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Boating in the Panhandle

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Old 09-02-2019, 05:59 PM
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Default Boating in the Panhandle

Have been visiting the Destin & 30A area over the past few years in as much that we are considering more long term stays. Considering bring the boat down (39'CC) and exploring from Dauphin Island over to St George Island. Looking at the Navigation Charts and poking around over various sites it appears there are places you can beach your boat in the GICW and enjoy the white sand beaches. If anyone has resources or sites they share I would welcome any information they have. Kind of a bucket list to start in the Panhandle and work our way down to the keys.Thanks
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Old 09-02-2019, 08:05 PM
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I’ve explored from Port St Joe all the way to Dauphin Island in a 24 Pantera. The water and the beaches are awesome.
Get a Maptech cruising guide and chart book for Florida. I found them both to be very helpful. I would read them at night months before a trip to farmilliarise myself with the area.

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Old 09-03-2019, 06:58 PM
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I love Fla and never explored the pan handle and is on my A list.

Please keep us posted of what you find.

I lived in Cape Coral on west coast a yr and Sebastian on east coast 9 and heard nothing but good.
As in, vacationing, living both.
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Old 09-03-2019, 11:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Zach F100 View Post
I’ve explored from Port St Joe all the way to Dauphin Island in a 24 Pantera. The water and the beaches are awesome.
Get a Maptech cruising guide and chart book for Florida. I found them both to be very helpful. I would read them at night months before a trip to farmilliarise myself with the area.

Perhaps you can provide some pics, it's amazing how little 1st hand information is out there, although the Hull Truth i'm discovering does have a few things from the sailboat folks.
.
I have been looking over the NOAA GICW charts for past week and reading other info as I can as u suggested. We're leaving for Destin in a few weeks and going to check out a couple of Marina's in Destin and Panama City. Plan is to do this in Sept/Oct 2020.
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Old 09-18-2019, 06:12 AM
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Summer 2016 is when I went from Port St Joe. All the way to Pensacola. About 120 miles one way.

My my family had a beach house rented in Mexico Beach for the week. I went down a couple days early and did a little exploring.

St. Joseph Bay was pretty much where I started. It is a nice, protected on three sides, area. From the bay, I took the “ditch” 20 miles over to St Andrews Bay (Panama City area). The ditch is pretty neat. It’s a man made canal connecting a bunch of different bays. Maybe 150 feet wide. I blasted through there at 50-60 the whole time.

i did not do much exploration in St Joseph Bay. I was just passing through. On the way back I did stop at a nice marina for a fuel up and bought a hat. St Andrews Marina it was called. I got a lot of weird looks when I pulled up in my little Pantera.

From St Andrews Bay I hit the Ditch again. 20 miles later and I entered Choctawatchee Bay (Destin area).
i did a little looking around when I got near Destin. Funny story: I was by myself so my plan was to find some cool people at Crab Island, tie the boat up to theirs, and party for a bit. I herd some Kid Rock coming from a white center console and figured that was good enough. I hollered out to them and let them know I was coming in for a landing. My approach was perfect, just a little touch of reverse and... NO REVERSE! Seriously, the first time this problem ever pops up was when I needed it to work the most. I coast in like a jackass with my arms in the air, yelling out, “I got no reverse!”, and “donk”. The boats kinda bump off each other. No damage but I felt pretty stupid. I had him point my nose out into the direction away from all the boats so I could get the F out of there and dig into my issue. Pop the hatch and adjusted a little shift linkage and all better. That was the first and only time that happened. So rather than stopping at crab island, I went on...

From Choctawatchee Bay I entered Santa Rosa sound (fort Walton area also called “The Narrows”) around that time they were celebrating the Billy Bow Legs Pirate Festival. There is a big raft up on a sand bar in there. I did not stop in but I should have. Looked like a blast.

15 miles later I got into the Navarre Beach area. Pretty cool spot. This is where Jusnna’s Pagodas is located. It’s a huge Tiki hut. I was going to stop in but it had been a long day and I was still butthurt after the crab island incident so I went on.

17 miles later I got to Pensacola. I tucked the boat in a marina for the night. I found a garden hose to do a fresh water flush. Turns out, the hose and the boat I’m tied up next to are owned by Super Bowl Champ David Tyree. He not so kindly let me know that the hoses here are not for public use. He should have thanked me for rolling it up better than the last guy who used it.

That evening I took a cooler down to the beach, drank some beer and took a nap. I fully expected to get drunk and sleep on the boat all night. Turns out that I met a nice girl who let me sleep with her that night in the condo her and her friend were renting. I got a shower and a warm bed plus other stuff that night.

The next morning I got up and did the whole thing in reverse order.
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Old 10-02-2019, 06:04 AM
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Old 10-02-2019, 06:05 AM
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These pictures are from summer 2018 around Orange Beach Alabama.
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Old 10-02-2019, 09:50 AM
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I am subscribing to this thread. I am moving back to Perdido Key-the north side between Perdido and Ono Island Alabama. I'm looking forward to gaining knowledge from all of your Panhandle experiences. Once I get settled my dock will be open for visitors. I am looking forward to rafting up on the beautiful beaches / Islands.
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Old 10-10-2019, 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted by F14A water jet View Post
I am subscribing to this thread. I am moving back to Perdido Key-the north side between Perdido and Ono Island Alabama. I'm looking forward to gaining knowledge from all of your Panhandle experiences. Once I get settled my dock will be open for visitors. I am looking forward to rafting up on the beautiful beaches / Islands.
You and I will be neighbors! We love that area and hope to retire there one day (soon). Right now we live in Birmingham and travel down as often as possible. Hopefully we can hook up one day. Our ride is a Baja 252. You will see us out there.

Dan
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Old 10-10-2019, 12:32 PM
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Looking forward to seeing your Baja. We have a decent ramp close to my house and our dock is always open to tie up.
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