White City to Carrabelle

The dock at White City was great as usual. This is a nice park with picnic pavilions, a playground, barbecue pits, trash cans and rest rooms but no showers. The boat ramp does not seem to be used more than occasionally. The docks are in pretty good shape but some construction is going on. The seawall on the point is getting ready to fall into the canal and they are working on that. Some other work is being done also and large equipment and lots of workers are going from 8AM till about 7PM but after that it is quiet and peaceful. Even the 73 foot bridge next to us does not seem to have much traffic. There is a convenience store a mile or so down the road but it sells pretty much just beer, soda and snacks, the three major food groups. They also sell gasoline. We both had a really good nights' sleep and needed it after the crossing. The next morning we slept late and did not get under way until about 10:30 AM. It did not matter since our next anchorage was only 15 miles away.

This section of the waterway is very much like its counterpart in the Carolinas. The waters are deep and lined with beautiful cypress and pine forests with the occasional palm tree. There is still very little boat traffic at this point. We have to remind ourselves that this is indeed Florida but has not yet been developed to death. 15 miles down the waterway we arrived at Saul Creek and our destination for the day. We have anchored here before and it is very sheltered and quiet with cypress all around us. As we came in and dropped anchor we spotted a gator swimming back and forth along the shore line, which is very close, and we could swear he was licking his lips. It was, after all, lunch time. We spent another quiet night tucked into this narrow creek and other than us, the gator's and some very vicious flying insects, it seemed the rest of the world was far away.

The next morning we headed out and made Apalachicola at about 10 AM. We stopped for fuel at Miller Marine, which is right on the waterway next to a high rise bridge. Diesel here was $4.61 a gallon plus sales tax and we filled up both fuel and water tanks. Soon we were back on our way and heading across Apalachicola Bay then into St. George Sound. The channel in the bay is very narrow and quite shallow outside it. As we headed out into the sound, a parade of boats was heading in, including two large shrimp boats, one towing the other. Care needs to be taken in navigating this channel since a fair side current constantly tries to pull you out into shallow water. We found the channel deeper on the green side than the red. After going under the 65 foot bridge that leads over to St. George Island, at around 1 PM we turned off the channel and headed south a short distance to anchor behind the island. There are large beautiful homes here with white sandy beaches. To our surprise we had a hard time getting the anchor to set. It took 3 tries in 3 different spots before we finally got it to hold. We were also pleased to find we had a WiFi hotspot here so we could get some computer work done. The waters in this area are a lot shallower than we have been used to for a long time. Once we had the anchor set we settled in and shortly after a wind switch we found we were sitting on the bottom at low, low tide. Oh, well, this is not the first time and probably won't be the last. The tide will be up in a few hours and by tomorrow AM when we leave we will be on a rising tide with enough water to get going.

As usual, things did not quite work out as planned. By 10 PM the tide had come up, but we were still sitting on the bottom and the depth sounder was still reading the same. The wind had switched to the NW where we were totally exposed to the sound and pushing us back on the shoal. So in the dark, we pulled up the anchor, throttled off the shoal and moved out about a quarter mile into deeper water. Because we had problems initially setting the anchor we were concerned, but it seemed to bite and we felt better being out of the shallow water. The rest of the night went fine.

A short 10 mile run in the late morning brought us to a lovely cove on the west end of Dog Island. The white crescent beach on the sound side and the just as white beach about a hundred yards across the barrier island on the Gulf side reminded us why we do this. There are several homes here on the island but the only way to get here is by boat, no roads or bridges. What a great spot, but we always think about how exposed it is to storms especially since this is the first day of the 2008 hurricane season. Since we arrived at about lunchtime, (there seems to be a pattern here) we had some lunch, launched the dinghy, fixed a problem with the outboard, and went ashore to stroll on the Gulf side beach and do some shelling (which was great!) We were dive bombed by terns and realized we had wandered too close to their nesting area, so we turned and walked the beach the other direction. We can't say enough about this spot and unfortunately we will only be here over night if the forecasts hold, (yeah right). Our plan is to leave here around mid day tomorrow, Monday, and head straight for the Florida Barge Canal near the Crystal and Withlacochee Rivers. It looks like we will either have a great sail or be motoring all the way.

1 comment:

  1. Hey guys,

    I'm enjoying your blog. We are local cruisers (we have a 36' trawler) out of Carrabelle. I'm also a fishing guide in the area. If you come back this way, I have good numbers on how to get into the small basin near Rattlesnake Cove behind St. George, not much shelter from the N, but the best anchorage on the island, such as it is.

    You can e-mail me if you like at megalops@comcast.net

    Doug Cole
    Wakulla Springs, FL


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