research discovering the national estuarine


research discovering the national estuarine
Port St. Joe Marina
Page 5
St. James Bay Golf Resort
Page 9
98 Liquors
Page 22
The Port Fine Wine & Spirits
Page 36
St. Joe Shrimp Company
Page 40
La Robe Boutique
Page 45
The Haughty Heron
Page 51
St. Joseph Bay Golf Club
Page 53
discovering the
national estuarine
12My View
14Discovering the Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve
The first half of 2013 raises an
important question, “What more
could we ask for?” Must See answers
with three stories from a new writer,
a talented addition to the team,
and an exciting opportunity for the
region’s business owners!
49Event Calendar
With so much to see and do in
Old Florida, Must See’s Event
Calendar is darn-near indispensible.
In print and online, it’s the best
place to find out what’s happening
when and where along Florida’s
Forgotten Coast. Find it in every
issue of Must See and online at
The Apalachicola Estuary is one of the world’s richest and most diverse
natural habitats. Keeping it healthy and productive is vital to the people,
plants and wildlife of the Forgotten Coast, and is the mission of management
and staff at the Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve.
23There’s Something Fishy Going On...
Some of the best seafood in the world is harvested in local waters, and the
chefs of Old Florida have mastered its preparation. Fresh-caught fish, sure to
satisfy your seafood craving, is always on the menu!
30Secrets of the Cape San Blas Lighthouse
As far back as 1851, rumors of a curse have shadowed the Cape San Blas
Lighthouse. Is it just bad luck, or something more sinister?
38The Scallops of St. Joseph Bay
The clear, shallow waters of St. Joseph Bay are home to one of Florida’s most
robust populations of Bay Scallops. Commercial havest of these tasty bivalves
is prohibited, placing recreational Scallop Season and the annual Florida
Scallop & Music Festival among the region’s most popular happenings.
42Shopping the Forgotten Coast
Retailers from Carrabelle to Mexico Beach offer a fantastic selection of
merchandise. From quality to kitschy and elegant to eclectic, you’ll find it
all on this whirlwind shopping tour of the coast.
Daniel Anderson
Daniel Anderson
Alex Petkus
Daniel Anderson
Jennifer A. Sheffield
Daniel Anderson
Debbie Hooper
Carol Anderson
ther than a little more rain than
we’d like to see, Spring and early
Summer have been fantastic on
the Forgotten Coast. Temperatures have
been warm, but not oppressive. The fishing
has been excellent. Early reports indicate
that St. Joseph Bay is loaded with tasty bay
scallops. Retail traffic is up. Restaurants are
busy. Rentals are booked. It’s enough to
make this editor wonder, “What more could
we ask for?” After pondering that question
for a short while, I found the answer hidden
in another query. “How about a little help?”
Many readers and advertisers of Must See
know me personally, and know that I have
actually needed “a little help” for quite some
time. They’re probably laughing as they
read this, quipping something along the
lines of “the only thing that will help him
is medication...or therapy...or,” well, you
get the idea. That’s okay. I’m accustomed
to their good-natured abuse and don’t mind
providing a little entertainment.
Meanwhile, I am happy to announce two
new additions – my actual help – to the
Must See team. Jennifer Sheffield makes
her Old Florida writing debut in this issue.
Three of her stories grace the Summer
edition with insights, information and
a fresh perspective. Graphic designer
and production artist Alex Petkus climbs
aboard as well. He brings his talents to Old
Florida on a full-time basis, and will play an
increasingly important role in the months
ahead. Alex and Jennifer...welcome!
In addition, taking on staff has allowed
me to implement another idea I’ve been
bouncing around for the last few years.
It’s called The Marketing Store, and you can
find it at 101 Reid Avenue in downtown
Port St. Joe. We opened for business on
July 1st, and have already delivered on
several projects, but the Grand Opening
is scheduled for August 19th, 2013.
The Marketing Store offers design, print,
internet, social media and sign services
tailored to fit Forgotten Coast businesses.
In short, we will support, refine, enhance,
expand, or even spearhead, your marketing
efforts. No project is too small, and no
campaign too large. We provide the services
of an advertising agency, public relations
firm, graphic design studio, print shop and
sign factory...all under one roof.
If you find yourself in need of “a little help,”
The Marketing Store may be just the place to
find it. Call 850-229-4850 or stop by and
see me. Until then, enjoy your Summer!
Must See is published by
Must See Media, LLC
P.O. Box 1014
Port St. Joe, FL 32457
Copyright 2013
Must See Media, LLC.
All rights reserved.
No part of this publication may
be reproduced in any form or by any
means without prior written permission
of the publisher. Direct inquiries to
[email protected]
Must See Media, LLC
P.O. Box 1014
Port St. Joe, FL 32457
For more information about Must See,
Must See is not responsible for
unsolicited materials.
Printed in U.S.A.
Where the River Meets the Bay.
Contact Must See via e-mail at
[email protected]
Contact Must See via regular mail at
Must See Media, LLC
P.O. Box 1014, Port St. Joe, FL 32457
Daniel Anderson, Editor
Subscribe to or view Must See online by visiting
discover the
estuarine research
stuaries are partially enclosed
coastal bodies of brackish water
with open connections to the
sea and sources of fresh water flowing into
them. Estuaries are subject to the vagaries
of tides, waves and salinity as well as
the riverine influences of water flow and
sedimentation. They form the transition
zone between fresh water and marine
environments. The resulting concentration
of nutrients makes estuaries the most
productive natural habitats in the world.
Over 70% of Florida’s recreational and
commercial marine species spend a portion
of their lives in estuaries. Unfortunately,
estuarine shorelines are also among the
planet’s most densely populated areas,
with an estimated 64% of the world’s
population living along estuaries and the
coast. As a result, estuaries are degraded
by erosion, pollution and water diversion
caused by human development. Estuarine
systems are utterly dependent upon the
quantity and quality of fresh water flowing
into them. Restricted flow (from upstream
damming) and pollution (from drainage)
can stress, and potentially destroy, entire
plant and animal communities.
The Apalachicola National Estuarine Research
Reserve (ANERR) is an integral part of the
Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint Watershed
(ACF) – nearly 20,000 square miles stretching
from the Florida Gulf Coast into the foothills
of the Appalachian Mountains in Georgia.
Lee Edmiston, Manager and Administrator
for ANERR, explains that, “What happens
hundreds of miles away definitely affects the
productivity of Apalachicola Bay.” Economic
and industry tensions over water rights in
Alabama, Georgia, and Florida have long
been based on withdrawals from the ACF.
As demand for fresh water increases further
inland, less and less makes its way downstream
and into the estuary.
ANERR’s Edmiston states, “The oysters are not
all gone, but there isn’t a harvestable quantity
out there.” The best thing for the local oyster
industry may be replenishment – rebuilding
the bars with harvested shell to provide quality
habitat for reproduction. Occasional pulses of
fresh water from recent heavy rains provide
an increasingly rare opportunity to get good
“spat set.” The influx of fresh water drives out
predators and provides food for spat (juvenile
oysters). It will take time to determine whether
or not replenishment pays off, but the ongoing
“water wars” limit the effectiveness of any
efforts to the short term. The only realistic
long term solution for the estuary is a return
to historic flow levels.
While state governments argue over minimum
flow requirements and consumption caps, the
estuary, which provides habitat to hundreds of
species of plants and animals, suffers. Natural,
climatological droughts are augmented and
extended by dams and reservoirs. Millions
of gallons of fresh water that used to drain
into Apalachicola Bay are now captured and
consumed far upriver. Beginning in 2011,
fresh water flow was reduced to 5,000 cfs
(cubic feet/second) for eight consecutive
months – the absolute minimum allowed
by the Federal Endangered Species Act. It
wasn’t enough.
Going forward, Edmiston and the staff at
ANERR would like to see the river’s flow levels
determined by the health of the estuary. They
stress the “connectivity of everything” when
explaining the situation. It doesn’t matter if
it swims, floats, flies, crawls or walks – it’s
still a part of the estuarine community. This
concept is shared with visitors from Georgia,
in particular. Things won’t really change “until
folks understand that wasting water in Atlanta
has a direct effect on how many oysters they
can eat in Apalachicola,” Edmiston explains.
