Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Day 68 Panama City to Port St. Joe

Well finally just beach instead of a continuous line of condos on the way to Port St. Joe.

Pretty calm, 0-1 swells and almost no wind, what there is is right in the nose.

As we approach Port St. Joe we see beach homes instead of a line of Condo's. This stretch all the way to Carrabelle is called "the forgotten coast"

This is the protected entrance to Port St. Joe Marina. from St. Joseph Bay.

This marina has a special quality about it, you can sense it as you enter here.

We slowly motor all the way down to the "Lay along dock" but there are only open spaces down at the far end & I am concerned about the depth down there.

The dockmaster allowed us to tie up on the T head where I knew there would be plenty of depth and also easy to leave from.

Everything about this marina is about the boaters, This is the best marina we have experienced yet. Every detail is great, they even deliver a newspaper and Muffins each morning to the transient boats!

And free bikes to use, this is the first time I have been on a bike in years.

The Admiral chose the 3 wheeler but it had a big basket for us to put the groceries in.

Birding and Biking...the way to go!

Day 68Panama City to Port Saint Joe

Underway 5:40 hrs, 36.4 Nm., Avg speed 6.4 Kts. , 40-65 degrees, Sunny 0-5 ENE winds. Seas 0-1'

This would be a short hop on the outside, I saw perhaps an opportunity for 3 straight days of travel and wanted to get on with it. Motored all the way in almost flat seas, some rolling 2' swells at the end of the trip but no chop or waves.

The story here is all about Port Saint Joe and the marina there. These people truly appreciate cruisers and go all out to welcome and make you feel right at home. I had considered just going on to Apalachicola and not even stopping since we were making good time and we had enough daylight to get to the next stop. We discussed it but we both agreed that we had heard so much about Port St. Joe we wanted to stop and see it. Port Saint Joe is a milestone. Just like New Orleans is a Milestone for those cruisers Eastbound from Texas since it Marks the end of a very demanding ICW crossing numerous rivers, locks, and bridges, and all the tows you have to navigate through. Port St. Joe is one of those places you want to come back to, might even consider throwing out an anchor here for an extended period of time. This Milestone marks the entrance to the cruisers territory. Everything you need is within walking distance but they have free loaner bikes to make it a lot more fun. There were several cruisers here and even one couple who had just finished the Great Loop. They started and ended at this marina. They were preparing to do it all over again but they said this time they knew where they wanted to spend time and would stay longer at their favorite spots. We just joined the AGLCA (the great loop association) upon the recommendation of Steve & Carol our friends in Corpus. Besides some healthy discounts you become a member of a large group of people out there cruising and they are extremely helpful to each other. fortunately we had a short hop and arrived early enough to spend an entire afternoon seeing the marina and eating at it's great little restaurant, flounder for me. The next day was going to be another travel day, we both wanted to stay another here another day but we are already behind most of the cruisers who are all down in the Florida Keys. The Admiral got in a bit of birding and we crashed early to be ready for another early morning departure. Oh yeah, this is where you move the clocks forward 1 hour.

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