Swing Set

Sep 20, 201201:54 PM

Swing Set: Cruising Full Time

Apalachicola To Dog Island

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Our route was only about 5 miles from Saul Creek to Apalachicola Marina. We had called, and the marina we were going to didn't have a restaurant, but we were told that there was a restaurant right next door, so we had coffee on the flybridge and planned to treat ourselves to a restaurant breakfast after getting fuel.

Jeff, the harbormaster, was waiting for us when we pulled up to pilings along the waterway; the dockage for fuel is not protected, and the tidal current was substantial, but nothing a Mississippi River boater couldn't handle. We topped off the fuel tank in the dinghy, and Swing Set only took on 17.5 gallons, as we had filled up in Port St. Joe. I had asked the price of diesel, and when I was told it was $3.99 per gallon, I wished we had waited to fill up at Apalachicola Marina instead of Port St. Joe...until I found out that the under $4 per gallon price did not include a 7-percent tax. Some places include the tax, some do not. You must always ask, which puts an undue burden on the customer.

Jeff brought out the Hooker anchor, and the size was about as close as I was going to get. The price was not the lowest I've seen that anchor online for, but it was a fair price, and getting it online would be a bigger hassle than I wanted to go through. I went into the ships store to pay and found a very neat and orderly store, full of most things a boater would need. It was a pleasant change from most "marine supply" stores we have seen, only full of candy bars and Gatorade.

Rosie joined me, and we walked over to Carolines next door to grab some breakfast. I could see tables dressed with white tablecloths through the window that spelled "high priced breakfast," and when we sat down and viewed the menu and saw $9 biscuits and gravy, I closed the menu and told Rosie that we weren't eating breakfast at Carolines. Rosie agreed that breakfast on Swing Set at the helm heading into the sunrise would be a much better idea.

We thanked Jeff for his help, cast off and headed out to St. George's Bay, following a shrimper going out to sea for the day. I followed him for a while as Rosie was mopping some dirt off the deck, as we didn't need to lose her over the side, but once she got done with that I called the shrimp boat to inform him of my intention to pass him in the marked channel and I received no response. I called Lady Thelma II once again and still received no response, so I gave two short blasts on our horn, which meant I was going to pass on his port side, and when I gave Swing Set some throttle (we were only going 5 mph or so), I saw exhaust puff out the smoke stack of the shrimper as he sped up and moved to his port to block my pass.

So, apparently, I was dealing with a jerk, one of the very few we've encountered in nearly five months. I took solace in the fact that he was going to work and we were going to play, plus I achieved our goal of speeding up to our normal 8 mph, so we sat back and watched him go out straight to the pass as we soon took a left and headed up the Intracoastal to Dog Island.

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