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?
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!)