When you travel by boat, you miss much of what’s on land. Labels on our navigation charts give us clues to what we are passing. Today, it was miles of “impenetrable swamps.” I wondered if they are truly impenetrable, and what it would be like to try. Jeff said they reminded him of the Sturgeon River Sloughs in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. I’ve been in those sloughs on my paddle board. It was a bit weird. I don’t think I would try it here.
These are the low-lands of the Florida panhandle, with dense grasses and mostly-scrubby trees and evidence of hurricane damage. I kept hoping to see an alligator — but nope, not today.
Our 42-mile trek from the Grand Lagoon (really a large bay) east of Panama City to Apalachicola was smoother than expected. The wind did wake us about 3 a.m., as expected, but never whipped up to forecast levels. We pulled anchor and sort of tip-toed out of the choppy, shallow bay (we had anchored in five feet or less of water) to immediately enter a calm, straight canal. We heard the small craft advisory for the Gulf of Mexico on the radio and were prepared to duck into a protected anchorage to wait it out, but this part of the Gulf Intercoastal Waterway was at least five miles inland and those winds didn’t reach us.
So it was a relaxing cruise again, highlighted by the odd leftovers of storms along the shoreline and another odd boat or two. We were surprised to encounter current again, our first since leaving the river system. Tonight, we are tied to a wall in the small port town of Apalachicola, near the east end of the panhandle. ($85/night here, with no toilet facility, but at least we have water and electricity. Supply, demand, etc.) After two nights at anchor, it’s nice to be around activity — and our Looper friends.
More about this quirky little town in the next post. Photos and captions below.