We hung out all morning! Bob worked on the faucet in the kitchen and made some business calls. I did some paperwork. Around noon, we hopped in the Jeep and took the short drive of 3 miles over the Carrabelle River to the city of Carrabelle.
From the bridge, we could see the city below and its shoreline.
We entered town and started to remember those days we spent here years ago.
The town has grown a little since we’ve been here last a few years ago with new housing and businesses going in. It is still a thriving boating community. We drove through town and recognized some landmarks and places from our last visit. In the center of town, this clock still stands in the square near the fountain.
The Visitor’s Center is always a busy place. They also have some nice shops and eateries. Some are still there from years ago and some are brand new.
The Waterfront Historic District was revitalized with a new Riverwalk area and contains 2 different museums. There is a lot of boating and fishing history in Carrabelle.
Commercial shrimping boats and other fishing boats still operate out of Carrabelle.
Carrabelle holds some fond memories for us! Back in 2008, when we brought our boat down the river system from Wisconsin to Florida, we ended up spending a week in Carrabelle. It is the “jumping-off point” to cross the Gulf of Mexico from the panhandle to the mainland. Back in 2008, we stayed tied up at the dock at the Moorings at Carrabelle Marina waiting for a good weather window to cross the Gulf.
The dockmaster, Buddy, was the weather guru back then, and every boater would consult with Buddy and wait for the official “OK, it is good to go.” This was before weather forecasting apps, so everyone relied on Buddy. He was well-known in the boating community and trusted, especially with people who were making the Great Loop voyage in their boats on the ICW because this is where everyone would end up at some point. The ICW (Intracoastal Waterway) ends at Carrabelle and starts up again near Tarpon Point. Every day for a week, we’d check in with Buddy to see what the weather forecast was. The weather offshore was not cooperating and so for a whole week we waited. (I actually starting writing my first blog on that trip for my family, so they could keep track of our progress). Our visit today at the marina was very melancholy. We walked the docks and saw a boat like the one we brought down from Wisconsin docked there, except this one was a little bigger.
This is the spot that we docked and spent that week in 2008 waiting to cross the Gulf. We took up all of the space on this dock.
Luckily for any traveling boater, there was a nice IGA grocery store and ACE Hardware store right across from the marina within walking distance and it is still there today. We had no car when we were here by boat, so we walked everywhere we needed to go. We checked out the whole town on foot back then. After driving to the end of town and back today, we stopped at the grocery store. Bob wanted to make shish-kabobs tonight and he needed a couple of items. Then we went back to the marina office and Bob bought a shirt that had “the Crossing” on it. It reminded us of our trip back in 2008.
We also bought a 6-pack so we could enjoy a cold beer while sitting on the porch of the marina office watching the boat traffic. It was reminiscent of sitting on our deck at home in Palmetto overlooking the water. I guess we were starting to miss it. It was the perfect way to spend an hour in the afternoon.
We sat there for about an hour and then went back to the campground at 2:30. Once we got back, I took a walk over to the beach across the road. It was a hot, steamy day, but at the beach there was an onshore breeze that felt good.
The beach was not very crowded this afternoon as the tide was going out.
The water was very warm, like bathwater, but the sand felt good in my toes.
Once I got back, Auggie and I hung out together outside as we usually do most afternoons. A few campers arrived, but things were pretty quiet. Our next door camping neighbor never arrived in the site next to ours, so we enjoyed the view and the breeze blowing through for 3 glorious days. Later, Bob joined Auggie and I outside for happy hour. For dinner, Bob did his magic and made us those shish-kabobs with rice pilaf. They were great!
Auggie and I took our evening walk while Bob programmed the GPS for our drive tomorrow. We are going to a campground near Old Town for our last 2 nights on this trip. I wanted to spend a day swimming at Fanning Springs before heading home. We enjoyed our time in Carrabelle today.