Workers in Franklin County’s commercial
seafood industry, one of the primary engines
driving the local economy, were among the
first to notice. Over $14 million in seafood
is harvested annually in Franklin County,
including world-famous Apalachicola
Oysters, Shrimp and Blue Crabs. According
to oystermen and shrimpers, the waters of
Apalachicola Bay are too salty. The numbers
of juvenile oysters and shrimp are way down,
and growth is very slow – the estuary’s residents
need fresh water to reproduce and grow, but
they’re not getting it.
The Apalachicola National Estuarine Research
Reserve encompasses 246,000 acres, making it
the second largest of 28 reserves in the National
Estuarine Reserve System. The Florida Office
of Coastal and Aquatic Managed Areas (CAMA)
keeps watch over the state’s three estuarine
reserves and 41 aquatic preserves, and oversees
ANERR operations. Four primary functions
drive the efforts of Reserve staff: research,
education, stewardship and training.
There are 135 listed species tracked by Florida
Natural Areas Inventory in the Apalachicola
Bay estuary, spread over 210 square miles
between the mainland and barrier islands. Such
biodiversity, along with isolated environments
such as Little St. George Island and The St.
Vincent Island National Wildlife Refuge, draw
researchers from all over the world. They study
sea turtle nesting, migratory birds, fisheries,
aquaculture and much more.
Over twenty years ago, ANERR staff began
deploying water quality data loggers in
Apalachicola Bay. That program has now
developed into a comprehensive national
monitoring system deployed in all 28 Estuarine
Reserves across the United States. Each reserve
maintains four devices, which collect data
every 15 minutes. Water temperature, salinity,
dissolved oxygen levels, pH and depth are
logged. ANERR’s data is analyzed, studied
and used by the University of Florida, State of
Florida, and the Department of Environmental
Protection. ANERR staff also maintain a weather
station – atmospheric conditions can also spark
changes in water quality. Portable Surface
Elevation Table (SET) devices measure changes
and erosion in the marshes. Twelve units were
installed in 2012 with assistance from the
National Geologic Survey, following a Nature
Conservancy report about sea level rise impacts
on the wetlands of Apalachicola.
ANERR also provides environmental education
programs for Franklin County’s schools and
scientific training for future researchers in
Florida. Florida Master Naturalist courses and
Panhandle Habitat Series classes are designed
for land use planners, developers, elected
officials, regulatory staff, environmental
consultants, marine contractors, eco-tour guides
and concerned citizens. Topics covered include
biodiversity, soil makeup, dune formation,
regulatory issues and much more. Through
workshops, the ANERR Coastal Training
Program provides decision-makers with
science-based information and skills enabling
them to better understand coastal resources.
Research tools, techniques and materials are
part of the training. Environmental, social and
economic consequences of activities on coastal
ecosystems are also addressed.
The Reserve is a funding partner of the National
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
(NOAA) and Florida Fish and Wildlife
Conservation Commission (FWC). In addition,
a recent partnership with Progress Energy
enabled Franklin County fifth-graders to help
save endangered shoreline scrub habitat. With
the assistance of ANERR staff, the students
restored bay shore habitat on site, using
bags full of oysters and plantings of Spartina
alterniflora (smooth cordgrass). Their efforts
will ensure that shoreline sediments hold and
protect against erosion.
ANERR’s Eastpoint Visitor’s Center is loaded
with fascinating exhibits and educational
displays. A historic timeline takes visitors from
the Ice Age, when sea levels were much lower,
to the Fort Walton period, when humans first
began cultivating plants in the region, through
periods when cotton, lumber and turpentine
operations dominated the local landscape,
and into the 21st century. The “Working on
the Water” exhibit features short stories from
local folks like oysterman Coy Shiver, crab
fisherman Tony Coulter, seafood dealer Lynn
Martina, and George Watkins, a local beekeeper
and former shrimp boat captain. Among the
Visitor’s Center’s most popular attractions are
three distinctly different aquaria: the River, Bay
and Gulf.
The Apalachicola River is home to the greatest
diversity of freshwater fish in all of Florida,
and is considered the heart of the entire estuary.
The river flows from Lake Seminole in Georgia
to the Gulf of Mexico. ANERR’s River display
tank is home to Spider Lilies, Bluegill, the
primitive Longnose Gar, a friendly Florida
Soft Shell Turtle, and other river dwellers.
The water has very little salt content, and the
tank environment simulates conditions found
upriver in ANERR designated territory.
The Visitor’s Center building itself is LEED
(Leadership in Energy and Environmental
Design) certified. Trees hugging the structure
minimize the impact of construction on
surrounding acreage and keep unique features,
such as an active eagle’s nest, available for
observation. Nods to sustainability include
geo-webbing in the parking lot, rooftop
rainwater collection cisterns and irrigation-free
natural landscaping. ANERR staff “leads by
example,” according to Edmiston, and take on
projects such as the clean-up and stabilization
of nearby salt marshes, allowing visitors to walk
out and study living oyster beds at low tide.
“On-site bay access is the biggest improvement
since moving (from our old location),” says Erik
Lovestrand, ANERR’s Education Coordinator.
The previous location, in Apalachicola, attracted
just 5,000 to 8,000 visitors annually. In 2012,
the Eastpoint Visitor’s Center hosted well over
29,000 walk-in guests. Conveniences such as
bike racks and a park with gazebos are on site,
and future plans include a boardwalk offering
safe, simple access to Apalachicola Bay.
In the Bay display tank, you’ll find Redfish,
highly sought after by anglers, and the Ornate
Diamondback Terrapin, a crowd favorite, along
with Speckled Trout and many other creatures.
This brackish water habitat contains lime rock
formations that provide a base for oysters to
grow one atop another, and shells that create
nooks and crannies for smaller organisms
like the Crown Conch. This tank simulates
the environment of Apalachicola Bay and its
confluence of fresh and salt water.
The Gulf display tank is home to the Littlehead
Porgy, with its distinctive snout and wavy dark
blue fins, the Southern Flounder and Black Sea
Bass. Tomtates, Gulf Toadfish, Gag Grouper
and Stingrays swim with Spanish Mackerel and
Red Snapper. This habitat simulates the salty
waters of the Gulf of Mexico, but every species
present in the tank spends a portion of its life
in estuarine waters.
Conservation of the Apalachicola Estuary is
critically important to the plants and animals
that inhabit it. It is equally important to the
people who live along its shores and work its
waters. The River, Bay and Gulf have shaped
the lives of residents for hundreds of years, and
have produced a cultural character unique to
the region. The Apalachicola National Estuarine
Research Reserve and its staff are dedicated to
the estuary’s protection and survival, and their
mission of research, education, stewardship and
training is already making a difference. Public
lands are being restored to wild states, natural
habitat is being enhanced, and the word is
getting out that one of America’s richest natural
resources is being compromised. u
Learn how you can help! Visit the new ANERR Visitor’s
Center at 108 Island Drive in Eastpoint – it’s open to the
public from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm every Tuesday through
Saturday. Contact the Reserve office at 850-653-8063,
and find more info at
ust offshore of Florida’s Forgotten
Coast, some of the world’s best
fishing awaits anglers. The waters
of the Gulf of Mexico are home to dozens of
species of game fish. Many are targeted for their
flavor as much as their fighting ability – with
Mahi-Mahi (Dolphin), Red Snapper, Yellowfin
Tuna, Red Grouper and Gag Grouper among
those most in demand.
The chefs of Old Florida’s restaurants prepare
and serve some of the freshest, best-tasting
seafood on the planet. Masters of their craft,
they take the day’s catch and transform it into
delectable table fare. There is most definitely
something fishy going on ’round these parts.
Along the Forgotten Coast, that’s a good thing!
Diners at Up the
Creek Raw Bar in
Apalachicola can
watch as the catch
of the day is hauled to the docks and eat it at
the same time. The view from the deck at Up
The Creek overlooks the Apalachicola River
and Scipio Creek, home port for many of the
region’s commercial fishermen. Owner and
restaurateur Keri Hall has combined a casual
atmosphere, laid-back vibe and fantastic view
to create an environment perfect for enjoying
fresh Florida seafood.
