After taking Sunday and Monday to reprovision, do some laundry and run a few errands, we pulled out of Panama City just before 7 am on Tuesday morning. Our destination for the day was Joe’s Bayou in Destin, Florida, where some new friends, Jack and Candis Wilson, had invited us to stay at their dock whenever we came through the area. We had met Jack and Candis while at the Vinoy Marina in St. Pete and enjoyed a few cocktails with them one evening aboard their vessel, After Five, a 50-foot Marquis.
Instead of traveling on the ICW, we decided to take the outside route. We had hoped that the wind would stiffen up a bit in the afternoon, but it wasn’t enough to help the ride. The seas were about 2 to 3 feet, but very “rolly.” We did have some fun catching several frigate mackerel along the way – not good to eat, but great fighters. We caught and released four of these guys and a fifth (we presume it was of the same type) got away.
About 3 pm we sailed under the 50-foot bridge at the Destin inlet. There we saw After Five anchored near Crab Key, a popular local swimming spot. Jack hailed us on the VHF and said they would escort us to their dock. They patiently waited for us (their boat can travel 40 mph where we go along about 6 mph) and we followed them into Joe’s Bayou. Imagine our surprise as we came around the bend and realized that they had pulled into a dock in front of a gorgeous mansion! Yes, that was our home for the night.
Our hosts graciously invited us up to the house for some wine and hors d’oeuvres as soon as we were settled in. Candis had a meeting at 5 pm with some people that were going to supervise the staff at a charity event in their home later in the month. Maureen enjoyed following along and listening to the conversations about the table settings, appropriate glassware, decorations, serving the wine and the eight courses, etc. Before going back to our boat for the evening, Jack gave us a tour of their lovely home. It was, without a doubt, the most beautiful residence we had ever seen.