September 10th: Destin Marina to Point Washington

joans photo of me leaving destin
Leaving Destin Marina. Photo courtesy of Joan Vienot!

After a wonderfully huge and tasty breakfast, Joan drove me back to the marina so that I could finish the mileage that I was supposed to do the day before. The wind was still up so I decided to hug the coast and carefully work my way to Point Washington. Joan graciously offered for me to stay at her place another night.

Doe standing along the shore of Choctawhatchee Bay.
Doe standing along the shore of Choctawhatchee Bay.

I worked my way down the bay and ended up battling into strong winds and breaking waves. My chart was full of ominous warnings about submerged metal stakes in the bay that could potentially damage any boat that encountered them. Thankfully, I was able to avoid these even though the were not marked.

I cruised past a sunken sailboat and even saw a deer standing on shore. The bay was mostly undeveloped with just a few homes hidden amongst the pines. The wind continued to howl and my progress was agonizingly slow.

Paddling along a marsh...
Paddling along a marsh…
Sunken sailboat...wonder if he hit one of those submerged stakes...
Sunken sailboat…wonder if he hit one of those submerged stakes…

I crossed under another huge bridge and was nearly blown into a large construction barge by the wind . I swear the workers on the barge were taking bets to see if I would make it by without getting flipped by the huge wind driven waves that were rebounding off the bridge and barge.

I made it past without going over and called Joan to let her know where I was. She was worried about my slow progress and had seen the nasty conditions out in the bay.

As I slowly made my way to the public dock near her house, I saw a kayaker in the distance. The boat looked strangely familiar and I realized that it was a fellow watertriber Ken! Ken and I had paddled across the Everglades and Florida Bay in severe storms during the Everglades Challenge race earlier this year. He had been following my progress on my SPOT tracker and paddled out to meet me. He even brought me a cold

Boats at the Point Washington landing
Boats at the Point Washington landing


Gatorade. Sweet! As we paddled towards Joan’s place, he told me about how the local area was featured in the movie the Truman Show. I want to go back and watch the movie again to see if I can pick out all the places in the film. He also mentioned that some of those fighter jets that  I had seen the day before might have been looking for me…wait what?! Ken is an engineer that works with the Airforce and told the F-18 pilots he works with to keep an eye out for me…which is pretty awesome :)

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