Custom charters seeking passengers

Published: Thursday, April 4, 2013 at 10:49 AM.

PANAMA CITY— The sun was sinking toward the western horizon as we left St. Andrews Marina for a quick two-hour tour of the bay.

The last chill before Easter was in the air. A cool day with cloudless blue skies turned colder as a breeze kicked up, rippling the previously glassy surface of the water. But the breeze, like the sun, was at our backs for now.

We took a leisurely turn past the coastal structures downtown, following the Intracoastal Waterway and passing one landmark after the next. Few other boats were on the water; it seemed like we had the bay to ourselves for a while.

Bunker’s Cove slipped by to port and Smack Bayou approached to starboard. At the wheel on the upper deck, the mate pointed out where birds were wading along shallows at the bayou.

“The first rule of boating?” he said. “Never take the boat where birds are walking.”

There was general agreement that this was good advice.

We continued along the channel, finally turning back near Parker, where smoke and steam rose from the stacks at Rock-Tenn. Dolphins swept by the port side, leaping and splashing. Gulls chased us at a distance.



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