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  Cruise Report (Apalachicola to Lake Seminole and return)

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Author Topic:   Cruise Report (Apalachicola to Lake Seminole and return)
Clark Roberts posted 04-11-2000 09:55 AM ET (US)   Profile for Clark Roberts   Send Email to Clark Roberts  
On Wed, April 5th, we trailered four Whalers of the Spruce Creek Navy from Daytona Beach to Apalachicola, Florida. After a long 350 mile trip we arrived at the Bay City Lodge, a nice, full feature marina, and launched the boats and checked into our rooms. The boats were as follows: a 17 Montauk with 50 Merc (Bill Clark); a 17 Newport with 90 Johnson (David Day); a 17 ss Limited with 90 Yamaha (Richard Rosier) and my 21 Revenge with 135 Merc. After a great meal at the "Boss Oyster" in downdown Apalach we hit the hay just itching to get on the water early next day! Great weather, four Whalers, and 140 miles of beautiful Apalachicola River.. Ahhh.. what could be better!!!??? We headed north to Lake Seminole, the impoundment formed by daming up the Chattahoochee and the Flint Rivers at a point where Georgia, Alabama and Florida meet. Our speed was about 25 mph and really comfortable! We stopped in at Dead Lake for a picnic and got to the lock at Chattahoochee, Fla. about 6 hrs into the trip. Then we traveled accross Lake Seminole to the Ga. side and checked in
at the Seminole State Park cabins.. really nice two bedroom, first class accommodations!
We fueled up and everyone got great mileage.
I logged 142 miles on my Sitex 180 and others had about the same reading.. the champ on mileage was, you guessed it.. the Montauk with the 50hp... it took on 19 gals!
The others were: 90 Johnson/17 Newport @ 26 gals; 135 Merc/21 Revenge @ 26 gals; and the 90 Yamaha/17 ssLtd @ 28 gals. We were all pleased that mileage/range was not a limiting factor on this trip.. there was no fuel for the entire 142 miles! We had steak on the grill for supper and on Friday we all cruised up the Flint River to Bainbridge, Ga. (approx 40 miles) and walked around the town. It's a beautiful, small south Ga. town with a courthouse square, flowers, nice old homes, friendly people.. etc... we ate a late lunch at a great little cafe on the square and bought some more steaks for Dave to grill for supper! We got back to the cabins and left for return trip to Apalachicola next morning... Trip back was great and we had the current with us! We had a real ball, no engine problems or problems of any kind.. when we arrived back at the Bay City Lodge in Apalachicola a front was beginning to come through. We got the boats on their trailers just before the wind picked up and it got really gusty... supper again at the Boss Oyster (great oysters as you probably guessed!) and trailered home next morning, Sunday. When I'm on a cruise with my Whaler, I'm always kind of sad when it's over, but then I start thinking about the next one and things look really bright again. The only thing that would have made this trip any better is if all you guys had been along!! Hey, pass the spam and crackers!! Happy Whalin'.. Clark
Ed Stone posted 04-12-2000 06:13 AM ET (US)     Profile for Ed Stone  Send Email to Ed Stone     
Hey clark,
Sounds like a lot of fun!That 135 is good on gas.Did you take any pictures that you could post on cetacca?
See Ya Ed Stone
Clark Roberts posted 04-12-2000 09:47 AM ET (US)     Profile for Clark Roberts  Send Email to Clark Roberts     
Ed, lots of pictures and video were taken . I will get some together and send them in.
A little "arm chair" cruising never hurt anyone! I'm sure that Tom (Big Z) Zeno will have a great cruise report after he takes that big 27' up the ICW from my dock to NJ.
Now that's a cruise!!!!!! Keep on Whalin'..
Clark.. aka... The Old Man and the Sea
jimh posted 04-14-2000 11:53 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Clark,
Your cruise up the Apalachicola River brings back memories:
In the fall of 1995 my son Jay was a Freshman at Florida State University in Tallahassee. Chris (my wife) and I went down to visit him in March of 1996.

He'd been pretty much confined to campus since he didn't have a car. We decided we had to get out of town and explore the surrounding area, and Chris spotted the "Ft. Gadsen State Historic Site" on some brochure we'd picked up. The literature described the importance of the fort in controlling traffic on the Appalachicola River way back when..."Imagine a Fort on the banks of the river..." it began.

So we took about an hour long drive down there from Tallahassee, expecting to find a restored fort to look around. We were quite dissappointed to find an empty field. "Site" is the key word here: the fort is gone, all that remains is the "site" of the fort. We had a good laugh about getting snookered into a 2-hour drive to look at a grassy riverbank were a fort once stood.

During the 15 minutes or so that we were there, we didn't see a sign of any boat traffic, however we could imagine the importance of the waterway in the old days prior to rail and road construction. But as we stood there, observing the river, I couldn't help but think how it would be a great place to cruise in a small boat.

Hearing about your cruise, I now know my instincts were right! And, if our timing was a little better, we would have been standing there to watch your flotilla of Boston Whalers come by!

--jimh

Clark Roberts posted 04-15-2000 12:25 PM ET (US)     Profile for Clark Roberts  Send Email to Clark Roberts     
Jim, your instincts were "right on". We saw only a couple of other boats in the entire 140 miles and they were local fishermen. And no commercial traffic..There are only 3 bridges (Hwy 20, US 90, & I-10) and no towns on the banks... only one deserted sawmill! The Apalachicola River is part of the intracoastal waterway and handles barge traffic to the distant upstream port at Columbus, Ga. That's about 250 miles from the gulf! I have made the entire trip and it's a great cruise. At Fort Gaines, on the Chattahoochee River, there is a lock which has a lift of 100' and takes you into Lake Eufaula. This lake is about 30 miles long and has some very nice accommodations at either Georgia or Alabama state parks... BTW, we stopped at Ft. Gadsten but didn't go ashore. I have visited it by land and you are so right, not much to see, but was an important place when Florida became a territory. If anyone wants to make the trip, I'll do it again or at least share the info on accommodations and routes...etc... Jim, you are doing a great job with this forum and I'm sure all will share in my "hearty Thanks" to you! Happy Whalin'..Clark...Spurce Creek Navy

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