Say the name of that town 3 times fast. Our friend Ted cannot say this town and it was quite hysterical to here him try. We came up with all kinds of alternatives. Appa-Coca-Cola, Appa-Cherry-Cola, Appa-What-Ever. Hilarious!!
It was finally the day to make our way to Appalachicola. This would be our staging ground to make the big Gulf crossing. The boat was back in the water and had passed all the inspections. We were given permission to shove off. We could not have been happier or more ready. We had a buddy for this section and all of us were ready.
FINALLY!!!! 18 days later. A huge list of things fixed, replaced and a very large bill later. Boat bucks they are called! 💵💸💰
First stop was Destin Beach. As much as I wanted to explore here, I also wanted to just get moving. This was an overnight stop. We pulled into the guest slips in front of MargaritaVille Restaurant. The docks were full of tour and sightseeing boats. I thought to myself that we probably won’t sleep too well in front of this famous happening restaurant but it turned out to be very quiet. I guess it’s off season and we were one of only a few tables there that night. All good with me. We had another day to travel.
We were literally next to the restaurant and boardwalk. Would have been fun stop but I could tell this was a real party zone and honestly I was so ready to keep moving on.
We did get there in time for an awesome sunset! This is why I love this coast.
I love a good sunset! They do not disappoint!
Next stop was Panama City. We had an uneventful day in the protected ICW and pulled into a nice spot with an epic restaurant. We enjoyed a nice dinner and Ted and Andy started plotting our crossing day, looking at weather and booking a marina on the other side in Tarpon Springs.
We were parked next to a pirate ship! Kinda cool!
Next stop is Appalachicola. This is the staging ground for loopers to sit and wait out weather to make the Gulf crossing. Here or Carebelle, but honestly everyone said it was just as easy from here and the town is cool so we choose this spot. We pulled into a funky old dock in front of a seedy hotel. Ok, I’m not judging but this was no 5 star resort. I felt like I had landed in some hillbilly town and I expected an old guy in overalls to appear to check us in. That would have been better then the lady who didn’t seem to know what was up or who was who. It all worked out fine.
Aquaman in shallow water in the marshes. “Are you sure we should stay here? We might wake to the props in the mud!” We did!! But it was silty and we were fine. OMG!!!
I wish we had had another day in this town. What turned out to look like a hillbilly village happened to be the coolest place with old everything and boutiques, all closed gosh darn it!! There were cool Bars and old shit everywhere. I wanted it all. I wanted to buy everything old and banged up. What is it about old chippy wood and paint falling off do I love so much? I don’t know. The crappier it is, the more I want it. Old rusty metal and all. I walked into a liquor store with Robin that had a window full of old bottles. I wanted to pack them all up and take them. They were NOT for sale!! WHAT???? NOT FAIR!!! Totally bummed I took pictures. I tried really hard to get a few but the guy wouldn’t have it!
The town was full of shrimper boats. I wondered if we would see Forest Gump!
We walked the town and it was awesome!! It was totally rough around the edges and so fun. I loved it!
Tomorrow is a big day. We will make the 180 mile gulf crossing. People do this slowly and overnight. We decided to go fast and in the daylight hours. Curti-sea also wanted to do this trip fast so they were perfect to buddy with. Once we cross it’s all down hill. We will be in Florida and we will back in the ICW and stopping along the way at all our favorite towns. We have been looking forward to this part of the Loop and here we are, finally! So excited. Now Aquaman just has to perform at top speed for 10 hours straight. We were both nervous because the boat hasn’t been tested in a long time. We rarely go over 10 mph because you just can’t. The weather also needs to cooperate and we need to run fast and dock before dark.
Wish us luck!!!