For months, we have been reisting making plans to leave the Keys this spring, or to plan what to do with the summer. But in the past few days, the itch to do so has been almost irresistable. It is time to leave. Indeed, right now this morning, would be a splendid time to depart, but it will take us 3-4 days to prepare.
Our plan is to sail up Florida's West Coast. We'll stop in The Everglades, and we will sail to Fort Meyers. From there, we will take the Caloosahatchee River, Lake Okechobee, and the Saint Lucie canal to cross to Florida's East Coast. From there, we'll take the ICW north to Jacksonville and Green Cove Springs. We plan to put Tarwathie on the hard, to paint the bottom and the hull. Then, we'll leave her in storage, and buy a car to travel north this summer.
This will be the first time we do not take Tarwathie with us north for the summer. Part of the reason has to do with my aching back. Recovery from the fall I took is very slow.
Conditions look favorable. Winds for the coming week will be mild. Lake Okechobee's lake level is 13.5 feet, minimum depth is 7.5 feet, and clearance under the low bridge at Port Mayaca is 51.02 feet. All signals are green.
We'll be stopping to visit friends as we go north. We'll also spend some weeks with Dave and Cathy in North Carolina. Dave and I plan to work on our rowing shell project. Then, we are dying to get to New York to visit with family and to hold our great grandaughter Anna for the first time. But the bulk of the summer we'll be in Vermont with Jen where Libby can induge her gardening instincts.