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Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Apalachicola to Steinhatchee, marina


10 hour day today, which is really long. But we got across the gulf. So yay!

Out before sunrise
While on the dock another vessel joined us for the night (no name on the vessel and we failed to ask). They weren't familiar with the area and didn't want to traverse the dark but were happy to follow us out. That was the plan -- go time, 7 am.

We got up at 6 am (which was 5 just the day before). Sunrise would happen closer to 8 am. Which means it's quite dark around 7, not quite nautical twilight. That gave us enough time, however, to get a couple of biscuit sandwiches from the bakery next door, who opens at 6:30. We mentioned it to the other boaters who happily got a couple for themselves. Bake Apalach! They close once they're out of biscuits which, in our experience, is around 9 am.

Sleepy sun. St. George Island is on the right.
Having done that stretch a couple of times, not only did we have a Navionics route to guide us but we hand precious routes (we call them breadcrumbs) on Aquamaps. It's a 2 1/2 hour run along St. George's Island before you get the the East Inlet and hit the gulf.

All predictors said 1 - 2 foot seas on our nose until noon, then calming to still, then coming back to 1 - 2 feet on our stern around 4. It was about an hour later to get calmed, and an hour earlier to return, but we are really comfortable with stern seas. So overall the day was good to wonderful.

Pretty much the view today.
Getting into Steinhatchee is skinny and only doable for us thin boats. That said, we saw 4.5 feet beneath our keel as the lowest, which means the water is about 8 feet deep. That should work for most looper.

A pleasant surprise was the new docks at the Sea Hag. We stayed here on our way across last spring and were not impressed. The docks were rickety and a balancing act was needed to walk on them. The new docks are solid, and very easy to dock on. Last time we were here we didn't think we'd consider staying for any length of time. Totally would, now!

Utica pizza!
We ate some dinner (homemade pizza) and will get engine checks done before we go to bed. Tomorrow we'll repeat the process, heading south along the coast.

Fun fact: Between our last crossing in April and this one Russ updated our wi-fi. Last time we didn't have internet for about 2 hours. This time, I was texting my family and playing my game while 20 miles off shore. So, yay for Russ!

inQuest docked at the Sea Hag.

From Pearl Bayou --> Apalachicola

Getting up the anchor at Pearl Bayou.

You'll see a number of wrecks on either bank occasionally. This section was creamed in Hurricane Michael in 2018.

Getting on the dock at Apalachicola, in front of "The Icehouse"

Apalachicola --> Steinhatchee

Leaving Apalach in the dark. There are clusters of ivy. They weren't there when we docked.

The crossing. Just put it on repeat for 8 hours....

...then we get to Steinhatchee. Follow the skinny, narrow channel up the river, getting waked by fishing boats. Just a small looper challenge.

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