Champ III: Going Places

The adventure starts here.

Panama City Marina, Panama City, FL to Scipio Creek Marina, Apalachacola, FL — November 21, 2013

The day started with about a 10 minute rain shower while we were on the dock.  Pete and Carolyn’s friend Marti needed to fly home and she was just getting off the boat when the rain came started.

We were at an Italian restaurant last night.  They are hard to find along the river system and it has been Chattanooga since the last good Italian.  It was a good time by the 6 of us present and the food was good.

Panama City Marina appears to be in the flight plan of a Air Force/Navy air base.  They come over fairly low and of course the jet engines are really loud.  While we were on the water today we had a chance to see the fighters making touch and goes about 5 miles east of Panama City.  We could not see the actual touch down but the drop behind the trees and then the acceleration up into the sky.  Some even looked like they might be practicing carrier landings with a tight turn right into the runway path.  Pretty neat to watch.  Look close at the photos to see the fighters.

We left about 9:00 with the skies starting to clear. and it did not take long before we had another sunny day.  the VHF today was busy with Loopers planning their crossings of the Gulf to Tarpon/Springs/Clearwater for tomorrow. The weather musings are that tomorrow will be the start of approximately 36 hour window to go with overnighters tomorrow and day lighters on Saturday. It has been stressed to be off the water by sunset Saturday because that is when the next weather front comes in and the crossing window will shut for at least 4 or 5 days.

No real traffic except for the 3 Looper boats we passed during the day.  We also passed 1 sailboat that was under power.  East Bay out of Panama City is pretty long, approximately 30 miles and it starts out fairly wide and gradually narrows down to a river that ultimately turns into an Army Corp ditch.  After the ICW ditch we entered Wimico Lake which is about 5 miles long by 1 mile wide an about 3′ to 4′ deep.  They have dredged a channel about 8′ deep straight thru the center of the lake.  This is the only are where we saw some wildlife today.  I think they were cormorants but Lenore did not agree but there were hundreds floating on the water and just trying to stay out of the boats way.

We did ass back into the Eastern Time Zone about 16 miles from Apalachicola.  We will now be on eastern standard time for the rest of the trip.  It took the Verizon Towers about 12 miles to finally recognize the Eastern Time Zone.

We arrived at the marina late in the day because of our later start and the loss of an hour.  Was not that bad and we were able to get tied up quickly and about an hour later two of the boats we had passed early in the day came in.  We had an impromptu docktails into the early evening.

We will go to Carrabelle tomorrow and if the Musings Report on Saturday is still good we will make the crossing.  Humbug wants to start on Friday about 4:00 and they are looking for 1 or 2 boats to travel with.  They will make the crossing to Dunedin at about 8 mph. Dunedin is between Tarpon Springs and Clearwater and is the site of the current sink hole in the news.