The Motor Vessel "Once Around"

The Motor Vessel "Once Around"
The Motor Vessel "Once Around" in the Florida Keys

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Gettin' Ready to Cross the Gulf...

Our last day in Port St. Joe brought an unexpected surprise.  We once again ran across Lollygag, who had completed their loop by crossing their wake here.  We were happy to take this photo of Matt and Sandee as they prepared to hoist their gold flag.
Friday we made the short 30 mile hop down to Apalachicola, Florida.  The weather is warming slightly, but still pretty chilly under way.  We stopped at Scipio’s Marina on the Scipio Creek, which is just off of Apalachicola Bay.  We followed Grianan, Boreas and Brandy IV into the marina, with Jolly Tolly right behind us. 
Entering Scipio Creek in Apalachicola

View from the creek...

...and more from the creek...

...part of the bustling little downtown Appalachicola, Florida
We were tied up at what is reported to be the best restaurant for oysters in town, Papa Joe’s Oyster Bar and Grill.  And Apalachicola Bay is famous for its’ plump oysters.  I am not much of a raw oyster fan, so I opted for some of the baked ones for lunch.   They make them about 15 different ways.  I could not chose so had kind of a three type sampler.  They were amazing.  Our server, Milan (pronounced Mylan) is Papa Joe’s grandson.  Milan’s dad is the current owner.  Milan told us they only get their oysters from one oyster bed, because they are the plumpest and best around.  It seems this is not just hype, as most of the locals agree and eat here when they want oysters. 
We needed to stretch our legs after stuffing ourselves on the late lunch, so Carrie and I did a walkabout around the downtown area.  There are lots of little shops and an amazing number of little restaurants and bars.  We could stay here awhile and not double up.  Carrie bought a pair of locally made “dolphin” earrings that set me back a whopping $15. There are also a few art galleries that we saved for the next day’s outing.
Saturday we went to a local “Fresh Market” downtown.  It was a bit over-hyped, but we managed to buy some banana bread and pound cake, but they didn’t meet the Admiral’s standards, so out they went before I even got a taste.  We had a fabulous lunch at Tamara’s, on a tip from Milan.  It was awesome.  I highly recommend it.  Ate Oysters again Saturday night at Papa Joe’s though…couldn’t resist.
We all cruised over to Carrabelle Sunday.  The Apalachicola Bay waters, even though fairly protected, were rougher water than we had seen in a while.  I remarked to Carrie that we have been lulled by the rivers, and this was a wakeup call that things were about to get serious again.
Entering Carrabelle, FL

Beats me...the Admiral thought it was funny...
Carrabelle is the last stop before crossing the Gulf to Tarpon Springs or Clearwater on the western shores of the Florida peninsula.  The weather is “not perfect”, so there was no shortage of opinions as a bunch of us got together to discuss the crossing we all hoped to make in a day or two.
The captains discuss strategy...

...while some of the Admirals make the decisions. 
left to right:  Kate (Grianan), Rita (Brandy IV), Julaine (Boreas) and Carrie (Once Around)
Right now (Sunday night), it looks like Once Around and Jolly Tolly will leave here tomorrow late afternoon and plan to be in Clearwater mid-day Tuesday (some 18-20 hours later).  This means an overnight crossing, which should be “fun”, right???  Again, this is all subject to last minute weather reports.  If things change we could be here in Carrabelle a while…
Click the “Find Us” button on this blog Tuesday.  It will be the first report that we made it across safely.  For those of you who get that annoying, “We’re here and we are OK” email…this one is a biggee.
Life is Good…and Boating is Fun!

1 comment:

  1. Have a great crossing and we hope that Neptune is GOOD to you all.
    Calm wind and following seas!
    Jim and Dale