Through a busy Spring and early Summer,
Chef Brett Gormley’s intentions to create a
new seafood recipe have been put “on the back
burner.” A little prodding from Must See moved
them up to the front! Brett nestles fried green
tomatoes in a bed of yellow tomato-saffron
rice. He then layers on generous cuts of freshoff-the-boat, blackened Mahi-Mahi. These
filets are topped with house-made remoulade,
micro-greens and smoked paprika oil. For
accompaniment, Brett recommends the house
special homemade potato chips (seasoned
with Old Bay) or fresh sauteed green beans.
It’s an Old Florida original, and you’ll only find
it in Apalachicola at Up the Creek Raw Bar.
313 Water Street / Apalachicola / 850-653-2525
The view from
the dining room
at Port St. Joe’s
Sunset Coastal
Grill is also waterfront, but you’re much
more likely to spot wading shorebirds than
fishing trawlers. The views of St. Joseph Bay
are spectacular, the facility is beautiful, and
the service is prompt and courteous. Owner
Patti Blaylock has worked hard to make her
restaurant Gulf County’s premier dining
destination. At the Sunset Coastal Grill, it’s
easy to get distracted by the scenery – don’t
overlook the seafood!
Chef Ian Williams has been expanding the
culinary boundaries of Forgotten Coast cuisine
for years. One of his latest creations transforms
an Old Florida favorite, Red Snapper, into an
all-new experience. Ian lightly flours a fresh
Red Snapper filet and sautés it in olive oil. He
then tops it with homemade pecan pesto, sliced
red tomato and Wisconsin mozzarella cheese.
The entire dish is baked for a short time at high
heat, browning the cheese and sealing in flavor.
Served with steamed vegetables, Ian’s recipe
is a distinct – and welcome – departure from
the area’s traditional seafood offerings. You’ll
find it on the Sunset Coastal Grill special board
while Red Snapper is available (seasonally).
602 Highway 98 / Port St. Joe / 850-227-7900
In another
departure from
local tradition,
Killer Seafood
serves premium Yellowfin Tuna steaks in their
own unique fashion. Diner’s expect their Tuna
lightly seared and encrusted with black pepper
or smoked and prepared as a dip. Not at Killer
Seafood! As usual, Mexico Beach’s destination
seafood dive takes the road less traveled. This
eatery has already established the Killer Bread
Bowl and Killer Fish Tacos as must-haves for
foodies – add the Killer Tuna Burger to the list!
Michael, Kim and Kevin – the owners of the
restaurant and masterminds behind its closelyguarded recipes – take a huge chunk of fresh
Yellowfin Tuna and grill it to perfection. Then
they top it with garden-fresh lettuce, juicy
tomato slices, and Killer Seafood’s secret recipe
wasabi mayonnaise. Paired with Killer Puppies
or Fries, it may be the best “burger” you’ll ever
eat! Availability of the Killer Tuna Burger used
to be hit or miss – it was offered only as an
occasional special. The word got out, however,
and customer demand prompted Michael, Kim
and Kevin to add it to the menu. As they say at
Killer Seafood, “Chum and get it!” You won’t
be disappointed.
820 Highway 98 / Mexico Beach / 850-648-6565
Big changes are
happening at
the Port St. Joe
Marina’s former
Dockside Café. The restaurant’s new owner,
Darren McDaniel, has brought fresh ideas, and
an emphasis on great service and food, to one
of the region’s best locations. Re-christened as
Dockside Seafood & Raw Bar, the restaurant
still offers incredible views of St. Joseph Bay
and the Marina Basin, indoor and outdoor
seating, and a comfortable, casual atmosphere.
Everything else has been upgraded! The menu
has been expanded and refined. The service
is courteous and attentive. Darren has even
begun construction on a new deck and Tiki Bar.
Best of all, the food – including fresh-shucked
Apalachicola oysters – tastes great. Darren’s
efforts have really paid off in the kitchen!
One of the highlights on the Dockside menu
is the Grilled Red Grouper Plate. Chef Darrion
“Big Dog” Thomas begins with a generous cut
of fresh-caught Gulf Red Grouper, and coats
it with a layer of Dockside’s secret spices.
The filets are then grilled until they’re golden
brown on the outside and flaky white on the
inside. Served with hush puppies and a side of
Dockside’s amazing baked potato salad, it’s a
waterfront dining experience you’ll never forget.
340 Marina Drive / Port St. Joe / 850-229-5200
Our last stop is
in downtown
Apalachicola at
Tamara’s Cafe.
Chef Danny Itzkovitz has designed a fantastic
space and built a menu full of variety and
flavor. There is truly something for everyone,
from paella to pork tenderloin and steaks
to seafood. The seafood bisque may be the
best you ever have, and the daily specials
are absolutely off the charts – keep an eye
out for Couscous with Grouper Cheeks
or Tabasco Fried Flounder over Chorizo
Mac-&-Cheese. One regular menu item in
particular, though, may tempt you away from
those tantalizing specials – Tamara’s Pecan
Encrusted Grouper.
Chef Danny starts with fresh Gulf Gag (often
referred to locally as Black) Grouper filets
lightly coated with pecan batter and flash-fried
to a crispy, golden brown. They’re served with
a spectacular array of sides and toppings that
showcase Tamara’s signature latin flair – black
beans over saffron rice, salsa fresca, fried sweet
plantains and a tangy jalapeño sauce that has
just enough bite to get your attention without
overpowering the grouper’s mild flavors. Danny
has been serving it this way for almost 15 years.
71 Market Street / Apalachicola / 850-653-4111 u
of the
pe san blas
t is currently located not too far from
the infamous Stump Hole on Cape
San Blas. Summer visitors linger
nearby, basking in the Forgotten Coast sun
and walking along pristine peninsular beaches.
Few detect the lingering presence of dark
secrets – they’re well-hidden in the shadowed
past of a troubled beacon. As of this writing,
the historic Cape San Blas Lighthouse still
towers 101 feet over the eroding sands of
an eerily beautiful stretch of beach. The fast
advancing waters of the Gulf of Mexico,
however, have numbered the tower’s days
in its present location. Lately, concerns and
controversy over the best way to save the
Lighthouse have overshadowed its fascinating
history, but recalling the beacon’s past can serve
as a reminder of why it should be saved.
William Britton, the author of Lighthouse
Getaway, describes the history of lighthouses
at Cape San Blas as “a curious and checkered
litany of bad decisions, and of bad luck.”
Author Charles Farley, writer of Secrets of San
Blas, similarly penned, “The little town (of Port
St. Joe) seemed always to be living under a
cloud.” Most recorded accounts and regional
histories concur. Just over two years after being
established in 1848, the Cape’s first lighthouse
fell to the gale of 1851. When the second tower
didn’t survive its first year, early rumors of a
curse began to spread. After several years of
hurricanes, fires, and a yellow fever epidemic,
the tower was rebuilt for the third time in 1859.
In a clash between Union and Confederate
forces during the Civil War, the lighthouse was
badly damaged and not re-lit until 1865.
Creeping ever-closer, the waters of the Gulf
whisper a dark promise. Unless moved, the
Cape San Blas Lighthouse will be taken by
the sea. Dragonflies, sea birds and a few shy
raccoons are the only residents remaining at
the abandoned lighthouse and keeper’s cottage,
affectionately known as “Sleeping Beauty.”
A slab of painted wood hangs crookedly from
a chain link fence, warning travelers on the
washed out road that this is a “dead end.”
Prophecy or history? Time will tell, but such
uncertainty has plagued the lighthouse since
the original structure was erected in 1848.
After the war, the Cape San Blas Lighthouse
stood tall among concerns about shifting sands
and shoreline erosion. By 1882, though, the
brick tower was undermined, stranded in eight
feet of water, and eventually toppled into the
Gulf. It wasn’t replaced until 1885, when
brick gave way to cast iron and the beacon
was moved 1,500 feet inland. Skeletal legs
and braces supported the new watch room
and lantern until a violent storm in 1894. As
the skies cleared, the Cape’s shoreline was
drastically altered and the lighthouse was again
surrounded by churning Gulf waters. In 1895,
while arguments raged over the cost and
feasibility of saving the lighthouse, plans
were made to reassemble the tower on Black’s
Island in St. Joseph Bay. Receding Gulf waters,
beach accretion and bureaucratic delays halted
relocation efforts. By 1916, however, the sea
was threatening yet again. The tower was
moved one quarter-mile further inland, to its
present site, in 1919.
great a burden” and took his own life. In 1952,
two painters, Angelo Tzeuo and Frank Wiley,
mysteriously fell nearly 100 feet to their deaths.
