Champ III: Going Places

The adventure starts here.

The Wharf Marina, Orange Beach, Alabama to Fort Walton Beach City Docks, Fort Walton Beach, FL — November 17, 2013

Not a good looking morning to travel.  It had rained overnight and it misted some as Candy and I diod the 6:00 walk around the marina.  The Wharf is a good place to walk with Candy. Even in the area where the stores are she has grass that they have put in as part of the landscaping.

Humbug had come in yesterday and they had Jim and Marty on board.  These are friends of Pete and Carolyn from Colorado.  They will help Pete with the overnight crossing from Carrabelle to Tarpon Springs.  Carolyn would not be able to stay up to do  a “watch” for the crossing and Humbug does not have the speed to do a day crossing.

We departed at 7:30 this morning with really gray skies and some heavy clouds.  One of the islands we passed early had some tall condo buildings and the tops of the buildings were in the clouds.  For all the ominous signs we did not have any rain.  In fact as we
crossed into Florida the sun came out and for the rest of the day we pretty much left the clouds behind us.  The Midwest and Illinois in particular were being hard hit with heavy thunderstorms and tornados so for us it was really a nice day.

The Gulf of Mexico must have been pretty rough today.  As we passed the Pensacola  Inlet there were 4’ and 5’ rollers coming in thru the inlet that made the ride uncomfortable for about 15 minutes until we were behind Santa Rosa Island.  It was interesting to note that there were several fishing boats fishing inside the inlet and not  out in the Gulf.

We did have quite a few dolphins around the boat today and they seemed a little lethargic. They would swim in the wake for a little while but we did not have a lot of jumpers and then they would fall behind.  Humbug seemed to have better luck with the
dolphins and they got a lot of good pictures.

We thought about where to stay.  Last year we had stayed at the Shalimar Yacht
Basin and we thought the docks were a little run down.  We discussed the Fort Walton Beach Docks (free) and the Fort Walton Yacht Club.  I called the Yacht Club but they only had one slip.  We decided to stop and take a look at the Fort Walton Beach Docks and then decide if we would go on to Destin.  The docks had a free pump out machine so we both used it. We decide to stay because it was easy access to the Publix grocery store and a liquor store in town.

The docks for all practical purposes have no power. They do have one duplex outlet for  20 amp power so I ran my dock line over and put on my 20 amp to 30 amp adapter.  I also split the power at the boat so both sides of the panel were powered.  We turned off the HVAC units, the water heater and the microwave.  Things are fine with the refrigerators and TV being powered.

The docks are located at a city park and that works out really nice for Candy.  We are just hoping that tomorrow when we leave that the water is not to skinny under the
boats.  Low tide is at 8:00 and we are planning on leaving about 7:30 again tomorrow.