Wednesday, January 6, 2016

From Destin to Panama City, Florida

In my last post, I gave a detailed account of our dramatic exit from Destin Harbor. This is the aftermath of that adventure on our way over to Panama City.

As we turned on all the bilge pumps to help get the water out of our boat, we also assessed the damage throughout. It didn't look too bad, considering how engulfed in water we'd been. My phone, my camera, Paul's computer and our SPOT Beacon Locater had all stopped working. Our Waterway Guide was sopping wet, as well. All our cushions, and seat covers were drenched, so there was no laying down on this day journey. Paul and I both changed clothes, only to get wet all over again because every time we'd sit down, our behinds would get wet. Ah, well, may as well just go with the flow and BE WET NOW. :)

We made it over to Panama City and docked at the St. Andrew Marina. Paul decided it would be a better place to dock because of the floating docks. He didn't want to fuss with changing the dock lines at the Panama City Marina. We decided to rent a slip for a week so we could get some things done on the boat. It took almost all that time to dry out the inside and outside of the boat running our large-ish dehumidifier and our air conditioning dehumidifier all that time non-stop. Some things were a little smelly, but we sprayed with Odoban, and the smells are gone. Doesn't seem to be any mold or mildew after cleaning, drying, and spraying!

Panama City has a great city bus line that they call the Trolleys. We took them twice while there. It was a slow way to get around, but at least we were able to hit a West Marine store for a few necessities for the boat, such as vinyl clear tape to repair the Dodger, and some 3M pads for oil and fuel changes/cleanings.  One day it took us 6 hours just to pick up a few groceries at Wal Mart. But, we met some interesting people, and had some good conversations. The bus drivers, for the most part, were very helpful when we didn't know where to go or which bus we needed.

We ate at a restaurant by the Marina called Uncle Ernie's. It was maybe a short 2 block walk and the food was incredible. Paul had a burger, and I had a chicken sandwich, but when they served them to us, it looked like fine dining at it's best. When Paul and I took our first bites, we both exclaimed "YUM"!! Really delicious food, and we highly recommend it if you happen to stay at St. Andrew's Marina. Prices were about $10 - $11 for sandwiches. May sound a little high, but I promise you, this meal will excite your taste-buds!! Plus, the French fries were the best I'd had in a long, long time! I'm not a big French fry lover because usually they are served soft and floppy, soggy, too salty, not enough salt, too cold, too small, too greasy, etc. These were just perfect.

Unfortunately, my camera wasn't working while there, so I wasn't able to take pics. I did try, but none of them came out an actual picture. There are some nice things to see here, too. If you make it to PC, FL, take in their sweet Old Town. They have it fixed up very classy, with quaint shops and restaurants. Paul and I were only able to see it via inside a bus. Didn't get to step out and explore the area.

We left Panama City on Monday and sailed over to St. Joseph's point. The winds were getting quite strong, so we decided to anchor here for a day or two to let the seas calm down. The NOAA weather channel kept talking about 6-8 foot seas in the path we need to take over to Tampa. Tomorrow is a better day, weather-wise. So Wednesday, Thursday, and possibly Friday, we'll be in transit on our way from St. Joe's to Tampa Bay without any form of communication and without our SPOT locater. We will let everyone know we're safe when we reach Tampa and are within distance of a wifi signal.

In the meantime, Paul and I send our best to all of you. 
P.S. My camera has dried completely now and I believe it's working more pics to come of other places.

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