Shortly thereafter, a road crew chief was killed
under bizarre circumstances when a ricocheting
bullet took his life after striking a railroad iron.
The most disturbing event, however, may be
the grisly 1938 murder of Assistant Lightkeeper
Ernest W. Marler.
While the Cape San Blas Lighthouse’s problems
through 1916 can credibly be blamed on the
ravages of war and weather, later events lend
more credence to the “curse theory.” Some
claim the curse originated when native tribes
were pushed off sacred lands by early settlers.
Others believe that a place so rich in natural
beauty exacts a price from those who inhabit it.
Whatever the reason, subsequent events make
it difficult to deny that “something’s going on.”
In 1932, Lightkeeper Ray Linton tended the
isolated beacon in solitude. Twenty-three miles
from the nearest settlement, he found “the
lonely vigil and wide expanse of the Gulf too
Facts surrounding Marler’s demise are very
sparse, but there is no shortage of unanswered
questions. Was he killed for reporting illicit
moonshiners operating on the Cape? Did
he run afoul of violent criminals escaping
Apalachicola after a robbery? Was it revenge?
A kill-for-hire planned by a jealous husband?
Eighty years later, rumors of an affair with
Head Lightkeeper Sullivan R. White’s wife
refuse to be quelled. Why was Marler’s death
initially ruled a suicide? His body was found
stufffed in a shed – he had been shot in the
back, stabbed several times, and his left hand
was missing! More importantly, “Whodunit?”
The killer was never identified.
Other questions have been raised about the
murder as well. Investigators at the time
wondered, “Who in hell’s going to gnaw their
own hand off, and then shoot themselves in
the back?” Frank Spongia, the Lightkeeper
who succeeded Sully White, speculates that his
assistant – the man who took Marler’s place –
may have done the deed. One local author’s
grandfather knew that man. She recalls that
her grandfather “was afraid of the guy when he
came for some reason.” Did White suspect? Like
the maid in Farley’s novel said, the whole thing
“smells about as fishy as St. Joe Bay at low tide.”
Sully White requested a transfer immediately
following Marler’s death, claiming his post on
the shoals was too dangerous. Did he fear for
his life, thinking he might be the next victim,
or was he haunted by the vengeful spirit of
his slain assistant? Tales of swinging lantern
lights late at night and footsteps ringing on the
lighthouse stairs permeate local folklore. One
area historian states, “When there’s a murder,
there’s always somebody guilty...but I don’t
believe in ghosts.” Discussing the lighthouse,
another character in Farley’s book muses “I
don’t know about it being haunted, but it sure
ain’t been good to people.”
Maybe the truth about the lighthouse’s tragic
past lies buried in the Cape’s shifting sands.
Do the trees clinging to its threatened shores
ache to divulge what they witnessed so many
years ago? Mother Nature seems determined to
destroy all the it her way of telling
us that some puzzles are better left unsolved?
Murder mysteries and ghost stories aside, the
concerns over beach erosion are immediate and
very, very real. Lighthouse Digest added the Cape
San Blas Lighthouse to its “Doomsday List of
Endangered Lighthouses” after Hurricane Isaac
washed away all but a 50-foot buffer between
the lighthouse site and the Gulf in 2012. After
the storm, operations at the lighthouse shut
down and preparations for moving the tower
and keeper’s cottage began. Possession of, and
permission to move, the lighthouse has been
granted to the city of Port St. Joe. Tentative
plans for relocation are in place and fundraising
efforts are underway. Learn how you can help
Thanks to Beverly Mount-Douds, the “Lighthouse Lady”
of the Cape San Blas Lighthouse Gift Shop (located at
155 Capt. Fred’s Place in Port St. Joe), and all of the
local authors hosted by Maddox House on May 11, 2013.
ulf County’s biggest annual festival
celebrates one of St. Joseph Bay’s greatest treasures. Every Summer,
the Florida Scallop & Music Festival shines
the spotlight on St. Joseph Bay’s succulent Bay
Scallops, but scallop-related activities begin
much earlier. Eager recreational harvesters
scout the bay in June for indications regarding
the upcoming season. How many are out there?
Are they big? Where are they congregating?
st. joseph bay
the shallows around Black’s Island. These areas
usually hold dense concentrations of scallops,
and are the primary targets for veteran scallop
The next step is finding the mysterious “zone.”
This special place changes from day to day, and
is determined by depth, water temperature,
tides, and
Those questions are definitively answered
on the opening day of Scallop Season.
Opening day is a huge event in and
around St. Joseph Bay. Excited
scallopers converge on the
area from miles around –
scallop season means
exciting discoveries
in an unique marine
good times
on the water
with friends
and family,
and even
better times
at the dinner table!
A St. Joseph Bay
Scallop dinner
is one you earn.
No commercial
harvest of Bay
Scallops is permitted.
Fortunately, finding them
is almost as enjoyable as eating
them, and it’s an activity for people of
all ages and abilities. Harvesting Bay Scallops
is just challenging enough to be rewarding, yet
easy enough to be enjoyable.
For the uninitiated, beginning the search can
be intimidating – the bay is a big body of water!
How can you narrow it down? Start by finding
beds of sea grass. Scallops love this stuff!
The southern end of the bay (or head, in local
parlance) is full of sea grass beds, and so are
Some zones are small and yield just a few dozen
scallops no matter how hard you search. Others
may stretch for hundreds of yards in every
direction and hold scallops by the thousands.
One of the best ways to find these elusive areas
is to trail a line off the stern of a boat and tow
a scalloper equipped with mask and snorkel
over the grass beds (at idle speed with dive flag
displayed, of course). When the
snorkeler spots scallops,
he or she signals the
boat to stop. Then
it’s drop anchor and
everyone overboard
with collection bags in
hand – let the hunt begin!
It may seem unlikely, but
Bay Scallops
are very
They can
move long
distances quite
quickly, and do
so fairly often.
Occasionally, what
was a harvesting hot
spot one day will be
completely devoid of
scallops the next. They’re
still in the bay somewhere,
but you’ll need to start your
search over to find them.
If there is a magical formula for finding the
zone, only the scallops know it – the rest of us
have to search. Some days you’ll stumble over
it by accident, and other days may require an
extended search. You’ll know it when you find
it, however. Blue-eyed scallops will be scattered
in the sea grass, clustered in small bunches, or
grouped in and around sandy “potholes.”
After you’ve collected a nice mess of
scallops, what do you do with them? Your
best bet is to shuck (or clean) them before you
leave the water. All you need is a small, flexible
knife or spoon, a plastic container or bag, some
ice, and a little patience. Hold the scallop with
the dark side up, insert the knife or spoon
between the shells near the hinge, and twist to
separate the shells. Holding the scallop open,
sever the white muscle where it connects to the
dark (top) shell. Toss the top shell back into
the bay. Cupping the bottom shell in one hand,
use the knife or spoon to gently scrape away
the brown and black “goo” surrounding the
muscle. Feed the goo to the pinfish, and finish
by cutting the muscle away from the bottom
shell. Drop the bottom shell in the bay and your
freshly-harvested delicacy on ice. It’s much
easier than shucking oysters or picking crabs,
and tastes better, too!
Back on dry land, it’s time for an unforgettable
dinner. Fresh Bay Scallops are plump, sweet
and absolutely delicious. You can prepare
them in many different ways, but most end up
fried, sauteed or grilled. Lightly batter-fried
and served with cheese grits is a local favorite,
but try them sauteed in garlic and butter
served with a juicy steak and you’ll never think
about “surf & turf” the same way again. With
any seafood recipe, it’s important to avoid
overcooking – scallops left to cook too long
become chewy and lose flavor.
Bay Scallops are not unique to St. Joseph Bay.
Lanark Village, St. Marks and Steinhatchee
offer productive scalloping, too. None of those
locations are as consistent, accessible and
family-friendly as St. Joseph Bay, though.
Clear, shallow waters and abundant access
points make scalloping in St. Joseph Bay an
activity the whole family can enjoy.
