Making it home (after 2 months in Mexico and Cuba)
This post captures the last legs of our current (June 2016) journey which has taken us from Pensacola to Isla Mujeres (Yucatan, Mexico); then south down the Yucatan; back to Isla; across to Cuba; then returning home along the Florida west coast. Since we have now done these final legs a couple of times and written about them in previous posts, I will try to keep this short and sweet.
Apalachicola to Port St. Joe
We had a great time spending a couple of nights in Apalachicola with friends from PYC on the "PAC III" (Pensacola to Apalachicola Cruise III). We hung out with great friends Chuck and Peg from S/V Point of Sail and many others - Special thanks to Scott for again pulling this trip together. It was great to catch up with fellow members of PYC on our way home! We docked at the marina at Water Street and visited some favorite haunts, including Tamara's and Papa Joe's.
|Shrimper in the Apalachicola River|
Since daughter Helen was tagging us by car, we had a vehicle, so we took the opportunity to ferry the crew and friends to the Indian Pass Raw Bar for the best seafood and oysters. Although I must admit that on this occasion, the oysters at Papa Joe's were just as good!
|Cape San Blas Lighthouse, now at PSJ|
As stated, one of the many reasons why I love the area around Apalach and Port St. Joe is the locals. Many of the locals in our favorite bar (the Haughty Heron) remembered us from our extended stay in 2015. This is of course always nice to catch up with good friends from previous trips - this time, including Karen and Tom who now have opened a fresh seafood and coffee business in PSJ.
And did I mention we ate at Provisions Restaurant - Helen's favorite? Yes, it is now easy to remember why we got stuck here (locally known as Florida's Forgotten Coast) in 2015. And it would be so easy to get stuck here again - probably the reason why we just had to move on after 2 nights!
|Osprey nest on the Apalachicola River|
Port St. Joe to St. Andrew's (Panama City)
|Sunset over Port St. Joe Marina|
We ate on the boat as nobody had the motivation to drop the dinghy........and there was food that needed eating up.
The following morning we set out for home - the last leg.
St Andrews (Massalina Bayou) to Perdido Bay
The last leg of this trip....hard to believe! Was it a relief to be getting back or sad to be at the end of a trip? I thought I would try to capture this thought before it fades. Actually it seemed neither - perhaps some mixed emotions fueled largely by the positive emotion that it was a return to being able to catch up with great friends, family, "Salty", and being fortunate to have such a wonderful place to call "home"; but there is also a certain sadness that a great journey is coming to an end and a return to some degree of work/corporate life. Maybe it is a successful trip when the two balance? I don't know - but for those of you that can relate to what I am trying to express, well I now think I know, and have at least slightly experienced the feeling that Bernard Moitessier must have had back in 1968. If you are not familiar with Moitessier's story, its worth a moment to look it up. Moitessier's was a famous sailor who became notorious after the Golden Globe Race of 1968. He completed a circumnavigation in record time, but abandoned the race without crossing the finish line. He sailed on for another three months. Now please don't think that I am in any way comparing this trip to his accomplishment - I am certainly not, but when we crossed Big Lagoon at around 8 pm, I remembered his story and commented that I understood how he must have felt. It would have been very easy to simply continue onward
Back to reality - the wind was light and was annoyingly 20-30 degrees off our nose, meaning it would be a long slow sail.or a motor-sailing plod. We elected for the latter as storms were forecast for the following several days and there was a one-day window to make it home. S/V Point of Sail was following us and we maintained visual and radio contact throughout the day. Brian was sailing with Chuck and Peg, so we knew we would have to do a crew transfer once we were in Pensacola Pass.
We made that transfer underway right at sunset. Point of Sail headed east into Pensacola Bay and Bayou Chico, and we continued west to Perdido Bay. We fumbled our way in the dark into the narrow canal entrance and were greeted by neighbors who helped tie us up. We were off the boat by 10 pm. The trip was complete. Below is a summary of our route. According to our DeLorme (one of the best inventions since sliced bread), our total trip distance was 2,057.46 miles.
S/V Midnight Sun II
|S/V Midnight Sun II|
Copyright - Hannah Graham Photography