THE OKEECHOBEE WATERWAY
This was to be our first trip through the Okeechobee Waterway which cuts through Florida from Ft. Myers to Stuart. There is a fixed bridge at the east side of the lake which is only 49 feet high. In past trips the boats we were on had masts taller than that, so we always went around the tip of the state and through the Keys. This time we got to watch gators swim by the boat, and learned a valuable lesson. If you are going to be anywhere near the lake by nightfall, stay at a marina. The mosquitoes swarm by the untold trillions blanketing the boat like a living carpet. Thankfully we had screens, but in the morning we had to quickly pull up the anchor and make a hasty retreat. Even after hours of motoring full-speed-ahead we were still cleaning up both live and dead mosquitoes. On other trips we have anchored successfully without a single mosquito in sight all night. The photos below were taken six hours after we left the anchorage, when the clean up was nearly complete.