Monday morning, 11/12 we got an early start and departed Pensacola. The winds were calmer, although there was rain in the forecast for later in the day. We headed south through the bay, and got on the Intercoastal Waterway channel. It is much wider in spots than I had imagined, as it cuts through many large bays. We traveled about 50 miles through Santa Rosa Sound, The Narrows, and finally entered Choctawhatchee Bay. Destin is in a little harbor about 2 miles into Choctawhatchee Bay at the south end, next to an entrance to the Gulf of Mexico.
It was actually difficult to find an overnight transient slip, as most of the harbor houses charter boats of all kinds, and many pro fishing boats. We finally got a place at the Harbor Docks, which has their own seafood market, all freshly caught in the gulf. Needless to say the food in the restaurant was superb. I like our spot here, quiet and private, with banana trees out the back of the boat.
We got tied up and settled in, then walked to town. The rain started right as we got back, so we had happy hour on the boat, then went to the Harbor Docks Bar and talked to the locals. Once again we met some really nice people with useful info for us northerners.
This morning the wind shifted, coming out of the north which made for cooler temps, but the skies were clear and sunny. We had lunch, then walked the Harborwalk, which has everything imaginable for the tourist, from parasailing, dolphin watching, fishing charters, restaurants & bars, trendy little shops, etc. It was a fun afternoon with so much to see. Jim even got a much-needed hair cut!
I really get a kick out of the birds around here, especially the pelicans and herons. One pelican sat perched atop a bundle of life vests on a fishing boat, as if sitting on a nest. The herons don’t seem to be the least bit afraid of people, landing close by wherever they might catch a fish.
The sand is so white here it almost looks like snow. Sand fences have been erected in some places, which help keep the sand on the beach instead of blowing into the harbor. They are very reminiscent of snow fences.
Tomorrow we plan to leave this beautiful little fishing mecca, and make our way to Panama City. Destin was a very enjoyable and unique destination which I’m so glad we didn’t miss!