14-NOV-2020 Saturday – East Bay, Allanton FL to St George Sound, NW end Dog Island, FL (63.6 nautical miles 73.2 statute miles)
Elevation: Sea Level
States (1): Florida
We were up at 5:30AM CST as a practice for our Dog Island to Steinhatchee Gulf crossing tomorrow. Ha. There was a time zone change near Apalachicola. Ha. We have to reset our alarm clocks to 4:30AM EST.
We’ve been debating the past few days how we are going to approach the Gulf crossing. Typically there are 11 good crossing days in November where a slower boat like ours can cross from Dog Island to either Tarpon Springs or Clearwater, 150 to 180 statute miles respectively. This year there have been none in November and it doesn’t look like there are any in the 10 day outlook. Tomorrow looks do-able for running the 70 statute mile Gulf crossing to Steinhatchee. (I hate do-able and prefer good.) We can then make southward progress by bouncing south, in two shorter open water hops, down to Tarpon Springs. We do not need to look for as large of an open weather window.
Along the Way
Today was another run on a canal through salt swamps, cypress swamps and a small lake.
Mexico Beach and Port St Joe, just south of today’s route took the eye of Hurricane Michelle in 2018. Houses have rebuilt and lives have moved on, but still there is a lot of landscape, vegetation and wildlife devastation. That Michael was one vicious storm.
Cypress swamp. The cone shaped things at the bottom near the Cypress tree bases are called knees. Their function is unknown, but they are generally seen on trees growing in swamps. Some current hypotheses state that they might help to aerate the tree’s roots, create a barrier to catch sediment and reduce erosion, assist in anchoring the tree in the soft and muddy soil, or any combination thereof.
Entering Apalachicola. Population: 2,344.
Oh what a wonderous bird is a pelican.
He can hold in is beak
enough for a week
and I don’t know how the hell he can.
These pelicans have fish cornered and are swarming in for the feast
Heading out into Apalachicola Bay
Dog Island. Tonight’s anchorage.
There is no access to Dog Island other than boat. All material for housing and food need to be boated in. The houses that are on Dog Island are on stilts. Sections of it are so narrow waves wash over it.
Final act for tonight was prepping for tomorrow 70 mile open water Gulf run to Steinhatchee. (Dale’s has a D on it and mine has an M so we can quickly identify whose is whose and get it on. No fidgeting with making them fit.)
File our float plan, final check the dingy, final check the engines and filters.
It is so unbelievably calm. There are so many, many stars.