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Yesterday: Panama City, Today: St. Joseph Bay via the Gulf

posted: Jun 26, 09:36 AM

John arrived in Panama City on Friday afternoon. The day started out similar to the last three — very hot and all rowing. After about five hours of rowing, the wind picked up and he was able to sail twelve miles in two hours.

John received a warm welcome from Bill Lloyd, director of Panama City Marina. John appreciates Bill’s courtesy and generosity and has really enjoyed talking with him.

There is a lot of oil-related activity at the marina – trucks and boats and clean up crews – private contractors in from out of state. The oil hasn’t arrived in Panama City yet and the marina is very busy with private boat owners trying to get some time out on the water.

During the past few days John has noticed a change in the landscape. The marshland is beautiful, but different from what he has experienced in the past. He doesn’t see as much wildlife on land as he did in Louisiana and Mississippi. In particular, he isn’t seeing many shorebirds in the marshes and bays. He doesn’t know if this can be attributed to a general change in landscape/environment or if it is due to the approaching oil at sea and the halt in commercial fishing activity. On the other hand, he has come across plenty of marine life in the bays, including many dolphin and stingray.

John called this morning (Saturday) to say that he is heading to St. Joseph Bay via the Gulf. This will be his first experience in the Gulf without protection from barrier islands. He consulted with locals and he thinks he needs to go for it. There is a 30% chance of rain. If a storm comes up he will have to beach the boat. He is nervous, but thinks this is something that he has to do.

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