A boat or kayak is perfect for getting to and
from the scalloping grounds. If you don’t have
one of your own, there are plenty of rental
options available. Seahorse Water Safaris at
the Port St. Joe Marina has a variety of power
boats available. On Cape San Blas, both Scallop
Cove and Happy Ours offer a great selection
of kayaks. Seahorse Water Safaris also offers
chartered scallop trips during scallop season.
It’s a great way to learn the ins-and-outs before
tackling St. Joseph Bay Scallops on your own.
The Florida Scallop & Music Festival, held
along the bayfront in Port St. Joe, is the perfect
excuse for weary scallopers to take a day off.
This summer celebration features great food,
arts & crafts, kid’s activities, live concerts and
much more. The festival is Gulf County’s most
eagerly anticipated annual event. The Scallops
of St. Joseph Bay – who knew these elusive little
critters could generate so much excitement? u
For more information about the
17th Annual Florida Scallop & Music Festival,
contact the Gulf County Chamber of Commerce at
850-227-1223 or visit
shopping theforgo
he communities along Florida’s
Forgotten Coast each have their own
flavor of authenticity, and so do the
retailers that call them home. The locations
of these shops and stores – just off the beaten
path – have allowed them to maintain, and
even nurture, the character that makes them
special. Like most things worth finding, new
discoveries reveal themselves slowly...
Next time you’re out and about, slow down
and keep an eye out for funky roadside signs,
interesting outdoor displays, or anything else
that tickles your curiosity. “Put it in park” and
take a closer look – you never know what you’ll
stumble over! Locally produced arts & crafts,
decorative accessories, hand-made mementos,
and an incredible variety of items that capture
the quirks and culture unique to the region
are available. Tap into your inner art collector,
indulge your fashion sense, and don’t forget to
pamper your pets! The Forgotten Coast offers a
one-of-a-kind retail landscape with a selection
to tempt bargain hunters, proper shoppers, and
everyone in between.
Rio Carrabelle is the
Pearl City’s freshest
attraction. This space
offers handmade gifts
and practical art, and
also functions as a
gallery, studio, and
live performance
venue. Photography
by Bo May plasters the brick and beam walls,
and this summer’s exhibit, Apalachicola, revisits
the town circa 1990 – before its re-discovery by
the outside world. Traveling artist Ron Gasche
is the region’s “rock hound,” and fashions
his finds into unique jewelry. Local volunteer
Marian Morris’ Earth Song Pottery is both
eye-catching and functional – pieces range
from plates and bowls to traditional vessels.
You can find Rio Carrabelle’s performance
schedule, including live music and theatre,
online at
102 St. James Ave. / Carrabelle / 615-337-1290
Your next stop in Carrabelle is the Shop by the
Sea. Spy Poseidon’s Trident, and you’ll be right
outside Vicki and Gordie Harris’ little treasure
trove. The entrepreneurial couple used to sell
jewelry on the weekends before opening the
Shop by the Sea. These days, they
offer jewelry, beads, fine art, beach
collectibles and elegant handcrafted
gifts for a discriminating clientele.
104 Highway 98 / Carrabelle /
Shirts, mugs and hats, as well
as original issues of The Stars
and Stripes, are available for
a donation at the Camp
Gordon Johnston World
War II Museum Gift Shop.
Stars and Stripes was a
weekly newspaper printed
as GIs advanced across Europe
during World War II. Each issue is sold on
a “first-come, first-served” basis for a $25.00
donation. Authentic souvenir relic packets
excavated from Camp
At Rio Carrabelle
Gordon Johnston
are also available.
Supply of these
authentic pieces of
history is limited – get
’em while they last!
1001 Gray Avenue /
Carrabelle /
Your Carrabelle shopping adventure
concludes across the river – near
Carrabelle Beach, at the Beach Trader.
This unique souvenir and gift shop is
filled with wooden carvings, seashells,
home accents, mermaid prints, and much
more. Meet Pam and her dog, Malibu.
Enjoy an ice cream in the AirStream.
Every nook and cranny offers a different
collection of items, and customers
receive a free gift with each purchase!
1781 Highway 98 / Carrabelle /
At Beach Trader
Shopping excursions often include a visit to
thrift or junk shops – Eastpoint’s Flashy Me
Boutique masquerades as both. Dorothy
Tobin’s shop is a showcase of “vintage to vixen”
clothing, beds for $25 per piece, kid’s pageant
dresses, jewelry, records,
At Camp Gordon Johnston
World War II Museum
household appliances
guaranteed to be in good working order.
There’s a shoe room that includes a men’s
section and a boutique room that shimmers
with party dresses and Sunday blouses.
You’ll find books (25¢ each), crystal (two
for $9), tableware, and much more. At
Flashy Me, everything is for sale – except
for the sailboat painting in the shoe room!
9 Island Drive / Eastpoint / 850-670-1022
At Winds of Atlantis, located in the
Pointe Mall in Eastpoint, you’ll find kites
in all shapes and sizes including EZ Flyers,
Deltas and colorful Multi-Kites, which
combine the relaxing side of single line
kite flying and the sporty side of stunt
kite flying. Rainbow Caterpillars and
Serpentine Chinese Dragons delight
kids of all ages, and every kite from
Winds of Atlantis is guaranteed to fly.
Lawn sails, holiday windsocks, and
flag stands are also available.
29 Island Drive, Suite 4 / Eastpoint /
At Winds of Atlantis
otten coast
At Bowery Art Gallery & Studio
For more fun, head across the bridge to scenic
St. George Island. Ask for Russ or Dayle at
Journeys of St. George Island and “Get Out
There!” Journeys offers canoe and kayak rentals
and lessons, sunset boat trips, sightseeing and
fishing excursions, shelling, shark fishing, kids’
adventures and more. The newly remodeled
and expanded store offers kayaks,
paddleboards, exclusive t-shirts
in every size and color, sunglasses,
water shoes, waterproof cameras,
fishing gear, and more.
240 East 3rd St. / St. George Island /
Island Outfitters is the Forgotten
Coast’s only authorized Hobie
Kayak dealer. These performance
boats can be outfitted for fishing,
touring or sailing, and include
Hobie’s amazing Mirage Drive
pedal system. Island Outfitters
also offers stand-up paddleboards, fishing gear
by G. Loomis, Star Rods, Penn and Shimano,
and Costa Del Mar sunglasses. Browse a strong
selection of resort and technical clothing, pet
items, t-shirts, hats, footwear, jewelry and
spectacular artwork. Get free expert fishing
advice from store owner, Capt. Larry Troy, or
pick up a set of exclusive SGI Tervis Tumblers.
235 East Gulf Beach Drive /
St. George Island / 850-927-2604
Back on the mainland
and just across the river,
the Bowery Art Gallery &
Studio is leading the revival
of the bowery district in
Apalachicola. The gallery showcases regional
art from Georgia, Tennessee, and Florida’s
Panhandle. Limited editions by more than
30 artists mix here, including bold mixed
media works by Leslie Wallace-Coon and
Sherry Cook, fine silver jewelry by Tracy Jones,
paintings and sculpture by David Pickering,
fishbone and copper jewelry by Debbi Clifford
and wearable art by Elaine Kozlowsky.
149 Commerce St. / Apalachicola / 850-653-2425
Just up Avenue G, the 49 Palmetto Gallery
specializes in contemporary painting, sculpture
and folk art with
an emphasis on
southern Outsider
Art. Curated by
Cannatella, the
gallery features
the work of
Deedra Ludwig,
a former artist
via New Orleans,
this summer.
At Island Outfitters
Also displayed
are works by
Isabelle Pelissier, a public artist from Maine,
Leia Najad Lacrosce, a self-taught abstract
expressionist, and Butch Anthony, a found
objects sculptor. Year-round workshops and
events keep the gallery flowing with creativity.
49 Avenue G / Apalachicola / 850-323-1600
Indulge your senses in Riverlily, a magical store
perfect for practicing generosity to yourself and
those you love. Float through aisles of soaps,
lotions, oils and bath accessories from Cucina,
Thymes, Crabtree & Evelyn and Ahava fine skin
care products. Browse hand-made jewelry,
greeting cards, old world Christmas ornaments,
Archipelago candles, bracelets and earrings by
Lenny & Eva, and much more!
78 Commerce St. / Apalachicola / 850-653-2600
At The Stuffed Owl
Just across the street, The Stuffed Owl is the
Forgotten Coast’s one and only kitchen store!
