Pensacola to Apalachacola, FL

We had an easy crossing from Mobile Bay into the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway (GICW). While it was slightly frustrating to wait a several days for good weather in Mobile it was worth it. The ~25 miles across the bay were completely flat, which is what we wanted.

Crossing Mobile Bay

Arriving at Pensacola we docked at Pensacola Yacht Club. Keeping our membership at Portland Yacht Club allows us to contact other yacht clubs and ask if they offer reciprocal privileges. While we may still pay for dock space at another yacht club it may be less than what we would pay at other marinas in the area and as a YC guest we have access to all of the YC facilities.

Pensacola Yacht Club

Kent enjoying a Bushwackers beverage at the PYC bar.

Penny showing us how crazy big the clam shells were in front of PYC.

While only in Pensacola for a short stay we accomplished quite a bit –
– Heather was able to get in a half marathon near Ft Walton.
– We explored the National Naval Aviation Museum where there are more than 150 aircraft and spacecraft on display.
– We climbed to the top of the Pensacola lighthouse.  
– We stocked up at the local fish market.

Could spend all day at the Naval Museum exploring it all.

Coast Guard Streamers – each one of these 43 streamers represent a battle, campaign or unit citation.

The Blue Angels are stationed nearby at Forrest Sherman Field.

Pensacola Light House, first lit in 1859.

Climbing 177 spiral stairs inside the lighthouse.

View from the top of the lighthouse.

Joe Patti’s – fresh seafood galore. It was tough to pick from it all but we decided on some local grouper and scamp.

From Pensacola we headed to Spectre Island and on our way there we had dolphins come play in our bow wake for 20+ minutes. Seeing dolphins never gets old, no matter how many times you have seen them.

Dolphins hanging out in our bow while we are moving at 7 knots.

Spectre Island was a great place to anchor after a longer than anticipated stay at marinas. It was a Sunday afternoon when we arrived so a few boats already there headed home and we had the place to ourselves.

Exploring Spectre Island.

Spectre did not disappoint with a great sunset.

Standard sunset libations & snacks.

From Spectre Island we caught up with Mike & Mary (Forever Friday) near the entrance to Destin and continued outside the GICW (running a few miles offshore in the Gulf) to Shell Island. Shell Island was stunning with pure white and fine sand. While it did not offer a lot of protection we fortunately had a calm night on the hook.

Stunning beach and a day with warm temps (finally!).

Chilling at Shell Island after getting in a long walk.

Later in the day and in a complete contrast to Shell Island we saw from our boat the destruction of Hurricane Michael which had ripped through the area 6 or so weeks earlier. Honestly it was quite hard to describe the feeling of see so many homes, businesses and even just the land impacted. But Floridians are fighters and they have already made great progress repairing and rebuilding.

Hard to believe this sailboat was sitting 150 yrds from water. The power of the storm surge from Hurricane Michael must have been crazy.

Not just small pleasure craft boats are impacted in storms the size of Hurricane Michael.

Panama City, familiar scene along the waterway here.

Thinned trees looking like broken toothpicks.

While Panama City was still in repair mode we opted to continue past and anchor for the night at a place called Wetapoo Creek. We should have been using our GoPro more in this way but check out part of today’s journey as we left Wetappo. Note all of the thinned/downed trees along the shore.

We are now in Apalachicola and wishing everyone a wonderful Thanksgiving.