I should have known.
I was unable to reach Old Geezer and Dan this morning. It seems that they were out of range, since they cast off early this morning to explore St. Joe Bay and take bottom samples.
There was swell, chop, spray, and the odd wave into the cockpit as the intrepid team explored the peninsula, managing to stay off the sand from time to time. Two other sailboats were out, and a few fishermen. Reefed main and lapper were the order of the day. Near shore, several squirrels were sighted, and I suspect they had been blown out of the trees. It was windy in the panhandle today.
Plans have been made for an early morning departure from the good folks at St. Joe Marina. The route will take our smallcrafters back up the Gulf County Canal to the IC, where they will take a military left and head for East Bay.
We’ll be out of touch for a time tommorrow, but will attempt to link up at scheduled intervals. The plan is to press for Pitts Bayou or Bonita Bay, both just west of the DuPont Bridge, and hard by Tyndall Air Force Base. Just in case conditions aren’t right, we’ve reviewed several places to duck in, either for a break or for the night.
Our intrepid Expeditionary Force can get out there and mix it up with the elements, but the beauty of being small, shoal, and shippy is that wonderful ability to tuck into small places and wait. That tactile depth finder is a plus, too.
I made sure Dan has plenty of bananas for the next leg, and we made plans to link up on the water. More on that later. For now, look at the map of St. Joe Bay, and you’ll see several dark indentations in the light colored bottom. I’m not sure that Dan made all of them, but I’m sure he made a lasting impression on the bay.
Regarding maps: The one that looks like Batman’s cape is Dan’s Estimated route today. The other is his planned route tommorrow.
I am pleased to report that small biting insects are fewer in Port St. Joe than in Carrabelle or Apalachicola. Mosquitos are plentiful, though. Hungry, too.
St. Joe Bay was frothy most of the day, so Old Geezer stayed in her slip. dan reports that the PSJ Marina is first rate, with a helpful staff. He was surprised to learn that transients there get a newspaper delivered to their slip each morning.
The food and service there are good, too, and fairly priced. Check ’em out. www.psjmarina.com
Since sailing or paddling seemed like work today, we opted for beer by the bay, and supper at the marina. there was also a planning session, looking at charts and working out the next stage of the Expeditionary Force’s move west. Tommorrow will involve sailing, paddling, or both, if the weather allows. If not, we’ll fall back on plan "B". That may stand for "Beverage".—Steve Haines
At the upper right is Carrabelle, where Dan launched and did his first bottom testing. Below the point where he came into the sound is the western end of Dog Island, and the pass to the Gulf of Mexico. His route took him under the bridge to St. George Island, then under the bridge at the mouth of the Apalachicola River. He docked just off the river, on Scipio Creek.
When the Expedition cast off , it went up the Apalachicola, stayed to the left, and overnighted in Lake Wimico with the other varmits. This morning, Dan continued across the lake, turned down the canal, and followed it five miles or so into St. Joseph Bay. He took a left past the site of the old paper mill, and went to the Port St. Joe Marina, where he is tied to a tall dock. The boat, I mean.
Don Person suggested the map posting. Thanks, Don!—Steve Haines
The Potter Expeditionary Force has checked in from the marina in Port St. Joe.
Dan recounted his trip upriver in terms of near perfect sailing conditions, particularly since he was going upstream.
When he left Apalachicola, he was under reefed main, but as he neared Lake Wimico, he used Jerry’s lapper to good effect. Locals seemed surprised to see a boat under sail up there. I’m guessing it’s because there aren’t many suspects in the area.
Dan found an alligator free anchorage, he thinks. There were lots of fish jumping, and sometimes a big splash, but no ‘gators. Just to be safe, he stayed aboard Old Geezer, serenaded by owls and awakened by woodpeckers. There were bald eagles, too, and lots of ospreys.
The hook came up this morning, and the Force sailed on, getting 5.5mph in Searcy Creek, according to the GPS. From there it was a straight shot down the Gulf County Canal to St. Joe Bay, and a left turn took him to the marina. By 1218CST he was in a well protected slip.
Laundry is on his list for today, and I gave him directions to the nearby IGA, where he can get more bananas. We’ll check in on him soon. —Steve Haines