Located on the lower level of the Owl
Cafe, this store is overflowing with
kitchen gadgets, picnic supplies, and
specialty Owl Cafe spices. Shop for
imported oils, gourmet vinegars, wine
glasses, pottery, tableware, local art,
linens, party supplies and more! The
Stuffed Owl is a kitchen enthusiast’s
wonderland located right in the heart of Old
Florida with something to tantalize every taste!
15 Avenue D / Apalachicola / 850-653-8960
Twenty minutes to the west, in Port St. Joe,
Daly’s Watersports looks like a dive shop, and
it is...but it shops like a boutique! Owner Ann
Marie Daly stocks her store with an outstanding
variety of dive gear, spearfishing equipment
and everything you’ll need for on-the-water
adventure. She also carries an outstanding
selection of swimsuits, footwear and fashions
At Daly’s Watersports
from names like Reef, Next (by Athena), and
Hurley. Board shorts, shirts and flops for him –
bikinis, cover-ups and sandals for her! You’ll
find them all, and much more, at Daly’s.
317 Highway 98 / Port St. Joe / 850-229-6330
Just down the street, Walter Green offers the
largest women’s swimwear selection in Gulf
County. Brand names include Maaji, Carve,
and Cia Maritima. You’ll also find Ipanema
and TKEES sandals, irresistible cover-ups,
skirts and flowing, airy apparel that will keep
you comfortable in the summer heat!
151 W. Highway 98 / Port St. Joe / 850-227-7946
Don’t forget Fido! Bow Wow Beach Shop,
pet-inspired and operated by Mark and Rose
Harris, specializes in healthy treats,
holistic and domestic pet food,
and fun, safe, natural toys.
Serving visitors to the region’s
pet-friendly beaches, Mark and
Rose strive to carry a selection
of “what we know works” and
“what’s not available” anywhere
else. Leashes, collars, comfort
harnesses, float toys, flea baths
and more – even carpet cleaner!
You can get trustworthy
recommendations for
sitters and groomers,
and pick up a
best friend.
301 Reid Avenue /
Port St. Joe / 850-229-6161
One block away, St. Joe Velo is the Forgotten
Coast’s only full-service bicycle shop. Road
racers, mountain bikers, beach cruisers and
BMXers are all welcome – and quality bikes,
parts and repairs await. Owner Chris Laue is
a United Bicycle Institute certified mechanic,
and offers a full line of parts and accessories.
The store is brand new, and is a much-needed
addition to the local shopping landscape. Every
town needs a bike shop – Port St. Joe
is lucky enough to have a good one!
200-A Reid Ave. /
Port St. Joe /
At St. Joe Velo
If you want to hit the road with a little more
horsepower, stop by Gulf Coast Performance
Cycle. This shop recently celebrated two years
in business, and is a great place for motorcycle
enthusiasts to find parts and tires, get killer
swag, talk bikes, or get a little work done. Ron,
the owner and mechanic, offers professional
repairs and service on all makes and models.
Ron also designs and builds dream-bikes, and
offers performance upgrades.
412 Monument Avenue /
Port St. Joe / 850-229-2599
After a quick ride out to
Mexico Beach, stop in at
The Grove. Carol and Jeff
Tendler invite you browse
a beautiful selection of
unique outdoor furniture,
home décor, novelty signs,
classic indoor lamps, wine
racks, nautical items, art,
At The G
serving dishes and much
more. Hammock swings start
at $149 with pillows included. Allen Davis’
carved wooden birds are just $8 each.
2700 Highway 98 / Mexico Beach / 850-648-4445
Right next door (in fact, connected) to the
Grove, Caribbean Coffee opened in May of
2013. David, the owner, hand picks coffee
beans and grinds them fresh daily. David
features a different “coffee of the day” every
day, and serves espresso,
frappes, smoothies
and more! Is
what you’re
craving missing
from the menu?
Just ask! If David
has the ingredients,
he’ll make it for
you. Inquire about
the coffee club!
2700 Highway 98 /
Mexico Beach /
Shell Shack
and Fish Market has
been family owned
and operated since
1965. The shack
At The Shell Shack
and Fish Market
offers t-shirts, tiki
décor, jewelry,
souvenirs, and sea shells including sand dollars,
starfish and genuine lightning
whelk. You’ll find a practically
limitless assortment of beach
kitsch including sand globes,
picture frames, shot glasses,
dolphin statues, magnets
and super-fun gift items for
friends like gator claws and
puffer fish ornaments. Beware
of the painted hermit crabs in the
front of the store...they’re real and they pinch!
3800 Highway 98 / Mexico Beach / 850-648-8256
The Mexico Beach Marina ship and beach
store has everything you need for surf, offshore
and inshore fishing. Stock up on ice and bait.
Equip with Penn, Shimano and Shakespeare
fishing equipment.
Replace your
old cooler with a new Yeti. Boaters
will find batteries, oil, fuel and boat wash.
There’s a huge selection of sportswear, too.
Brand names include Columbia, Sperry, Guy
Harvey, Hook & Tackle Outfitters and Costa
del Mar. The Mexico Beach Marina offers
Yamaha motor and Road King trailer sales and
service, and even sells Florida fishing licenses.
3904 Highway 98 / Mexico Beach / 850-648-8900
Thank you for taking this quick shopping tour
along Florida’s Forgotten Coast with Must
See. Twenty-two stops and we’ve just
barely scratched the surface. There
is so much more to see! You don’t
want to miss About Beach!, Frost
Pottery Garden, or Emerald Coast
Jewelry in Mexico Beach. See Bay
Breeze Antiques, the Portside Trading
Company and Joseph’s Cottage in Port
St. Joe. Check out Scallop Cove and the Cape
Tradin’ Post on Cape San Blas. In Apalachicola,
visit Oystercatcher, La Robe Boutique, and the
Tin Shed. On St. George Island, the Lighthouse
Museum Gift Shop is a Must See! u
Forgotten Coast
E v en t C alendar
Apalachicola’s Independence
Eve Celebration
Join Apalachicola Main Street for a July 3rd
Independence Eve Celebration at Riverfront
Park in downtown Apalachicola. Enjoy food,
beverages and music throughout the evening.
Then take in a professional
fireworks display over the
Apalachicola River!
WHERE: Apalachicola
WHEN: July 3, 2013
St. George Island 4th of July Celebration
Festoon your vehicle, or yourself, and
join in! Anyone in costume, on a float or in
a decorated vehicle can participate in this
community parade. Bring a towel and your
squirt guns, and plan on getting very wet!
Best Blast on the Beach
This beachy 4th of July
Celebration is a day full of
family activities! With a 5K
Race at Under-the-Palms
Park, Kid’s Fishing Tourney
at Canal Park and Fireworks
on the beach, it’s the place
to be this Summer as we
celebrate America’s birthday!
WHERE: Mexico Beach
WHEN: July 4, 2013
Hometown Independence Day Celebration
The friendly City of Port St. Joe hosts an
old-fashioned 4th of July Celebration. Residents
and visitors gather downtown for a patriotic
parade on Reid Avenue, downtown festivities
all afternoon, and a fantastic fireworks display
over St. Joseph Bay at dark.
WHERE: Port St. Joe
WHEN: July 4, 2013
Port St. Joe SaltAir Farmers’ Market
The Port St. Joe SaltAir Farmers’ Market
brings fresh seasonal produce from local small
farmers (and more) to Florida’s Forgotten Coast.
Throughout the
growing season,
and fruit,
locally harvested Gulf
seafood, and artisan goods highlight offerings at
the market. Located in downtown Port St. Joe
at City Commons Park, the SaltAir Farmers’
Market takes place on the 1st and 3rd Saturdays
of every month April through November.
WHERE: City Commons / Port St. Joe
WHEN: July 6 and 20, 2013
C-Quarters Youth Fishing Tournament
The parade begins at 11:00 am. Then, after
dark, enjoy fireworks on the beach behind
The Blue Parrot.
WHERE: St. George Island
WHEN: July 4, 2013
First Fridays:
A Music Series
First Fridays: A Music
Series is hosted by the
Thirsty Goat Lounge
at the Port Inn, located on the corner of
Highways 98 and 71 in Port St. Joe. First
Fridays is free and open to the public. Enjoy
good company and great music on every first
Friday night from April through September.
