. Today I went up into Bradenton to fill up with fuel, and had lunch at the marina there.

Fuel usage report: 4.1 mpg since Gulfport MS, including a day at 9 knots across the Gulf and a high speed run up to Bradenton.

Motor is running perfectly. I did oil changes on both before leaving Tarpon Springs. My maintenance and repair list is well under control.

I left my car and Laser in Tarpon Springs, in Mike’s back yard. Mike is one of the guys who runs the municipal marina. It’s safe there until I get back to retrieve it.

There isn’t much between here and Fort Myers that interests me. Will keep chugging south tomorrow. Looks like more of the same weather for the next few days. Pretty nice when I’m hearing of nasty weather winter in SW Ontario.