Day 204, November 14, 2012 (Apalachicola):  We spent an extra day in Panama City. The distance to Carrabelle is about 45 miles where we plan to stage ourselves to cross the gulf with our buddy boat, Blue Heron. We took the opportunity to walk Panama City Beach with Reed and Misty, taking in the local thieves and Schooner’s Last Local Beach Club. The  DNR patrols the beach and passes out $82 fines for feeding the raccoons. Judging by the pudge on these guys the fine is a win-win for the raccoons.

Schooner’s is, indeed, a hangout. The fare is beer, fish, and beer. It is a roof open to the beach.

Travel down the canals connecting  Panama City with Apalachicola is a bit of a downer. There are vast stands of dead and dying cypress and tupelo gum. The water is littered with tree trunks and deadheads big enough to spoil a prop and your day.

Getting to Port St. Joe is by an intersecting channel, the Gulf County  Canal. Along the way the shore is littered with derelicts and junk until the channel opens onto St. Joseph Bay.

Entering Port St. Joe Marina is a more welcoming site. The day had started gloomy and raw, a mild downer along with the decay but sun lit Port St. Joe. Below is the channel entrance,  very narrow and L-shaped and well protected from the westerlies.

Port St. Joe is a convenient call with lots of shopping, provisioning, and eating opportunities very nearby.

We are in a loafing mode, now, awaiting a weather window to cross the gulf to Tarpon Springs. The next day started cold and raw like the last one. With clearing and calming of the brisk breeze we left the shelter of PSJ and returned once again to the  network of canals toward Apalachicola. Once again, we encounter a wilderness of dead cypress and tupelo gum stands. Upon entering Lake Wimico the channel, though well marked, becomes very shallow and we are forced to idle through to the Jackson River that courses down to Apalachicola. Many fish camps dot the shoreline and don’t  appear inhabited.

Scipio Creek Marina in Apalach is up the creek, sheltered all around except to the east that that is blocked only by a sandbar and marsh. The day had cleared once again and became very calm. We were in port early enough to walk about the town and return to Papa Joe’s in the marina  for grilled fish.

A fish camp on Lake Wimico.


A rusting infrastructure hulk.


A shrimper leaving Scipio Creek in Apalach.