It’s one of the Port City’s best attended gettogethers. You may even be treated to a visit
from Sir William, the Thirsty Goat’s 7-foot
tall, furry white mascot!
WHERE: The Port Inn / Port St. Joe
WHEN: July 5, 2013
On Friday the 19th, entrants attend a
Fishing Clinic. Upon completion, each registrant
receives a rod and reel, a tee shirt, a hat and
bait. On Saturday, anglers compete in nine
categories. The Weighmaster is available all
day long, and lunch is provided for the kids.
WHERE: C-Quarters Marina / Carrabelle
WHEN: June 19–20, 2013
Mexico Beach Marina Offshore Classic
This two day fishing tournament kicks
off with a Thursday night Captain’s Party at
Toucan’s. Fishing begins Friday morning and
concludes Saturday afternoon. Competitors
target King Mackerel, Wahoo and Mahi-Mahi.
WHERE: Mexico Beach Marina / Mexico Beach
WHEN: July 25–27, 2013
Florida Scallop & Music Festival
Enjoy arts & crafts vendors, a car
show, exhibits, and the popular Kid’z Zone
along with food & live music galore at George
Core Park. Of course, fried scallop plates and
bags of frozen scallops will be available!
WHERE: George Core Park / Port St. Joe
WHEN: July 27–August 4, 2013
Florida Scallop & Music Festival
The Festival continues! Enjoy live music
from The Curry Brothers, Reed Waddle, King
Cotton, Cadillac Willy, The Sauce Boss, Kevin
Jacobs Band and more! There will also be arts
& crafts vendors, a car show, exhibits, and the
popular Kid’z Zone
along with food galore
at George Core Park.
Fried scallop plates
and bags of frozen
scallops will be
available, and, as
always, parking at the festival is free.
WHERE: Port St. Joe
WHEN: July 27–August 4, 2013
2 First Fridays: A Music Series
C-Quarters Marina
10th Annual Kingfish Shootout
It’s a great weekend of fishing for a
great cause in Carrabelle. C-Quarters
Marina hosts its 10th Annual Kingfish
Shootout, and, as usual, the prizes
are outstanding! The 2013 Shootout
is for King Mackerel only with
ten places paid and a guaranteed
minimum purse of $16,500.00.
Registration is just $250.00 per
boat, and event proceeds benefit
the Leukemia Research Foundation.
WHERE: C-Quarters Marina / Carrabelle
WHEN: August 3–4, 2013
St. George Island
Sizzler 5K Run
First Fridays: A Music Series is hosted by
the Thirsty Goat Lounge at the Port Inn, located
on the corner of Highways 98 and 71 in Port St.
Joe. First Fridays is free and open to the public.
Enjoy good company and great music on every
first Friday night from April through September.
It’s one of the Port City’s best
attended get-togethers.
You may even get a
visit from Sir William,
the 7-foot tall, furry
white mascot of the
Thirsty Goat!
WHERE: The Port Inn / Port St. Joe
WHEN: August 2, 2013
A one mile fun run
and 5K road race on
beautiful St. George
Island to benefit
the Franklin County
Humane Society.
Enjoy fresh oysters,
low country boil,
beer, wine and
soft drinks. Post race awards and party will
be held at the St. George Island Lighthouse
Pavilion, and awards are handcrafted by local
artist Ann Eason.
WHERE: St. George Island
WHEN: August 10, 2013
3 Port St. Joe SaltAir Farmers’ Market
Cape St. George Lighthouse
Sunset Celebration & Full Moon Climb
The Port St. Joe SaltAir Farmers’ Market
brings fresh seasonal produce from local small
farmers (and more) to Florida’s Forgotten
Coast. Throughout the growing season,
regionally grown vegetables and fruit, locally
harvested Gulf seafood, artisan goods and
educational opportunities highlight offerings at
the market. Located in downtown Port St. Joe
at City Commons Park, the market serves as
a community gathering
place and cultural center
where attendees can
enjoy the arts, workshops
and music, and shop Reid
Avenue’s retail district.
The Port St. Joe SaltAir
Farmers’ Market takes
place on the 1st and
3rd Saturdays of every
month April through
November. There’s no
better place to be on
a Saturday morning!
WHERE: City Commons / Port St. Joe
WHEN: August 3 and 17, 2013
Attendees enjoy a gathering and celebration
with a spectacular view as the sun sets and a
full moon rises over St. George Island. Cost is
$15.00 to the public and $10.00 for St. George
Lighthouse Association members.
WHERE: Lighthouse Park / St. George Island
WHEN: August 21, 2013
24 MBARA Kingfish Tournament
Hosted by the Mexico Beach Artificial
Reef Association, this one day tournament
is action-packed with Wahoo, Spanish
Mackerel and Kingfish targeted. The
17th Annual Mexico Beach Artificial Reef
Association Kingfish Tournament begins
Saturday at 5:00am, but registration
and the Captains’ Party take place on
Friday, August 23rd starting at 5:00pm
in Veteran’s Memorial Park at Beacon
Hill. Food and drinks will be served
from 5:00pm to 7:00pm with door
prizes awarded
at 7:00pm. The
tournament is
the MBARA’s
biggest annual
fundraiser, and
proceeds are
used to deploy
artificial reefs in
the Gulf of Mexico
off Mexico Beach.
WHERE: Mexico Beach / Beacon Hill
WHEN: August 24, 2013
Gator Classic
Flathead Catfish Tournament
Spend a weekend on Old Florida’s rivers and
creeks, and take your shot at breaking the
Florida Flathead Catfish Record! The Gator
Classic is the
third leg
of the
Trail. Anglers
target giant Catfish
and compete for great prizes. First place,
awarded for the biggest Catfish caught, wins
$700.00! Tournament proceeds benefit
Wewahitchka High School Project Graduation.
WHERE: Gaskin Park Landing / Wewahitchka
WHEN: August 30–31, 2013
Music in the Park
Music in the Park is back! Bring a chair
and cooler, and enjoy performances by talented
musicians in a beautiful setting. Visitors and
locals alike are invited to enjoy live music and
spectacular sunsets every September Thursday
at Sunset Park (located next to the El Governor
Motel). Music in the Park starts at 6:00pm and
lasts until 8:00pm. Come early, grab a spot up
front, and relax as you enjoy the rhythms of
great live music!
WHERE: Sunset Park / Mexico Beach
WHEN: September 5, 12, 19 and 26
Rock by the Tee
Battle for Charity
The Battle for Charity
begins with two nights
of bands battling it out
at Harry A’s Restaurant
& Bar on St. George
Island. The winners from Thursday and Friday
nights perform at a Saturday night concert along
with a few surprise guests. It’s three evenings
of great live music, and event proceeds benefit
deserving charities.
WHERE: Harry A’s / St. George Island
WHEN: September 5–7, 2013
Port St. Joe SaltAir Farmers’ Market
The Port St. Joe SaltAir Farmers’
Market brings fresh seasonal produce
from local small farmers (and more) to
Florida’s Forgotten Coast. Throughout
the growing season, regionally grown
vegetables and fruit, locally harvested
Gulf of Mexico seafood, artisan goods
and educational opportunities highlight
offerings at the market. Located at City
Commons Park in downtown
Port St. Joe, the market serves
as a community gathering
place and cultural center
where attendees can enjoy
the arts, workshops and
music, and shop the Reid
Avenue retail district. The Port
St. Joe SaltAir Farmers’ Market
takes place on the 1st and 3rd
Saturdays of every month April
through November. There’s no better
place to be on a Saturday morning!
WHERE: City Commons / Port St. Joe
WHEN: September 7 and 21, 2013
by the Tee
7 Rock
Golf Tournament
This modified scramble
golf tournament begins
at 9:00am on
September 7th
at the St. James
Bay Golf Resort
in Carrabelle.
Bring your team
for a great day of golf at a fabulous facility. Take
a swing at a $10,000.00 hole-in-one and help
raise money for deserving charities!
WHERE: St. James Bay Golf Resort / Carrabelle
WHEN: September 7, 2013
Beach Blast Sprint Olympic
Triathlon & Duathlon
First Fridays: A Music Series
First Fridays: A Music Series is hosted by
the Thirsty Goat Lounge at the Port Inn, located
on the corner of Highways 98 and 71 in Port
St. Joe. First Fridays is free and open to the
public. Enjoy good company and great music
on every first Friday night from April through
September. One of Port St. Joe’s most popular
and best attended get-togethers.
