Location: St. Joseph Bay, Florida
Weather is everything living on a boat. In the last two days I have been in one of the most beautiful coastal areas in the US and I haven't had much fun because of, you guessed it, the weather. Twenty knots of cold wind bearing down on me from the North/Northeast. So today today I decided to provision in Port St. Joe's Piggly Wiggly, clean the boat, and get the hell out of here. So that's what I did almost. I did the Piggly Wiggly thing. That's no easy feat. I off load my dinghy by muscle alone then I use my mini boat crane to off load the Nissan 6 hp outboard motor. I hook the motor up and lower it into the water where the prop just touches the surface. For some reason today I had a fear of dropping it all the way in by accident. As I was stepping down from my boat into the dinghy, I hear a splash. I knew what that was. I sprint back to the crane and lift the submerged outboard motor back to the mother ship to rinse it off with fresh water and pull the the starter cord to blow out any saltwater they may have entered. I eventually get the dinghy working and motor off to St. Joe's Piggly Wiggly. The shallows run 200 feet from shore, so I pull my pants legs up, take off my shoes and wade to shore pulling the boat behind. I anchor the dinghy and go grocery shopping. Luckily the store is just two blocks away. Groceries in my shopping cart, to my dinghy, to my boat, and finally in the frig and cabinets. It takes some effort. Now for the clean the boat thing. That is more fun and satisfying. I like to clean. It's not just cleaning a boat. It's like cleaning your brain too. It's just makes the head feel good. And that's when I noticed it. The weather was actually starting to look pretty good. The winds and died and the sun came out from the behind the clouds and started to warm the boat, body, and soul. That's where the almost comes in. Instead of getting the hell out of here, I weigh anchor and motor over to St. Joseph Island State Park and Wilderness. I anchor 300 yards off the beach, jump in my kayak and paddle into shore. I am the only one around. The sun is out, its perfect weather, the bay is glass, and I am feeling good. I hit the shore running. Literally. I pull my kayak onto the beach and take off running, barefoot, no shirt just shorts, and run down the beach for a mile until I reach the north point of the island. I am skipping over dead horseshoe crabs that have washed up on the beach, I watch the fish dart as I startle them, I smell the aromatic pines that line the shore, watch the sea birds work the shoreline for food. There is so much to see and to feel on this run I don't notice my fatigue. I make the point and run back to my kayak as the sun dips lower, now touching the tops of the pines. It's beautiful.