We’re back.

Things we are remembering about Florida:

  • Salt water means salt on the boat
  • Salt on the boat means scrubbing her down after each travel day
  • EST (Most of the Panhandle is CST, but it changes around St. Joe’s River)
  • Fresh Florida oysters
  • Palm Trees
  • Dolphins
  • Big Water
  • Tides
  • Confused seas
  • Crab pots
  • It’s BIG!
Two Georges Marina, Shalimar, Florida

We left Mobile last Sunday- Crossed the Bay into the Gulf ICW. Mobile Bay is a tiny version of the Gulf of Mexico. We expected a pretty easy crossing however; the weather forecast and the weather didn’t agree. Instead, we had 4+ foot waves when we left the Dog River and turned into the Bay. Theres no turning back. The silver lining was that everything subsided gradually and we just eased into a beautiful afternoon and evening. A day with dolphins, eagles, king fishers, pelicans, herons, and a spectacularly beautiful anchorage at Ingram Bayou in Elberta, Alabama.

Welcome to Ingram Bayou.
Sunrise as stunning as sunset.

The rivers into Florida are big and Florida bays are big too. But, the inlets remind you that theres a small ocean off your starboard side and that you are a speck of life out there.

Irene. Destin, Florida. Photo credit to Tom on Long Recess.

Nights two and three were at Two Georges Marina in Shalimar. night four, was an anchorage a couple miles east of Panama City. We had to find a place we could tuck into and out of a strong northeast wind and we did. Anchored at Parker Bayou, a few miles past the center of Panama City. It felt great to drop anchor after and 8.5 hour day. Thanks to the dolphins for entertaining us throughout the day.

Parker Bayou
Florida Panhandle landscape.

We pulled out at sunrise to head to Apalachacola, FL. 60+ miles east into the wind against foul current. S-L-O-W. about halfway time changes from Central to Eastern. Not sure we gained or lost anything.

Godspeed to this guy!
Gulf Intracoastal, somewhere between Destin and Apalachacola.

The Gulf Intracoastal runs all the way from Texas to Carrabelle, Florida. Apalachicola is the last second to last stop along the way. It’s a cool little town with a Main Street, a narrow creek with narrow docks. It gets very shallow from here out and you have to be very cognizant of the tides. (Thank goodness for GPS!)

Sunrise, Apalachicola River. The marshes remind me of the Sweetgrass in Georgia. I hope it’s Sweetgrass.

We crossed the big Apalachicola Bay on Thanksgiving morning, to the last stop of the Gulf Intracoastal and our last stop (literally where the GIW ends) before crossing the Gulf of Mexico, Carrabelle, Florida. We are watching a variety of weather sites to determine when the best and safest window is for us to cross. The Gulf thinks it’s an ocean and believe me, it can get very rough out there. We are staying The Carrabelle Moorings Marina and each afternoon there is a Captain’s meeting to discuss departures and to “team” up. There’s no cell service out there so boats use a specific VHF channel to communicate with one another while crossing. Currently, it looks like Sunday is our best weather window. If that holds, we will anchor out at Dog Island, next to the inlet, and get a dawn start for the 80 miles from here to Steinhatchee.

If you look closely you can see the opening, the inlet, we will take to enter the Gulf of Mexico~~~

Super grateful to be right here, right now. I’m good waiting until Sunday to leave. Traveling from sunup to sundown is exhausting. It is beautiful and exciting (sometimes) as well, but it takes a lot of stamina and focus to navigate and do all the things that need to be done. David says, “Not many people could do this trip”. I believe it because it’s not really “a trip” in the traditional sense. It’s more like a mission where you have to cross a lot of boundaries, learn things you never thought you needed to know, see things you never imagined, face your fears (which you made yourself), raise your frequency, recognize you are a spirit keeping a body alive, and there are extended periods of absolute quiet. It reminds me of a metaphor where water and waves are symbolic of change. Amending my way, but it goes something like this: Imagine that each day is like a tidal wave and you get to encounter all that the wave brings to your shore, and the wave recedes and it takes away things you thought that you needed but never needed, and it keeps crashing like this, day in and day out; it changes what you see. And everything is impartial, sun shines where it shines, waves hit where they hit and reshape the shoreline, and things get swept away. We are in change with all that we witness. Another moment, another miracle. Life is the best teacher you’ll ever have.

This morning’s view from Irene on the dock in Carrabelle.

That’s it for now from Betheship– Alive and well in a buoyant world!

It’s officially time to listen to Christmas music xoxo

10 thoughts on “Florida.

  1. Kathie Desautels

    Love reading all of your words. They are constant reminders how fragile and precious life…..earth….and the universe are! Thank you! Love you two to pieces!!❤️🙏😘

  2. kathyyost01

    Happy you are back in Florida!  I am very aware that you are not home yet and big water and many more challenges lie ahead.  You are at the top of my daily prayers and I am praying for a smooth and safe crossing on Sunday❤️

    We missed you at Tom and Diane’s at Thanksgiving and we all were thankful that your epic adventure is nearing an end.  George and I are looking forward to pampering you both over Christmas, good food, good wine even a stiff drink or two🌞.  What ever your heart desires.  Long embraces, heartfelt chats, laughter and love. I love your voice the tempo of your beautiful writings range from lively “Allegro” to the “Lento” to move more slowly.  It is very interesting to me to always hear the “”Fermata”. “Birdseye symbol” to pause.  Anyway when I hear your voice the thunder of it deepens.  When I am reading and listening to your voice I am anxious to hear the  “Ritenuto” where you slow down, pause and regain the energy to build again. Fly safely over these waters my precious songbird and return to us to tell your story. All my love.  Kathy ♥️ 

    Sent from Yahoo Mail for iPad

  3. perkks

    I hope you enjoyed your Thanksgiving travels. I have been wondering if you got a Thanksgiving dinner?
    I am still on the west coast enjoying being with kids snd grandkids. We had s wonderful celebration ♥️
    Looking forward to seeing you in Florida…you are getting closer 🥰
    Stay safe. Love you, Patty

    1. betheship Post author

      Your trip looks wonderful ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ Beautiful kids!!! PS: David had a turkey sandwich and I had cheesy grits 😂
      Safe travels to us all xoxo

  4. Wendy Hobbins McGrath

    So extraordinarily grateful for your presence in my life and the gift of your teaching. Here’s a little poem gift for you 😉 It seems to me to fit with this post.
    MINDFUL by Mary Oliver
    Every day
    I see or I hear
    that more or less

    kills me
    with delight,
    that leaves me
    like a needle

    in the haystack
    of light.
    It is what I was born for–
    to look, to listen,

    to lose myself
    inside this soft world–
    to instruct myself
    over and over

    in joy,
    and acclimation.
    Nor am I talking
    about the exceptional,

    the fearful, the dreadful,
    the very extravagant–
    but of the ordinary,
    the common, the very drab,

    the daily presentations.
    Oh, good scholar,
    I say to myself,
    how can you help

    but grow wise
    with such teachings
    as these–
    the untrimmable light

    of the world,
    the ocean’s shine,
    the prayers that are made
    out of grass?

    Love you so much! Godspeed Irene!

    1. betheship Post author

      I love this so much…She captures how I imagine remembering being, is described; rather than a list of accomplishments. Thank you 🙏🏽
      Love you. I imagine you as energy, present always— a shining bright white light of peace, healing, and grace. Lucky me to know you 🤟🏽


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