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St Andrew Bay, Panama City FL

Adam came up with an idea for Emma’s birthday, to rent a pontoon boat and head out on the relatively calm water of St Andrew’s Bay.   I had gotten up early to do some work, so by the time we were ready to head out at about 11 a.m., there was enough work behind me to justify blowing off the rest of the day and hitting the water.

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From the state park you can rent boats for the day and roam around the bay, stopping off at Shell Island and snorkeling in the sandy shallows.   Since we had a reliable captain with us (pictured above) who today has turned eight years old, and the weather was fine, it seemed like an ideal thing to do. So we packed up our gear, some food, and a lot of sunscreen, and took off.

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Shell Island is fairly good for shelling, but not amazing.   The island is an uninhabited   sand barrier facing the Gulf of Mexico, with green water and dazzling white sand on the Gulf side, and yellowish sand on the Bay side.   It’s an easy place to chuck out the anchor and wade to.

A bit further east we found the sandy snorkeling spot that we’d heard about.   (Approximate coordinates:   30 ° 5’14.54″N     85 °39’0.37″W)   No tropical fish here, but plenty of sand dollars, starfish, sea urchins, and a crab or two.   The wind picked up and it got to a one foot wave, but after borrowing her mother’s dry snorkel, Emma did very well.

To the west we entered the commercial part of the bay over by Audubon Island and checked out a large ocean-going container ship which was being loaded, as well as a lot of extravagant water-side houses. Six hours on the boat vanished in no time.

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The photo above is of a Laughing Gull that adopted us for a few minutes as we were cruising.   He seemed to want a handout.

Emma has had a great birthday so far, but there’s more to come as I write this.   She and Eleanor are working on a cake now (tip for those who would bake in their RVs: make sure you are absolutely level!), and tonight she has a few presents to open.

Since we were able to extend our stay, we’ll be here for two more nights, which means some time to explore the park tomorrow, at least for everyone except me.   I will have to pay the price for not working a full day today, by making up for it tomorrow.

8 Responses to “St Andrew Bay, Panama City FL”

  1. Matt & Beth Hackney Says:

    Sorry we missed you by a week at St. Andrews. We highly recommend Schooners on the beach just outside the park and the Captain’s Table down on the old waterfront. Enjoy.

  2. Lou Woodruff Says:

    Hope Emma had a very happy birthday! Sounds like you have had a very busy day! Happy Eighth, Emma!

  3. Michael & Tracy Bertch Says:

    Emma – Happy Birthday!

  4. Peter Nault Says:

    Belated Happy Birthday, Emma! You must have had a terrific eighth birthday! I’m glad you enjoyed your special day.

  5. abe and melissa Says:

    Happy Birthday Emma!!!

  6. jody Says:

    Emma, what a great way to spend your birthday! Looking forward to celebrating belatedly in Denver for all the April birthday people!

    Happy Birthday !!

    jody

  7. Zach Woods Says:

    Happy Birthday, Emma!

    Your eighth year birthday is close to coinciding with our son Zane’s 8th week birthday!

    Sorry to everyone that we missed you all. You’re moving east too fast!

    Zach

  8. terrie Says:

    happy birthday and everyday to Emma…..enjoy Bay County….

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