Our first passage in the Gulf of Mexico, looks smooth out there doesn't it. Strange thing about taking pictures in a seaway, the pic never portrays the real sea conditions. Just out of the Pensacola Jetties we have 15-20 E winds and 3-4 seas with occasional 5's and one 8 after came out of nowhere. Very short wave period so it is choppy.
Here you can see the bow of the boat is higher than our heads and this is just a 4 footer.
Finally as we near Destin the winds turn South East so we some head sail out, the winds have calmed to 10-15 SE and 2-3' seas. The bow is no longer rising so high.
AHH! Land HO...Destin is nearing.
We were so busy navigating in to the East Pass that we did not have time for pics. We took these on a trip to the beach. The small rock Jetties are very short at the entrance. You can see waves breaking in over by the Green 3.
There is shoaling near the Green 3 hence the waves breaking over there on that side. You can see the darker water over there so when you enter here you Hug the East Jetty, the one on the starboard or red side.
After clearing the jetties you look for the bridge and head for the center to stay in deep water making sure to keep the Green on the piling well to your port side.
These 50' bridges are why we have to go n the outside for this portion of the trip. Locals advise you to get very close to the bridge before making a hard right turn to starboard for the approach to the little bitty channel that leads into Destin Harbor.
So you stay Parallel to the bridge and come all the way to the Habor Walk Marina.
This is the Harbor Walk Hotel & Marina, easy to find and a great place to hang out for a couple of days.
After you make the turn to Starboard at Harbor Walk, you can finally see this very narrow channel. The sand bar on the right can make you a bit nervous bu the Admiral went up on the bow t take a look and she told me it was plenty deep close to the sand. Thankfully we did not meet another vessel here. The locals say there is plenty of room to pass but I think I would keep some fenders out on the port side Just in case?
As you see here, the distance from the outer most pilings of the Harbor Walk Marina are pretty close to the sand on the other side of the narrow channel.
Here is a relatively small vessel coming in through the channel. So you can see if you were in the channel and had to pass one of the many 60' or larger Sport fisherman in the area it could get dicey.
Just a pic looking out of the East Pass from Harbor Walk.
It was about a 2 mile+ walk to get to the beach but you want to be sure to see the Whitest beach sand in the world.
The water near the beach is a very clear emerald color and father out is a very clear blue.
It was a cloudy day around 65 -70 degrees
a great day to go down to the jetty and see it all up close.
Not 1 bit of trash on these Destin beaches, of course most of it is private, lined with rows of condo development, some private homes and very few hotels. We had to look hard for a access point to get to the beach.
The Admiral is always happy on the beach, she says she still likes Port A better. She has her binoculars and camera handy for all the local birds.
We had a great lunch at Harbor Docks Restaurant over looking the Destin Harbor.
WS at the Harbor Docks Marina, it is just a small marina with fixed docks, Water, elec, and WiFi. Big Sport fishing boats dominate this area.
Every day you can get a great Sunset in Florida, if you can see the sun!
The sea conditions would have made for a nice trip except for the forecasted am fog. This fog stayed the entire day in this harbor.
I consulted with the crew of the Lady Em, a charter Sport fisherman just next door to get some local knowledge since we would be leaving most likely on a low tide, so due to the shallow waters, and currents near the itty bitty Harbor channel I wanted to know what to expect and if we could even get out at our planned departure time.