Quiet night at Ingram Bayou--full moon!
Left around 8 AM thinking we'd refuel at Bear Point Marina, but they were unresponsive on the phone and channel 16. Easter Sunday. We'll get fuel elsewhere.
BTW, a note about Eastern Shore Marine. We've talked a couple of times now to Bob and Vicky Riggs and found out from them that the city of Fairhope has taken over management of the marina. The docks are still open while they renovate and update...but there is no fuel available right now because there was a problem with the underground fuel tanks. We had seriously considered going over there for a night, despite the fact that those docks are not at all "friendly" for boats of our height (low). But...when we called the message said that number was disconnected.
Headed for Ft. Walton Beach city docks. 17 days of boat food (the great restaurant at Goosepond was closed because it was Monday)...16 days of travel: we're ready to be near a town and have easy land access! ;-)
Talked with a friendly tow operator on the Cooper Devall as we approached the Pensacola cut. He was coming from the east, so we were going to meet. We agreed to back down and wait for him to get through the cut. Meanwhile, we talked.
He said he hoped the sailboat (gently moving, sails a-furl) would move. "They may not realize that tonnage beats sails. Steel don't give!" We have a new phrase to kick around.
Everyone was out this Easter Sunday enjoying the weather and the day off!
We pulled into Ft. Walton Beach that afternoon in time to take a little stroll around. Ft. Walton Beach, this area at least, has changed a lot for the better since we were last here. The park by the docks is large and well kept. There are 12 slips and we were the only ones there for a while. We were joined later by a pretty old boat that had been salvaged and renovated by a man, his wife, and their 4 yr. old son. They are living aboard and are staying at Destin, but just decided to bring the boat over for the evening.
We put all kinds of fenders and lines out for this stay. The NO WAKE ZONE begins at the western edge of the dock...but getting waked has always been a hazard of staying here. The place is a "pull" for boaters because it's free...and there's a Publix 2 blocks away, not to mention all kinds of restaurants (and tattoo parlors). It being a weekend, and Easter weekend at that, there were a lot of boats passing the dock.
Monday, April 2, 2018 -
We did a grocery run at Publix, had lunch at the Boardroom Pub & Grub, and I walked a couple of miles. When I got back to the boat, Wayne was ready to pack up and move on. While I was gone the boat got badly waked, injuring some varnish on the rails and the stainless rub rail. You just don't mess with our varnish or rub rail!
So...we decided to leave Ft. Walton Beach, stop by Destin for a few gallons of fuel to carry us over until we get to St. Andrews Marina and their diesel at $2.83, including tax...and then go anchor nearby at Joe's Bayou.
Destin harbor was a mess: 2 large dredges, all sorts of fenders out marking off little passageways. a buzillion jetskis, pontoon boats...you get the picture. We hit (well, not literally, though we could have) the first marina we came to, Destin Marina. We took on a bit of fuel then found our way over to Joe's Bayou for the night.
Tuesday, April 3, 2018 -
Left Joe's Bayou at 7:10 AM and got to St. Andrews Marina by 2:30. We had a good crossing of the Choctawhatchee Bay...and a pretty ride in the long, straight section of the ICW that leads up to West Bay.
Took on fuel at the marina, then went over to Smack Bayou for the evening. We had wanted to anchor here on the first loop trip, but it was a weekend and it was packed! It's a neat little hole. We're on the back deck enjoying a show by F-18 aircraft (Wayne thinks they're practicing for the Blue Angels). And, we have our own personal diving show from a brown pelican. Life is good!
Wednesday, April 4, 2018 -
I woke up this morning to Wayne saying, "Get up, Doris!" The wind was whipping and in a minute it started pouring rain. We got up, had coffee, checked the weather forecast and decided we could move on in spite of the rain.
Well, it turned out to be quite a pleasant day. It looked like rain was going to start anytime...but didn't. We made it to Apalachicola with no problem. A lot of this day was spent in a straight canal...bordered on each side by greenery and not much else!
