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Destin and Panama City

We departed Pensacola early on Monday, November 22nd. Our goal at this point after botching the Gulf crossing was to do day sails as much as possible. We figured this would be much more pleasant and we could see more of the panhandle of Florida. So, our next move was a day sail to Destin. We were wanting to book a night at a marina to wash all the salt off of Namid. The poor girl, she was totally covered in salt from the bimini top (roof) to every part of the deck. There was salt also all over the aluminum arch way behind the cockpit. It’s amazing how much salt gets allover everything when in .

Due to recent hurricanes in the panhandle of Florida, many marinas were closed and being rebuilt at just about every port in the area. We were able to book a night in Destin at the Harbor Walk marina. Since we are rookie cruisers, we didn’t check every detail about the marina, as far as what amenities they offer. We knew this marina was in the touristy area of Destin, and was quite expensive, so we figured it would offer laundry, 24 hour bathrooms and WiFi. Nope, as a matter of fact, our slip was also one of the two fuel docks.

Our slip for the night at Harbor Walk Marina in Destin

We were able to rinse the salt off of Namid, go out to eat, get some exercise (a long walk) and fill up our water tank. ( I had not recommissioned our reverse osmosis water maker at this time) We also slept good... so I guess we can’t complain. Namid looked way out of place at this dock. People would walk by the boardwalk and look hard, most likely wondering what in the World we were doing there. Ummm, yep, we were lost !

View Of Namid From a Restaurant at Harbor Walk Marina in Destin

The next morning ( Tuesday) we left early for Panama City to get farther East. We had a pleasant day sail and arrived around 5:00 PM. We found a good anchor spot near Saint Andrews State Park, which is on a peninsula near Panama City beach, just inside the entrance from the Gulf. I haven’t mention yet how we gather information on anchorages. We have a Garmin chart plotter ( GPS) that has anchorages on the map, along with reviews from other users. This is updated on the chart plotter when my linked IPAD is on the Internet. The reviews and accurate locations are then embedded in the chart plotter so that you can access them even you do not have Internet access. In my opinion, this pretty much eliminates the need for cruising guide books (which become dated rather quickly), at least in the U.S.A. I will plan on getting Cruising Guides when we go to the Bahamas.

Screenshot on Online Active Captain Site

The anchorage at Saint Andrews Park was a good one, despite some of the not-so-good reviews. ( Most negative reviews were for the wave action from tour boats, which didn't bother us too much on a catamaran) This anchorage had beautiful scenery and was close to a grocery store, which was handy because we were in need of some provisioning. We had to get something special because Thanksgiving was in two days. We did check on marinas in the area, but just about every marina in the area was closed, doing hurricane repairs. We did find one marina that allowed us to dock our dinghy (Small Inflatable boat) at their fuel dock long enough for us to go to the grocery store. A round trip marina-to-grocery store Uber ride was perfect for this. We were now getting used to carrying bags and making grocery lists that will fit in these bags for grocery store trips. When you have an Uber ride, you can really load up….and we did. We were amazed at how much more expensive the groceries are in Florida, compared to Texas. I guess it just goes with the territory.

Thanksgiving Dinner near Saint Andrews Park


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