November 8-17 Cruising the Florida Panhandle


We left Mobile, Alabama behind & spent the first 3 hours just crossing Mobile Bay, a big shallow body of water.  Heading east on the Gulf ICW we crossed back into Florida, a state we had left 7 months ago.  The “Redneck Riviera” turned out to be very enjoyable, especially by water, which we’ve learned can create an entire new picture.  We had heard of some of the most beautiful beaches in America, but we also discovered some very interesting history & great fishing villages.  Pensacola seems like a town with all the infrastructure in place, ready for the next economic boom & hoping it will be sooner rather than later…  Settlement there first occured before even Jamestown & St. Augustine were established.  Continuing through the “Grand Canyon” part of the ICW we ran into our dolphin friends again.  Dugan & Dylan were captivated on the edge of the fly bridge watching as many as 6 of them put on an amazing show…  After a night in Fort Walton Beach we cruised on to Panama City where we were fortunate to dock right downtown.  Fun town with good energy & very few empty shops, something we had not seen very often.  Downtown had parks & fountains & great places to walk the pups.  We saw one of the most beautiful sunsets of the trip right at the marina!  After more dolphin shows along the way we arrived in Apalachicola, in the middle of what they refer to as Florida’s “Forgotten Coast”.  Seems like a title the locals like.  We docked along the waterfront right in the middle of all the shrimp and oyster boats.  We liked it so much that we spent an extra night here.  Reminded us of Key West 25 years ago.  It’s a great fishing village with lots of historic homes, one of the most attractive cemeteries we had ever seen &, of course, world famous Apalachicola Bay oysters.  I think we had oysters for every meal except one.  We then left for Carrabelle, noted for having the world’s smallest police station.  It is also the jumping off point for boats leaving the Panhandle & on to the Gulf Coast of Florida.  Next stop, across the Gulf to Tarpon Springs.

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