Sunday, 22 November 2015

Looping....Pensacola to Apalachicola Florida

We left Pensacola very early, heading East toward the gulf crossing.  It was a very cool morning so I sat in my chair next to Steve for awhile wrapped in a blanket.  I later decided to curl up and bam...out like a light.  I had the best sleep ever, all cozy.  Nothing feels better than a nap in the fresh air.....didn't know that this shot taken until I started to blog.  My nose was cold.
All fresh now!  Passed through Fort Walton Beach.  USA Military at work.  

Passed through Destin Florida where my Mom and Dad spent many a winter.  Mom and Dad does any of this look familiar?  Looking into Destin from the ICW.
Stayed at an anchorage that night.  There was a park close to the anchorage where we could take Dexter to shore.  We thought we had company but the two sail boats that were at anchor with us had no one on board. 
Once again we had a beautiful sunset at this anchorage.
We weighed anchor and head further East.  We had a stretch of river and found  the banks to be much different than the other rivers we have travelled along this trip.  The banks here appear to be all sand.
We arrived at our destination for the day at Panama City.  Whew.....gotta say that place stinks.  There is a pulp and paper mill and it emits a sweet sulphur smell that makes you think there is something wrong with your boat.  Once again there  was an abandoned sail boat at this anchorage. 
The shorelines are becoming more and more swampy with very little space to land Dexter.  Protected shelter and somewhere to land Dexter are our priorities when looking for an anchorage.  We have an app on our IPad called Active Captain that shows anchorages and also comments on whether or not there is pet access to shore.  This anchorage had a very small piece of sand at the tip of the island where Dexter could put his feet.  It was only about 2' x 5', good thing Dexter is only 1.5' x 6".
We never get tired of watching the dolphins swim around our boat.  They seem to be more active first thing in the morning and just before dusk. 
This one swam so close to the boat you can actually see the blow hole.
Dexter has made it his business to protect us from these huge creatures that seem to be endangering our his mind anyway. 
We are finding the salt water to be a bit of a chore.  When we stop after a day of travel there is a salt film over everything.  Now in our fresh water that's no problem.....just turn on the wash down and rinse everything off.  PROBLEM.....the wash down comes from the ocean.  Steve is working on correcting that.  We are going to need a fitting...maybe two...I don't thing is cooking.  In the meantime my genius has rigged up our water to flow backwards from our fresh water but we can't attach a nozzle for better pressure because it would have to be a backwards nozzle. Who would have thought.  We dropped the dinghy at our last anchorage because the boat ramp where we took Dexter to shore was too far for the kayak.  When the dinghy has been in salt water it's not just a matter of pulling it up when we're done.  Steve has to flush the engine with fresh water and then rinse the whole thing.  Did I say we are finding the saltwater to be a bit of a chore.  More like Steve is finding the salt water to be a bit of a chore.   
 We left Panama City heading for an anchorage close to Apalachicola.  Once in Apalachicola we will be approximately 20 miles from the gulf crossing.  Our anchorage is about 55 miles away so we were up and on our way early.  The shorelines were littered with boat wrecks that we figured were hit with a hurricane.  They were beyond repair. 

The homes along this section were much more modest than those in the Pensacola and Destin areas. 

It is currently 12:34pm.  Once we hit the bridge in the distance the time will change.  We are currently in the central time zone.

 Bridge behind us and it's 1:34pm
Time flies when you're having fun!!
Further down the river the shoreline was becoming even more swampy.  I am getting a little concerned about our anchorage for the evening.  Active Captain says it is possible to land pets there but it could be difficult.
This just looks like home to many an alligator.
The colour of the water was like coffee as we exited the narrow river to a small lake. 
We arrived at our anchorage at 3:30 but there was really no where to land Dexter.  The Marina in Apalachicola is just 5 miles from our anchorage so we decided to carry on instead of anchoring here tonight.   Notice the turtle on the tree.
We arrived at the Marina in Apalachicola, the Oyster capital of the USA.  We saw many fishing boats pass by the Marina.  They certainly looked like working boats.
The Marina was a very friendly Marina but not quite what we expected.  We left Panama City very early so I'm sure we are ahead of the 50 some odd Looper boats that are their way here to also cross the Gulf.  Not sure how we managed to get a spot here as there are only 2 at this Marina.
We went for a walk a found the processing plant for the Oysters.  The huge pile you see is all Oyster shells. 

The birds love the freshly shucked Oyster shells as they are discarded from the plant.  It was all I could do to get this close to take a picture. 
  There are quite a few Oyster Bars here so we decided to go out for dinner at Boss Oyster which was right beside the Marina.  Our waiter made a point of telling us he was new.  He had only worked there for 2 weeks.  I asked about their wine.  He said he would be right back.  Then I asked about wine prices...there was no wine list.  He said he would be right back.  Steve said "stop asking him questions, I'm hungry."  The waiter returned and said my best deal, if I want more than 1 glass would be to order a bottle and I can take anything left back to the boat. A bottle was $22. Sold!  So Steve ordered a beer and I ordered a bottle of wine.  When the waiter returned he brought me a 1.5 litre bottle of wine.  He told me he was pulling the new guy card with this bottle.  He put the bottle on the table and Steve and I laughed very hard.  That bottle would have been $22 at the liquor store!  The table next to us also ordered a bottle of wine.  Our waiter made a point to stop by our table and show us what our bottle should have looked like.  I said oh yes I
My drink and Steve's drink.
 Today is Sunday Nov 22nd.  We can only stay here until Tuesday because these spots are reserved by other Loopers at that time. There are anchorages but they aren't very well protected.  Great spots if there is no wind and lately there is wind.  The weather window to cross the gulf will not be within the next few days.  Maybe next weekend.  We will travel to Carrabelle from here which is about 20 miles.  We will leave to cross the gulf from Carrabelle at about 3pm and arrive near Clearwater Water in Tarpon Springs at around 11am or 12pm the next day but not before King Neptune gives a green light.  Until then.....we wait..."One Bay at a Time."

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