We're staying at the Water Street Hotel and Marina. Nice place, reasonably priced, gorgeous views of the surrounding marsh and Scipio Creek, AND it has floating docks. We went over the first evening for oysters on the half shell (Wayne will have them at least once a day while we're here). We started out at Boss Oyster, but after waiting 20 minutes with menus and no drinks, we decided to try elsewhere.
Went to Hole in the Wall, recommended to me by a friend who frequents Apalachicola. It's a small place with family style seating and bar stools The bar was filled so we sat down at a table with two other couples. Turns out that one of the couples, Rod and Mary Lee Raulerson, had lived aboard on the Tennessee River and Tenn-Tom. The boat they had (which looked like a twin to Ken and Brenda's Tellico Lady) was named NO MO YD WK. Cute. ;-)
The evening was entertaining, talking with them about cruising and their life now at Mexico Beach, FL. The (singular) waitress was quite a character. "She'll cuss you out in a heartbeat," says Rob. Hmmm. Just what you want in a waitress. But, all went well, the food was good.
Thursday, April 5, 2018 -
Lunched at the Owl Cafe, a place we've loved in the past and had looked forward to on this trip. We ate up on the outside deck and had a nice, secluded spot from which we could watch the goings on in town. Wayne ordered oysters on the half shell and we ordered a hamburger to split. After a good bit of time had passed (but, we're on vacation here so didn't want to get wound up about time), we were served the hamburger. No sign of the oysters, so we requested those...again. The server went away to check on them. Fifteen to twenty minutes passed and no oysters. Wayne would normally want to eat those before anything else, but the hamburger was getting cold so we decided to eat. We considered cancelling the oysters...but, hey, that's part of why we came here. We'd almost finished the burger when our waitress appeared with the oysters and an apology: she'd forgotten about them.
All of that was disappointing...but the final insult came when our credit card was hit with a $65 charge, about twice what our meal cost. We questioned the waitress and she apologized again, saying she had accidentally switched our meal with another table. She said the $65 charge would only be "pending" and that within 24 hours it would disappear. We'll probably go there again sometime since we've had one really good experience and one really bad.
Friday, April 6, 2018 -
Leisurely day. Ate at Up the Creek...oysters and hamburger again. Pretty good, though they only do burgers well done. ? View was great...it's right on Scipio Creek. We walked around and I shopped some. Took Maggie for several walks. She's going to get spoiled with this land walk drill instead of the poop pad aboard.
Looking at tomorrow's weather and the predicted thunderstorms and rain, we decided we could use another day here in Apalachicola. We called to extend our stay through Saturday.
We had the nicest neighbors in our slip, the Black family from Georgia. They fished or cruised around the area some part of every day on their flat boat.
Saturday, April 7, 2018 -
So-o-o glad we decided to stay another day here in Apalachicola. We could have traveled in this weather...but it would not have been fun. It started raining and storming around 10 AM and hasn't stopped yet. Sometimes it slows to a light rain...but then picks right back up. Maggie May will have nothing to do with it.
We walked up to Caroline's on the River for brunch. The food was really good (and, yes, Wayne had raw oysters). The place was struggling a bit, though. They are under new management and intend to change the menu, but haven't yet. There was no lettuce for salads...nor cukes for their cukes/tomatoes/feta cheese salad. I started to order the lemony pancakes with raspberry butter. Glad I didn't, since the table next to us got their order of the pancakes only to be told then that there were no raspberries. The wait staff was really trying, though, and were very attentive and friendly. After brunch (as the rain came down) I walked around a bit taking in the Art Walk going on today. Came back to the boat...and caught up on the blog!! ;-) Tomorrow we're off towards Panama City.
Some of our photo memories from this stay on Scipio Creek.
Maggie found something to carry home every day....
And...we had our own personal pelican to watch.
After the rain started!