Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Carrabelle, Carrabelle ... a little of the Big Bend ...

While Steinhatchee is a truly unique spot along the Big Bend of Florida's gulf coast, the spot at which we really wanted to linger on the hook was the barrier islands along St. George Sound.  On 13 April (Friday the 13th), we headed north with the Dolphins pod on yet another long-day's motor sail.  As usual, we had to navigate around some crab pots, but our route took us several miles off shore and we discovered we could relax, doing a little reading and throwing out a trolling line.  The fishing was particularly good, and with a planer we'd gotten at the Sea Hag Marina in Steinhatchee, we managed to pull in four nice sized Spanish Mackerels.  Ahead of us on their catamaran, Mark Bridges pulled in a Grouper as well.  After eleven hours on the move, at 1830, we finally dropped anchor at Dog Island on St. George Sound.  We are not quite sure where our fellow Dolphins found the energy, but they planned a fish fry on Gene and Jo Weatherup's ketch, while we decided to watch the sunset with a stiff drink.  I say a stiff drink, because I had developed a toothache during the day, which as the sun set was noticeably worsening.  Definitely a Friday the 13th.  But, a good martini chased by some wine with a meal was just the ticket to allow me to enjoy Dog Island's very Bahamian-like anchorage.  And the sunset was truly one of the best we've ever seen.

Saturday morning, with my tooth pain persisting, Penelope fried some fish and home fried potatoes for breakfast, and we settled into read while most of our friends got in their dinghies and took an excursion ashore.  At 1230 we weighed anchor and motored to the New River channel and up river a short way to the Moorings Marina in Carrabelle, not to be confused with the well-known Moorings charter company.  While a bit run down, the staff was super and made us all feel right at home.  On our way in, we pulled into the fuel dock and filled up with 21.5 gallons of diesel (a bit less than half a tank), then we were directed to our slip along the river, where after a couple of tries negotiating the current and wind, we managed to get in with the help of Buddy, the harbor master.  We were happy to get in ahead of the rest of the pod for we faced no line at the showers.

After we got scrubbed and put on clean attire, we walked over to the AGI super for a couple of things and then to a little gift shop where I found a pair of $7 sandals, which I can now say five weeks later turned out to be pretty comfortable - really good buy the entire.  Then the entire pod meandered down to the nearest oyster bar, Fathoms, with Mark scouting ahead on his bicycle to find it for us.  Beer, wine, oysters on the half shell and amazing Coleslaw.  Unfortunately, as the day waned, the no-see-ums appeared and we retreated to Alizee's cabin, closed things up and ran the AC.

Sunday morning I was up early, awakened before sunrise by throbbing tooth pain.  Ibuprofin every couple of hours seemed to help the pain, and I was taking Cipro, which we had on the boat as a general antibiotic.  Reading George Washington's biography made me feel a bit better, as he had terrible tooth problems throughout his life.  I cannot imagine the sort of pain he suffered during the years he was president.  Around noon we walked back down to Fathoms for another round of oysters, which except for the Coleslaw was about the only thing I seemed able to eat.  Penelope was my champion all day, cooking a wonderful fish chowder for dinner, arranging for a car rental the next morning, helping me try and find a dentist.  Our dentist back in Deland had an emergency number, but she never called back so I was stuck with the Cipro, which honestly did not seem to be killing the infection.  Anyway, I walked over to Joe and Cathy's boat Halcyon, where everyone was gathering for a Mexican dinner, and told them our plans to leave the next morning for a marina in Apalachicola and then either find a dentist there or rent a car at the airport and drive back to Deland to our dentist.

The next morning, the tooth pain was almost immobilizing.  At 0800 the dentist office in Apalachicola called and said they could see me at 1000.  We decided to get a taxi and make the appointment, which we got all set up to get us there in time, and then we saw the pod off as they were all sailing up to Apalachicola.  Then the taxi service failed, saying they couldn't get us there until 1100, at which point one of the wonderful marina staffers got on the phone and found us a local shuttle into Apalachicola.  The driver was a very nice woman, who got us to the dentist on time, waited for us and drove us back to Carrabelle via a pharmacy and minus the offending tooth.  Numbed out from the extraction, I felt a million times better.  We spent the day on the boat reading, Pen made me mashed potatoes and then scrambled eggs.  Around 1700, as the pod was all sitting down for an oyster dinner in Apalachicola, Judy Clapp called on behalf of everyone to see how I was doing, which we much appreciated. 

The next couple of days found me in recovery mode.  We watched a couple of movies from our little collection of cds, used the pain pills the dentist had prescribed sparingly, and I worked my way through a course of fresh Amoxicillin.  We were both pretty exhausted, although we did manage to get to the supermarket again, get showers, do laundry and enjoy the pelicans and other who enjoyed hanging around the boat.  Thursday morning, 18 April, Steve Cardiff knocked on Alizee's hull around 0800.  He and his friend Dick on Celestial had left the pod the day before and arrived the night before on their way back to St. Pete.  He was concerned when he saw us still in our slip and came over to check on us.  I walked down to their slip and chatted a bit before handing them their lines and seeing them on their way.  An hour or so later, we paid our bill and motored down to the anchorage at Dog Island, where we spent a beautiful day, capped off by a wonderful barbecued rib-eye stake dinner.  Clearly, my tooth problem was over.

Gotta say, this was not what we'd hoped for in St. George Sound.  We anchored out only twice, spent much too long in the Moorings Marina in Carrabelle and saw much too little of Apalachicola, all in a rather painful way.  Sadly, all we had time to do was head back south, via Steinhatchee and Cedar Key and the other stops we'd made on the way north.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home