Destin, FL

15 November 2014

Time to move again, we will make two jumps in two days to go the next 100 miles. There is an open weather window for Saturday and Sunday. Then it’s rain for a few days. Or goal is to get close to Apalachicola so if there is a weather window we can get across to the Florida mainland. We can’t get into Apalachicola since there are a ton of Loopers stacked up there waiting to cross.

Our trip today is just to Destin, FL. We got off the dock a little after 8 and in bright sunshine and not much wind headed down the inter-coastal waterway (ICW). It’s a very nice ride with houses on one side and white sand beaches of the barrier island on the other. Oh and lots and lots of hi-rise condos. The section of Orange Beach we passed is a popular tourist location. About 9AM we crossed into Florida, a new state for our list.

The trip across Pensacola Bay was easy with the low wind level. It’s well marked so it’s just a matter of staying between the markers. Because we are in the ICW, we also don’t need to worry about off shore waves.

The ICW runs next to the Gulf Islands National Seashore. No houses but we did pass a government installation of some kind. There is a huge tower, looks like it may be coastal radar. When I get some Google time I’ll see if I can figure out what it was.

Not much boat traffic, we passed two tows. These are much smaller than the river ones we encountered. One or Two barges moving along. Captains have been friendly and there has been lots of space to be able to pass. One looper boat Takes Two a gold Looper from Arizona was the only pleasure craft other than fish boats.

At Fort Walton Beach we picked up dolphins. Forget the herons, forget the ‘gators, Susan’s new passion is the dolphins. They were pretty entertaining, and Susan got 1000′s of pictures.

We passed the Fort Walton free dock. We would need the T head, and there was already a boat there on half. Takes Two had said they were interested in it, so we kept on to our Plan B location in Destin.

Which turned out to be a good move on our part. We picked up another set of dolphins for Susan to play with as we got closer. We went under the bridge and made a hard left running with the bridge and then into Destin Harbor. Thousands of fish boats, this is quite the place in the summer time.

On the way in we saw a guy in one of those water powered jet packs. He has a 200′ hose (looks like a fire hose) that runs back to a chase boat with a pump. It looked like lots of fun. The only problem he had was if he got too far from the chase boat the hose pulled him back and out of vertical alignment. That caused a loss of upward thrust made him drop face first into the water.

Our dock was at Harbor Docks Restaurant. It was pricy at $2 a foot, but it did put us into the middle of Destin. The restaurant had a happy hour sushi special, so we had three rolls and a few drinks. We also got some pictures of Ensign Pig with a local beer, Naked Pig.

We wandered down through Destin and came across Boshamps Oyster House. It was highly rated and it looked busy, so we gave it a try.

Turns out that we are not really that far off the Alabama line, Mississippi State was at Alabama for Saturday football. The outside seating area was a sea of red shirts and cries of “Roll Tide”.

We had oysters (of course!) for dinner. I had 6 of “Boshamps Specials” caramelized Vidalia onions, bacon roasted with the oyster. Very nice!! Susan went old school with fried oysters in cornmeal.

We watched the game for awhile, but it had been a long day, so we were back on the boat and were soon in bed.

Up at first light to get to Panama City before the rain hits.