Apalachicola, FL & Crossing the Gulf

Apalachicola was a great town to wait for good weather, good thing because we were there a full week. It is a small town, ~2,500 people and it is still very much recovering from Hurricane Michael. Of course there was the damage done from the wind but the Apalachicola River also flooded, leaving the downtown businesses to deal with a lot of water damage. The good news is small businesses have been reopening and residents are getting back to “normal”.

Flooding on top of the wind damage made for a lengthy recover in Apalachicola.

Again, the town is trying to get back to “normal”, there was a great turn out to see Santa arrive. He was of course in a shrimp boat. Note that Forever Friday and Heartbeat are in the background at anchor.

Santa Comes to Apalachicola

We were happy to support the breweries and restaurants in Apalachicola knowing what they had gone through. There was no shortage of good food and live music to keep us entertained. Penny also loved this town because it is super pet friendly.

Kent, Mary & Mike (Forever Friday) and Heather at Oyster City happy hour.

John and Kent showing off their new Bowery Station hats aka their BS hats. There was some great music to be had here.

Penny enjoying the “pet friendly” privileges – she was able to sit under almost every restaurant and brewery table with us.

Apparently “pet friendly” also applies to raccoons, this 3 month old was with his owner almost every time we went into Apalachicola Ice Co.

Fun fact – More than 90% of Florida’s oyster production is harvested from Apalachicola Bay so if you have ever eaten an oyster while in Florida it most likely came from Apalachicola.

Gulf Crossing –

As for the weather, we needed 2 “good” back to back weather days to travel ~170 statute miles across the Gulf to Tarpon Springs. We left Apalachicola in the morning on 11/28 and headed up to the Carrabelle area where we anchored off of Dog Island for several hours. We got in a decent walk onshore and saw some pretty cool history unearthed from Hurricane Michael.

In 1899 a hurricane sunk several ships. In 2018 hurricane Michael moved them onshore.

We departed Dog Island at 4pm to ensure that we arrived the following day in Tarpon Springs during daylight hours. Arriving too early means you do not have good visibility to see (and stay out of) the numerous crab pots that are draped across the water 30 miles out from Tarpon Springs.

Crab pots here, there, everywhere.

 As for our crossing we traveled with Mike & Mary (Forever Friday) but there were probably 15 or more Loopers doing the same route at various speeds over the 2 day weather window. Some “go fast” boats can cover the distance in under 10 hours in all daylight. For us it took 19 hours at an average speed of 7.5 knots. We chose to follow a 2 hr on/off rotation, one of us would be driving (ok, adjusting the autopilot ever so slightly) while the other rested.

Heartbeat at sunset crossing the Gulf.

To get an idea on where we crossed the Gulf check out our path by clicking on the “Track Us” button.