Apalachicola (Days 113-14)

What a fun stop this has been, coming just before the next big “Loop” event. After three nights in this small port town (population about 2,000) in northwestern Florida, Many Moons will push eastward to Carrabelle, which is the jumping-off point for nearly all Loopers to head across the Gulf of Mexico. That gulf crossing is one of the big “events” for people traveling The Great Loop, and anticipation grows the closer you get to it. The discussion among Loopers here in Apalachicola follows a pattern: Will you take the 80-mile (long-day) option or the 180-mile (overnight) option, or try to follow the (quite shallow) shoreline? What is the latest weather window for crossing? Are you planning to cross with someone?

Many Moons at Apalachicola.

I’ve made reservations at the next port and beyond that, I don’t want to think about it yet. So I’ve thrown myself into this stop and this town. It hasn’t been hard to do.

They call this Florida’s Forgotten Coast. Well, we certainly won’t forget it. Apalachicola is welcoming and charming, even if somewhat overpriced for visitors. We paid to stay at the wharf of The Apalachicola Ice Company one night and then anchored a short distance away the next two nights, using our dinghy to visit town on our first day at anchor and taking our boat to the free-in-the-daytime city wharf the second day. (It would have cost $68 to stay at the city wharf overnight, with no electricity or water– just the tie-up. It was more sensible yet still convenient to spend the night at anchor and come over in the daytime. Besides, we love the peace and quiet of anchorage!)

This town offers oysters and sponges and lots of colorful shops – and live music. We were anchored close enough to dinghy back to the boat in the dark. The water was calm and we used our headlamps. Kind of fun! Photos and captions below.

PS: There are two reasons I think about cost as often as I do. People who are considering doing The Great Loop often ask about it; and, I was raised to be frugal. (But hopefully not miserly!)

This now-closed company still makes money by offering its wharf to Loopers for $2/foot, plus $10 for electricity.
Biking in the town of Apalachicola.
The 3-foot tide made it challenging for a short person like me to get off the boat at the city wharf. Here, I’m standing on our boat looking up at my bike on the dock.
My view of the local dog-walkers, from the boat which is tied to the city wharf, at low-ish tide. Locals often stop to ask about the boat, and we love talking to them.
During low tide, it’s a long step down from the wharf to the boat!
The Chestnut Street Cemetery included many graves from people born in the 1830s.
This sidewalk display reminded us it’s almost Thanksgiving!
The Chocolate and Coffee Company had a quirky interior–and great chocolates.
From anchorage a half-mile or less from town, as the low sun lights up the marsh grasses.
Another boat with “moon” in its name! This boat was behind us at the city wharf. Bob and Carol met on a dating sight not long ago, and embarked on the Great Loop just recently.
This houseboat on pontoons was a short distance from our anchorage. We can’t tell if it’s abandoned or not, and we wonder if it was washed up here by a hurricane.
We met Dan and Gena from Kittywake in Pensacola and they’ve become friends. Jeff bought that bright-green shirt in this town. (He left Michigan with very few clothes, and he needed a few new items!)
The refurbished Gibson Inn boasts this unusual ceiling light inside a canoe. Love it!
Many Moons at anchor at sunset, across the river from Apalachicola.
We watched the moonrise while enjoying a snack, through an open window of a waterfront restaurant.
Open-air (almost) music across from our dock. It’s still warm enough in northern Florida for open doors.
We anchored near marsh grasses, and I took out the dinghy to explore the…creek? Slough? Inlet? Something like that.
A shrimp boat passes us. The oyster harvest is suffering, but seafood is still big business here.
The history of this town includes sponge diving, and local entrepreneurs capitalize on that tidbit.
This is my view from Many Moons at low tide, looking over the city wharf into the waterfront park.
See where we are? The blue dot is Apalachicola.

6 thoughts on “Apalachicola (Days 113-14)

  1. Apalachicola seemed to me to be a bit of “old Florida,” that is, Florida before high rise condos lined the waterfront.

    (Thanks for these posts. We are strongly considering a live aboard boat purchase and are intensely interested in your experiences.)


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