Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Apalachicola to Carrabelle

Oh, have I a story for you. Many, many years ago (BM - before Margaret) Gary worked at Eglin Air Force Base and whilst he was there he bought his first boat. One fine day when he had no work to do (which was often) he went boating on the Gulf Intra Coastal Waterway.  Whilst returning to the marina at night after a day on an isolated island where he skied and picnicked, Gary navigated along a deep channel which curved in the otherwise open water. Unfortunately, due to the moonless night and after swimming and having fun, Gary ran over a buoy not around it. Unfortunately for poor Gary he had with him in the boat his boss's two sons. The two boys were pleased that Gary had invited them as they had more leniency with Gary than they did with their parents on their parent's boat. Luckily, the collision did not cause any damage except to Gary's pride. And the boys - they never rode with Gary again. Now why have I bored you with this story? Well, we just had to revisit the buoy and prove that Gary really could navigate around it and not hit it. So, here is the photo of Gary with the buoy in the background. The buoy survived this time!!!! Gary did utter an excuse for his failure to see the buoy, when he hit it. He said it used to be black now it is green. (A likely story says I!!!).Maybe he was just "buoyed" up by this story.
Because I was not feeling well, Gary went for a walk around Apalachicola by himself. He came across a memorial to Vietnam Veterans. It was molded from the same one displayed by the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington, DC. It is so very life like but I did not like this statue as much as DCs due to the soldier's legs being cut off at their thighs.
We had a very good journey from Apalachicola to Carrabelle. The waves were less than 1ft so the journey was very pleasant. Once we hit Apalachicola the winds picked up and all chances of crossing the Gulf the next day were dashed. We were stuck in Carrabelle with no car and a bike with a very flat tire so had no means of transport. However, good friends Trudy and Jim, who live in Georgia 2.5 hours away came to our rescue. They drove all the way from Cairo (pronounced Cayro) to Carrabelle to take Gary and I to Wakulla Springs to see the manatees. The day was absolutely perfect - 75 degrees with bright sunshine and low humidity. We had a lovely meal at the lodge followed by a boat ride to see the manatees (NOT!!!). There were no manatees to be seen. Because of the warm day they had swam further down stream but there was lots of wildlife to be seen.

                                       Alligator taking a gentle swim.
                       Osprey abandoning his/her nest as we drove by.
I will give you a guess as to what this is a photo of. I will tell you at the end of the blog.
A pretty scene showing the colour of the water (caused by algae and tannins from the trees).
                     Anhinga drying his/her wings in the warm sunshine.
      Our goods friends, Trudy and Jim who made this lovely day possible.
We left Wakulla Springs and visited Ochlockonee (Jim has no problem pronouncing this name) River State Park where we had a nice walk and saw a white squirrel unique to Florida and North Carolina.

Two "young" ladies enjoying themselves on the swings. One "young" lady felt sick when she got off. Can you guess which one, yes me.
                                A nice photo of Gary and I (I thought).
                   I think this is a humming bird moth feeding on an azalea.
                                               Bee on an azalea.
                                              Butterfly on azalea.
After we had visited the State Park minus manatees, Jim drove us back to Apalachicola for me to take the photo I forgot to take when we were there.
I got a chuckle out of this sign. I did not see any alligators but this sign would stop me from swimming. Whilst taking the photo I noticed a pelican getting ready to go fishing. The photos themselves tell the story.
                               Pelican getting ready to dive for a fish.
Pelican with head in the water with its fish in its bill, However, a gull noticed that the pelican had caught a fish and wanted a cheap, easily earned meal.

                                      Gull still hoping for a tid bit!

Pelican swallowing his meal minus gull who gave up on his free meal.
OK, so what was the mystery photo of? An alligator's nest used last year by the alligator.
The next part of our journey should be the most "exciting" if not scary as we have to travel through the night to cross the Gulf. We estimate the journey will take approx 20 hours so wish us luck and smooth sailing.

Kingston Rover Loop Map

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