Bravo! Adventure
December 12


Anchorage at north prong of Wetappo Creek
I hear Doug stirring a little after 6:00 AM, so I get up and do some reading. The digital alarm clock seems to be not right and I wonder if it uses the power line frequency o an internal crystal for it's time base. If it's the power line frequency, that might not be running at exactly 60 Hz for either the generator or the power invertor. On the other hand, clocks of this kind usually have a battery backup for power failure and so there must be some kind of internal time base. I reset it to agree with my mobile phone and will check it later.

Fog on north prong of Wetappo Creek

There is a little fog here, so we're not off until 7:00 local time, although we're nearly about to cross into the eastern time zone and will soon lose an hour. Jules had offered to cook breakfast again, but we have that while moving.

The plan for today is to arrive at Apalachicola early afternoon. We'll take on fuel and spend some time in the town. From "Cruising Guide to the Northern Gulf Coast" by Claiborne. S. Young: "I always think of a visit to the serene village of Apalachicola as a time warp to Florida's Victorian and antebellum past. Strolling down the village's incredibly tranquil lanes while watching the lazy sunlight play about the beautifully restored mansions and homes, it requires little effort to believe that you have somehow slipped back to a simpler, more gracious era. Apalachicola may well be Florida's best and last reminder of those now far removed times when life was a bit slower and concerns seemed less pressing."

The reason that we'll take some time here is that the next leg is the gulf crossing. The time from Apalachicola to Clearwater is about 19 hours. We want to have daylight for both the departure and the arrival, so this means crossing overnight. If we leave around 4:00 PM, we'll arrive around 11:00 AM.

The ICW west of Lake Wimico is beautiful. We see a small dolphin and lots of birds. The creeks and bayous off to the side sometimes have little shanties. We see some fishing boats. We presume that what little economy of the area exists, it is based on fishing and perhaps wood.

Doug has a Garmin hand-held GPS (global positioning system receiver) and wants to test it to see that it can serve as a backup for the gulf crossing. So we get it out, load the batteries, and connect it to the computer. It doesn't work. So we do a little troubleshooting and find that there are six possible interface standards and we found that it was set on the wrong one. So then it worked. With this and the charts alone (The charts have longitude and latitude.), we could come out of the night tomorrow morning right on course for Clearwater.

We arrived in Apalachicola around 12:30, so we had some time to visit the town before our departure. We took on fuel at Miller Marina and then moved Bravo! to another dock and walked the few blocks into town. We had lunch, and then parted ways for the next hour to explore the town. Doug went back to Brovo! for a little sleep, but ended up talking with some folks who owned a 32' Nordic Tug and were driving through.

Gibson Inn, Apalachicola, Florida

I found that we have an Apalachicolan to thank for refrigeration. Apparently this was inspired by the need to cool individuals with fevers.

We met back at Bravo! for a 4:00 PM departure across the gulf. Heavy weather was forecast and the window of opportunity would be closing soon.

Gulf Crossing

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