02 February 2015

Life In Florida Lately

Yep, it’s another one of those “Life Lately” posts. Bits and bobs about what we’ve been getting up to lately. Right now, we’re in Florida. We came in search of warmer weather and our next sailboat. While there has been a few days of nice weather and sunshine, we’ve also had a few days of torrential rain, cold winds and clouds. But, I guess it beats having been caught up in that horrible blizzard the East Coast has been experiencing. Brrr!

So, here’s what’s been going on for us lately in Florida. 

We’ve been absolutely loving the Emerald Coast – the area of Florida’s panhandle between Pensacola and Panama City. Who wouldn’t want to stroll along sandy, white beaches along the Gulf of Mexico. (You can read about our walk on the beaches of the Gulf Islands National Seashore here.) And the water is this amazing color – so clear and green and blue. You wouldn’t get tired of these views very easily. I wonder if this is what it is like in the Caribbean? If it is, I can’t wait until we get our next boat and go cruising down there. 

We found the most amazing boondocking spot at Hagen’s Cove in the Big Bend Wildlife Refuge (which you can read about here). We were never 100% sure if it was okay to stay there overnight, but we took our chances anyway. We loved the solitude at sunset and the watching the birds scamper around in the water the next morning. And of course, we loved the fact that it was free! We also had a mixed bag sort of a boondocking experience at Panama City – you can read about it here

We were hoping to do some more boondocking at the Apalachicola National Forest. Turns out it’s hunting season just now and they don’t allow any dispersed camping while folks are walking around the forest with guns trying to kill things. Everyone needs to stay in developed campgrounds, where I assume shooting at moving critters and people is frowned upon. I’m not usually a big one for following rules, but this seemed like a pretty sensible one. The whole forest was crawling with hunters and all of the developed campgrounds were full, so we headed off down the road to the Ochlocknoee River State Campground. Pretty nice place and a good spot to hide out in Scamper during the torrential rains and flash floods that Mother Nature delighted in providing us. There were a couple of hunters at the campsites next to us – guess they couldn’t find a spot at the National Forest either. 

At Manatee Springs State Park, I saw a little creature scurry across our campsite with purpose. Turns out it was an armadillo. They’re such weird little creatures – almost look like unwanted pets that alien visitors to our planet left behind. You know how some horrible people abandon puppies and kittens on the side of the road. Maybe some little green men dumped unwanted armadillos on Earth. Fortunately, they seemed to have thrived on our planet and are now happily spending their days in search of insects to eat. We also saw manatees. They come up and spend the winter months in the springs at the park. They’re pretty weird looking too. And, I’m glad to report that we haven’t seen any alligators, despite all of the signs warning us that they’re lurking about.

That’s what’s been going on with us lately. What’s been happening where you are?


  1. hello, enjoying hearing reading about your travels.....check out a low key campground on shired island,dixie county,fl.if you have time. Our sailing vessel is wintering on the erie canal just north of albany after spending the summer in the maritimes. we are canadians. when does the boat buying begin?

    1. Oh the Maritimes! I would love to get there one day - especially to PEI. We're keeping an eye out for potential boats - haven't found the right one but have a few in the pipeline. Fingers crossed, we find her soon. Thanks for stopping by our blog!

  2. Really nice post. Irene and I. Are heading South in two weeks. First "official" stop is Manatee Springs. We'll be sure to keep an eye out for Alian pets. We also have reservations a Grassy Point primitive campgrond at the West end of the pan handle. Looks, not so bad, and it's free.

    Grassy Point Area of Yellow River WMA
    Choctaw Field Road
    Santa Rosa County, Florida, 32566

    1. Thanks Mark! Fortunately, the armadillos are the harmless kind of aliens :-) Thanks for the tip about Grassy Point - love free campgrounds! Wish we could find more of them in Florida. We're down south now and it keeps getting more expensive :-(


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