A special place

"If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, it is a special place where I spend my afternoon."

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Sail On

 Martha Ward is the matriarch of The Ward's Seafood House, in Apalachicola. "Miss Martha" is a working shrimp boat. When she leaves the harbor, she'll be gone for a few days. 2015 hasn't been one of the best years for shrimping they've ever had.
   When you live on an island, boats are a part of your everyday life. And, St. George Island is no exception. Work boats, motor boats, row boats, sail boats, house boats, stranded boats, and sunken boats. Some of the barrier islands that surround St. George, require a boat to be able to get to them. If you were to live, on Dog Island, about 20 miles to the west, you'd either need a boat, or catch the ferry, that goes back and forth, a couple times a day. 
  You can drive across a bridge to St. George Island. And having a boat of your own, isn't a necessity. But, in one way or another, they're still going to be a part of your every day life. Whether it's just seeing them on the water, or waiting for them to come in with a load of Apalachicola oysters, boats are a part of everyday life, if you live on an island. 
When you see the shrimp boats leaving the harbor, it's a majestic sight. Be sure to watch for their return. Shrimp doesn't get much fresher than that! 

One of the most common boats, seen around St. George Island, is the oyster boat. The men and women that work on these boats are tireless. For most, it's the only income they have.
More and more people are starting to live on their boats. Not all of them as well equipped as this house boat. Some are happy to sit in the dock, and never leave.

Summertime fun, fast boats,come and go, from the canals, where many of them stay docked, during the off season.

Some boats get beached and forgotten, only to continue to be buried in the sand, with the continuing  rise and fall of the tide.

There's something about a quiet little sail, at sunset, that gives the soul, a feeling of peace.
This is a floating laboratory. Part of the aquatic research center in Panacea. It focuses on the health of the environment, and how it's effecting sea life.

Not all boats need a motor. Kayaks can take you on a lot of adventures. The creeks and rivers around the island, are beautiful, and fun to explore, in one of these. Or, take one across the bay, to another island.  Personally, the calmer the waters, the more enjoyable, it is! 

This strange looking vessel is used to pound the posts in, when you're building a dock. It's the slowest boat on the bay, but one of the hardest workers. 

One of the most well known boats in the bay, is this fishing boat.  Thought to be a "grouper" boat, it was being pulled out to the gulf, about 6 years ago. It was to be sunk, to start a reef.  Unfortunately, it never made it to the gulf.  While being towed, it got hung up on a sandbar, out in the middle of Apalachicola Bay.  It's remained on that bar, tilting a little bit more every year. It can be seen, from the bridge, when you're driving over to St. George Island .

   No matter what kind of boat you prefer, being on the water gives you a feeling of freedom. Maybe that's  why the people of St. George Island spend as much time on their boats, as possible.