On the beach - and another storm!

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Flag of United States  , Florida
Thursday, March 6, 2008

As I write this I can see the sparkling blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico just a few feet away from Bree, just beyond that palm tree J, we have moved on again and are at present near a small village called Carabelle.  www.mycarrabelle.com home to the world's smallest police station.
The campsite is right on the beach and wisely we had rung ahead to secure a spot. It's a small rather bare site, somewhat tightly packed and looking around at the licence plates on the other rigs reminds us that we are now well and truly back in 'Snowbird' country. Hence the need to book ahead. Our neighbours hail from such far flung spots as Washington State, New Hampshire, Illinois, Michigan, Indiana, Montana and even Ontario. If you've read the last blog, or indeed have seen any reports of the record snow falls further north it's not hard to reason why they are here! Personally we think there are nicer spots to spend a couple of months in, but this is known as the Forgotten Florida coast and if certainly bears no resemblance to the Florida we're eventually heading for. Virtually untouched by any kind of commercialism you'd be hard pushed to find any shops to speak of until you get into Apalachicola about 20 miles away, though we did find a great little shack/restaurant at lunchtime right next to where the fishermen were weighing their oyster catch. There are thousands of acres of national forest behind the main road that runs along the coast.

The beach is nice but narrow; the houses dotted along it vary from shacks - literally - to larger 'well appointed' shacks on stilts. Guess why they're on stilts!!
Many appear empty, as do most of the small businesses. Noticing the vast number of Realtor (estate agent) boards we of course became curious about prices - well you do don't you? You know what? It's probably going to stay forgotten with prices in the $millions!

Great place for a second home I suppose, can just see us sitting on our pier with a margarita at sunset...just wait 'til that lottery win comes in! No... don't think we'd buy here.
Well we're off tomorrow to Homosassa Springs, about 200 miles, still on the Gulf coast and yes we've rung ahead.
Friday March 7th, well we're still here: having been so careful watching the weather in the past we were a bit surprised to find that yet another storm was heading our way, having mustered in the Gulf it's looking pretty fierce. Watching the news last night it became quite clear that Thursday night and most of Friday were going to be nasty! Since we are not in particular hurry we decided to see what this morning brought and then make the decision. It has rained, well poured more like, all night. Heavy rain sounding like an army of very small people hammering minute tacks into our roof with the explicit purpose of keeping us awake. Well, they needn't have worried - the thunder and lightening did that quite successfully. At one point we were sitting up watching the storm out of our bedroom window, the lightening so continuous that it was almost like daylight outside. It was very persistent and lasted most of the night. Counting the time between the lightening and thunder to calculate the distance of the storm became quite academic as it all mish- mashed into one. Having checked the radar picture yet again and seen the tornado watch that is covering much of northern Florida and that we and the storm would be travelling the same path, we decided to stay put and move on tomorrow. However that wasn't as straight forward as it should have been...half way through my blueberry bagel breakfast, talking to mum on Skype and discussing the radar map, there was a knock at the door. Now this isn't a usual occurrence even when the weather is good! The hasty conversation went like this; (remember it was hacking it down at the time)
Are you ready to vacate the site? There is another rig waiting to pull into it!!
Well actually ...no...could we stay another day?
 Well I might have a space I'll go and check...
Rather alarmed I went to the office to find out what was happening, it is after all VERY unusual to be asked to leave a site before the booking out time, which in this case was 11am. When I queried this the answer came as a bit of a shock...
It is 11am!!
No we hadn't overslept; we had crossed a time zone on the way here without realising and had 'lost' an hour. Anyway it was all OK in the end, we did have to move a few yards and we did get saturated doing so, but we then spent the rest of the daylight hours confined to quarters, no sparkling blue seas in sight. The storm finally passed on at about 5pm
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