Friday, February 3, 2012

Day 70-88 Apalachicola to Carrabelle C-Quarters Marina

Here the water is a easy 2-3 foot chop near the end of St. Georges Island. We are about to get into more open water away from the protection of the barrier islands as we parallel the East Pass.

These guys were all over St. Georges Sound harvest oysters in their small skiffs.

We are approaching Dog Island and the East Pass. Here is where we get a good look at the pass for future reference when we make the crossing to Clearwater, Fl.

It was good to see that the East Pass was well marked and looked wide and deep enough to transit with out to much concern. It is still advised to avoid it in heavy weather.

I wondered about this large house right on the West end of dog island. There are no roads to the Island.

The channel to Carrabelle is the best marked channel we have seen yet. I am sure it is due to the tricky conditions coming and going if the weather is dicey here.

We are now in the Carrabelle river that originates in Georgia. That big roof right in the middle would be our Marina.

The water appears calm, there is little wind in here but the currents can get tricky as they have 3'+ tides and since the current is beam to the boat as you enter the slips it can get interesting.

WS at her slip right up front near the Huge front porch of C-Quarters Marina.

The Admiral already likes Carrabelle, something about this little fishing village reminded her of Port A.

We took a trip over to St. Georges Island to check out the Beach and there was no problem finding beach access. No huge condos and hotels here, just lots of beach homes.

The beach even was Port A like they just did not have the huge Mustang Island dunes.

A Port A type environment with clear water.

I don't know, this one just kind of stuck out like a sore thumb.

Well we heard from the locals you had to go to Eddie Teaches for a cold one and as long as we were their I thought I better get some Oysters. They were good but not as good as the ones I had at Bozos or in Apalachicola. I could not understand that?

This vessel must have been some party barge back in the day.

This is the front porch of C-Quarters Marina. There is a group of locals who convene here every day from around 11am till dark. Happy hour usually starts kickin by 12 noon. The locals just stand at the far end of the Porch and laugh, fuss, discuss the state of Carrabelle. We met a 70 year old who has only been out of the town for 10 days in his lifetime and that's cause he had to go into the Hospital. There are no traffic lights in Carrabelle but they do have Black Bears.

I wondered what they must use this chute for that came off the back end of a concrete truck. I only imagined that when the water warmed up they got drunk and used it for a water slide. But no, the fishing boats pull in to get lots of ice and they use it to slide the ice down into their large fish boxes.

I thought it was cool to see these three sailboats anchored out in the river but we found out they have been anchored there for about five years and have not moved at all.

One of these every evening.

Day 70-88 Apalachicola to Carrabelle C-Quarters Marina

Underway 4:34 hrs, 26.2, Avg speed 5.7Knts. , 40-60 degrees, Sunny 10-15 ENE winds.

We motored the entire trip, no chance for sailing again with wind on the nose and we had 2-3' chop, a lot like Corpus Christi Bay. We were on the inside and crossed Apalachicola Bay & St. Georges Sound protected by the barrier islands of St. Georges and Dog Island. There is a short break between the Islands where we had 2-3 foot Gulf of Mexico type seas but this was
short lived as the East Pass between the two islands is not very wide. It gave us a great look at the East Pass where we will eventually go through on our way from Carrabelle to Clearwater Fl.

As we neared the West end of St. Georges Island we saw lots of small skiffs with 1-2 men racking up oysters from the shallow waters. There were probably around 30 of these boats out there and each one had a large mound of oysters stacked in the front of there skills. Some locals explained they make several hundred dollars for each load they bring in which can be more lucrative than the sport fishing in the area at this time of year. We were told Florida enacted some legislation that is now tightly regulating the sport fisherman and have virtually shut down the professional sport fishing guides for part of the year. This seems to have hurt areas like Carrabele that depended on year round fishing tourism business.

We were glad to find a hardware and IGA Grocery store right across the street. There are just a few restaurants and only open certain days of the week, 1 bar and you walk a mile in either directions and see the whole town. Very nice people and they accept you they way you came in. Every local we talk to here are Sport fisherman. They enjoy seeing the cruisers come and go but this town is all about fishing.

We paid for 1 month since the Admiral needs to get some cataract surgery completed in Feb. We planned on going back to Austin a few weeks to take care of that and be back to make the jump to Clearwater. However we hit a glitch when her appointment was re-scheduled and it could run over in to March. We made the trip back to Austin to get her pre-surgery appointment but even that was re-scheduled due to the Dr. being sick so the Admiral went to visit her parents & I returned to take care of WS so we are in a holding pattern until we get firm dates. We have a friend Bill in St.Petersburg who was our neighbor on H dock in Corpus who might help me go ahead and take the boat to Clearwater. We are planning several plan B's but really we just want to get the Admiral through this surgery so we can continue on without further delay. If I have to hang out for a while Carrabelle is a great place to be stuck in.
This whole area is surrounded by State and National Forest, we were surprised to learn that black bears frequent the dumpsters around the restaurants and the back yards of the locals. We have yet to see one but when we learned they have even been on the docks of our marina we are a bit more cautious now when walking about in the dark here.

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