Yesterday morning, Old Geezer and Dan made their way past Garcon Point, and by 11:10 had passed Escribano Point and entered Blackwater Bay. The day was hot and humid, with little wind and contrary tide, but the sky was clear and beautiful.
By 1245, our expedition passed under Interstate 10, which some panhandle natives think of as the Mason-Dixon Line. At 1310, Dan thought his GPS had led him astray when it showed him in Bagdad. It had not, and we are pleased to report that Bagdad, Florida is more cracker than shiite. But getting there required getting a railroad bridge with 9′ clearance to move out of the way for just a moment.
By 1345, Dan arrived in Milton, where he resupplied with bananas, tonic, and a giant bag of ice, which was much lighter by the time he carried it the half mile or so back to the boat. He was under way straightaway, but by 1530 was delayed by a low fixed bridge. The mast was unstepped, and he continued to a freshwater lagoon just off the river known as Wright Basin.
He is anchored in about ten feet of water on the southwest side of the basin, which is uninhabited. This lake is about a mile east to west, and almost double that north and south. There are homes and docks across the water, but his anchorage is secluded.
Dan put the mast back up and was about to deploy the boom tent. A good thing, as there was thunder while we spoke, and violent weather to the northwest, with winds to 60 mph, hail, and no fun.
Today Dan will move upriver, exploring an area of cypress and tupelo. There are upland pine forests and peat bogs there, all dressed up with pitcher plants. Much of the land there is in the Blackwater Preserve, the largest state owned preservation tract, mostly empty and beautiful.
I forgot to tell Dan about the bears, but will remind him tonight, if he is within range. I’m not worried, though. I think the alligators will keep them away. —Steve Haines
Dan left the bridge at the NW corner of the bay, went ENE, then N, under I-10 and the next highway. He is in the lake N of there.
EF-1 is anchored in the intersection of the "L" above the entrance to the Basin. They’ll come out and head upstream today.