Official portrait of Acadia Belle underway - in the Indian River Lagoon near Jensen Beach. Photo by: Kit Clews
Jensen Beach, FL
Our First Overnight Cruise - to the Florida West Coast
Having owned Acadia Belle now for just
over a month, we decided it was time to try
out her overnighting capabilities. Our goal
was to head across the state to the Florida
West Coast to visit friends - and to
rendezvous with Harvey and Sue Griggs
owners of PDQ powercat "Cats Away".
For a trailerable 25-footer, the Acadia 25 has
pretty decent accommodations. She has full
standing headroom in the forward cabin as
well as in the (fully enclosed) head - which
comes complete with sink and shower. The
galley has a (very small) sink, a single-burner
Butane stove and a small electric fridge. (I
added a storage drawer for the stove and a
glass and dish rack.) I also added storage
hammocks above the berths.
Preparing for departure. Hopefully, everything we'll need for a week's cruise.
But compared to the Sno' Dog (with her two
queen-size beds) the Acadia Belle seemed
pretty tiny. We had to learn how to manage
our new surroundings.
For our first day out, we chose a short run from our home
base at Nettles Island (near Jensen Beach) to Stuart, FL.
Our favorite downtown marina (Sunset Bay) was full, so we
headed under the Palm City Bridge to Riverwatch Marina.
This turned out to be a friendly (and less expensive) place -
and we found a good Mexican restaurant nearby.
Nancy and Addie in their cruising positions. (Boat running on autopilot.)
Exciting to be able to sneek under the Roosevelt Bridge without an opening!
Click on photos to view larger image.
Our slip at the Riverwatch Marina in Stuart.
Transiting the St. Lucie Lock - leading to the Okeechobee Canal and Lake.
Alternate cruising positions... Notice how straight
she runs on autopilot - at 20 knots!
Transiting Port Mayaca Lock into big Lake Okeechobee.
After a peaceful and cozy night, we headed through the St. Lucie Lock and
westward on the Okeechobee Waterway toward Big Lake "O".
I thought the Lake crossing went pretty smoothly, but Nancy adopted her
rough-weather position! Fortunately (running at 15-20 knots) it took less than
an hour and a half to make the crossing. We entered calm waters at Clewiston.
Crossing a slightly choppy Lake Okeechobee. No land in sight!
(If you look closely, you can see Nancy in her "rough weather" position.)
Close-up of Nancy in her "rough weather" position
in the forward cabin.
For the technically-minded, the photo at left shows a close-up of our instrumentation
and the autopilot doing its thing. (Click on the photo for a larger image.) Our Garmin
"GPSmap 741xs" chart-plotter is linked to the Garmin Autopilot. When you touch a point
on the screen, it asks if you want to go there, and then it asks if you want to engage the
autopilot. That's it. Two touches and you're on your way!
On the autopilot screen, you can see we're on "Follow Route". On the chartplotter you
can see we're doing 15.4 knots; distance to waypoint is 3.73 nautical miles; arrival will be
at 14:07 hrs. (The autopilot screen shows we're on course and the "next turn" is in 4.3
statute miles.) The system worked flawlessly.
Looking rather small at the Moore Haven Town Dock, our second night out.
Tomorrow, we plan to head to the
South Seas Plantation Marina on
Captiva Island to meet up with our
friends Harvey & Sue Griggs aboard
their PDQ "Cats Away".
The Log of Acadia Belle continues on
March 2017 - Page 2.
|. Good 2nd Day: Stuart to Moore Haven - 58.8 n mi, 6.9 hrs. Our favorite little Mexican restaurant was closed, so we had to eat onboard.
Nancy said she'd rather stay onboard than at this colorful Moore Haven Motel!
Nancy cooking dinner on our one-burner stove - which fits in the
drawer below the countertop. Addie watching with interest.
I woke up early and caught this glimpse
of Nancy and Addie still in bed.
We made it to Fort Myers! Our first fuel-up since leaving Jensen Beach.
A very pleasant run down the
Caloosahatchee River today,
through two locks to Ft. Myers.
48.2 n mi, 5.4 hrs.
Filled gas tank: 38.6 gal.
123 miles fr Jensen Beach, 3.2 mpg