Maureen was up early getting some laundry done. While she was putting clothes away in the boat, she heard Gale calling to her and looked outside to see him riding by on a 3-wheel bicycle with Lucy in the rear basket! He said, “Let’s go explore the area!” We headed to the marina warehouse and signed out the other 3-wheeled bike and left about 10 am. It was sunny, the temperature was in the 60’s and there was very little wind. Perfect conditions for an adventure like that!
We decided to find Windmark Beach which was the location for “Barktoberfest”, an event sponsored by the local Humane Society and scheduled for tomorrow. If we were going, we wanted to be sure we knew where it was! We first located the hardware store so Gale could pick up some miscellaneous supplies, and then headed out on Highway 98 across the canal to find the beach. Along the way, we stopped at a gas station to use the bathroom, pick up a snack and make sure we were headed in the right direction. Just before the bridge over the ICW, we stopped at a pottery, plant and gift shop and spoke to the proprietor about the beach and whether there were any bike paths we might use. She came outside to visit and gave us a lot of good information about Port St. Joe, the beach, and biking nearby. We followed her directions and found the Windmark development. It was a good thing we were armed with additional information, because we might have thought we had entered the “Twilight Zone.” We found beautifully maintained paths along the beach, boardwalks, wonderfully manicured landscaping, even a little “downtown” with shops, restaurants and a fitness center for this village – but there were virtually no houses and very few people!!
We knew there was a restaurant in the village square and it was about lunchtime, so we went in search of the eating establishment. We found the restaurant “School of Fish” and Gale went in to see what they had to offer while Maureen remained outside with Lucy. He came back out with a menu and said they would prepare anything we wanted for carry out. In the restaurant he found three chefs, two waitresses and zero patrons. Very strange – but I guess the place had been open only a few months.
After sharing a sandwich, we rode down to the beach. It appeared that it was groomed every morning, but the only tracks in the sand besides our own, were of the crabs, shore birds and a raccoon. The critters must think they’re rather special to have a groomed and deserted beach to use!
On our way back to the marina, we stopped at a housing development we’d noticed earlier called Barefoot Cottages. Again, we found ourselves in the “Twilight Zone” with a few more people about. There were three cottages with signs indicating they were open model homes, so we ventured inside and inspected each of them. These were the type of cottages we could see ourselves in someday. We stopped at the “Office” and found the agent in charge of renting the homes for owners. She said they had 92 units and only 30 of them had been sold. There were plans to build 20 more, but she didn’t know when, or if, that would ever happen.
We were back at the marina by mid afternoon As we were walking down the dock by Final Decision, we talked to Terry who let us know that we had missed the manatee! Evidently the marina has a resident manatee that nobody talks about. We think there are some laws on the books in Florida that make it illegal to run boat props when manatees are present.
Gale wanted to do a yoga workout at the gym before dinner so while he did that, Maureen got the computers out again and kept on working. Upon his return, he said there was a singer setting up at the Dockside Café and it would be fun to walk up there and listen for awhile. The singer was quite good – and so were the stuffed mushrooms. As we were enjoying the evening, Terry from Final Decision came by to grab a beer. He sat with us for a few minutes while we listened to the entertainment and got to know him better.