WHERE: The Port Inn / Port St. Joe
WHEN: September 6, 2013
This event was first staged in 2004 and has
grown into one of the premier athletic events
on Florida’s Forgotten Coast. Athletes from
all over the world travel to Veteran’s
Memorial Park in St. Joe Beach
to run, bike
and swim
in this USA
event. Well
marked routes
parallel white sand beaches and wind through
pine forests. Following the race, athletes and
fans celebrate in Veteran’s Memorial Park.
WHERE: Veteran’s Memorial Park / St. Joe Beach
WHEN: September 14, 2013
Cape St. George Lighthouse
Sunset Celebration & Full Moon Climb
Attendees enjoy a gathering and celebration
with a spectacular view as the sun sets and a
full moon rises over St. George Island. Cost is
$15.00 to the public and $10.00 for St. George
Lighthouse Association members.
WHERE: Lighthouse Park / St. George Island
WHEN: September 19, 2013
Estuary Day at the Apalachicola
National Estuarine Research Reserve
A day of tours, presentations and appreciation
at the Apalachicola National Estuarine Research
Reserve (ANERR) in Eastpoint from 1:30pm to
6:00pm. An introduction to the barrier islands,
bays, rivers, flood plains, uplands and myriad
creatures that make Florida’s Forgotten Coast
so unique. Free t-shirt to the first 600 visitors!
WHERE: ANERR Visitor’s Center / Eastpoint
WHEN: September 27, 2013
Florida Catfish Classic
The Florida Catfish Classic is the
fourth and final leg of the Apalachicola River
Flathead Catfish Tournament Trail. Bring your
family and friends out to Gaskin Park Landing
in Wewahitchka for a day of great fishing. This
fishing tournament and festival captures all the
excitement of sport angling with great prizes –
$2,500.00 to the winner – and a kid’s division.
WHERE: Gaskin Park Landing / Wewahitchka
WHEN: September 27–28, 2013
Gulf County Sheriff’s Office
Annual Bass Tournament
Angler’s target prize Largemouth Bass in local
waters. Tournament headquarters at the White
City Landing just off Highway 71 north of Port
St. Joe. Tournament proceeds benefit Florida
Sheriffs’ Youth Ranches.
WHERE: White City Landing / White City
WHEN: September 28–29, 2013
Port St. Joe SaltAir Farmers’ Market
The SaltAir Farmers’ Market brings fresh
seasonal produce to the coast! Regionally grown
vegetables and fruit, locally harvested seafood,
artisan goods, and more! Held at City Commons
Park in Port St. Joe, the market takes place on
1st and 3rd Saturdays April through November.
WHERE: City Commons / Port St. Joe
WHEN: October 5, 2013
Bay Day Shrimp Boil at the
St. Joseph Bay Buffer Preserve
The Friends of St. Joseph Bay Preserves
invite you to their Shrimp Boil and
Open House. This fundraiser serves
up great food and music as well as
guided tours of the buffer preserve.
WHERE: St. Joseph Bay Buffer Preserve / Port St. Joe
WHEN: October 5, 2013
Forgotten Coast Black Bear Festival
Celebrate one of the Forgotten Coast’s
most treasured species! This festival is a great
opportunity for Floridians of all ages to learn
about wildlife and the environment. Enjoy the
“Procession of Species” parade produced by
Carrabelle Cares, bear and bird field trips to Tate’s Hell State Forest,
and a workshop on living
with bears. There will also
be live music, storytelling,
food, arts and crafts, and
plenty of fun for all.
WHERE: Carrabelle
WHEN: October 12, 2013
Blast on the Bay
Songwriters Festival
The Forgotten Coast plays
host to a group of talented
musicians and songwriters
10th Annual Apalachicola Bay
direct from Nashville. Festival performers have
Chamber of Commerce Golf Tournament
written hundreds of hit songs for artists such
Tee it up with business members from around
as Faith Hill, John Waite and Brad Paisley. It’s
the Franklin, Gulf, Leon, and Wakulla County
four days of great music! Proceeds benefit the
area at the annual Apalachicola Bay Chamber
Gulf Alliance for Local Arts and the Educational
of Commerce Golf Tournament. Format is a
Foundation of the Florida Restaurant and
4-player scramble – low score wins with prizes
Lodging Association.
for the top three teams. An awards reception
WHERE: Mexico Beach / Port St. Joe / Indian Pass
follows the tournament. Proceeds benefit the
WHEN: October 17–20, 2013
ABCC building fund.
WHERE: St. James Bay Golf Resort / Carrabelle
Apalachicola Riverfront Film Festival
WHEN: October 9, 2013
The first-ever Apalachicola Riverfront
Film Festival. This one night event will feature
15th Annual Mexico Beach
independent films from professionals, local
Art & Wine Festival
filmmakers, and the film schools of Florida
Fine wine, silent and live auctions, live music
State University and Savannah College of Art
and, of course, art! Event proceeds fund the
& Design. Held outdoors along the river’s edge
“Best Blast on the Beach” celebration.
in historic downtown Apalachicola.
WHERE: Driftwood Inn / Mexico Beach
WHERE: Apalachicola
WHEN: October 12, 2013
WHEN: October 19, 2013
The Battle at the Bay
Expect fierce competition as the
region’s best players tee it up on Saturday and
Sunday at the Forgotten Coast’s annual 2-player
golf championship. The 36-hole tournament
is flighted by team handicap: 15 and under will
play “shamble” format while 16 and over play
a “scramble.” Sponsored by Must See Magazine
and St. James Bay, the fun format, prizes and
always immaculate St. James Bay facility make
the Battle at the Bay an exciting weekend of
golf in October.
WHERE: St. James Bay Golf Resort / Carrabelle
WHEN: October 19, 2013
Bow Wow Bash
Don your fancy feathers to benefit our
furry friends at the Bow Wow Bash masquerade
party, held in Port St. Joe’s Centennial Hall.
Creative cuisine, live music, a masquerade
contest, auctions and prize drawings. Proceeds
benefit the St. Joseph Bay Humane Society.
WHERE: Port St. Joe
WHEN: October 26, 2013
Ghosts on the Coast in Downtown PSJ
Ghouls and ghosts and things that go
bump in the night are welcome at this popular
annual event. Held at City Commons Park in
Port St. Joe, Ghosts on the Coast is the perfect
way to celebrate on
Halloween night.
Bring out the family
for kids trick-ortreating, a costume
contest, storytelling
and much more at this
spooktacular annual
event. Pets welcome!
WHERE: Port St. Joe
WHEN: October 31, 2013
1 Apalachicola Downtown Oyster Roast
The 9th annual Downtown Oyster Roast
takes place on November 1st from 6:00pm
to 9:00pm in Apalachicola. Dine next to the
river and under the stars as local blues man,
Joe Hutchinson, performs live.
WHERE: Apalachicola
WHEN: November 1, 2013
1 50th Annual Florida Seafood Festival
An annual two-day celebration held at
the mouth of the Apalachicola river in Battery
Park. Seafood, exhibits, concerts and contests!
WHERE: Apalachicola
WHEN: November 1–2, 2013
Port St. Joe SaltAir Farmers’ Market
The market brings fresh seasonal produce
to the coast! Throughout the growing season,
regionally grown vegetables and fruit, locally
harvested Gulf of
Mexico seafood,
and artisan
the market’s
offerings. Located at
City Commons Park in downtown Port St. Joe,
the SaltAir Farmers’ Market takes place on 1st
and 3rd Saturdays April through November.
WHERE: City Commons / Port St. Joe
WHEN: November 2 and 16, 2013
Camp Gordon Johnston WWII Museum
Silent Auction and Golf Tournament
St. Joseph Bay Golf Club, located at Simmons
Bayou just outside Port St. Joe, hosts a silent
auction and 18-hole golf tournament to benefit
the Camp Gordon Johnston WWII Museum in
Carrabelle. The event begins with the silent
auction on Friday evening. Saturday starts with
a flag ceremony and salute to veterans outside
the clubhouse, continues with
18 holes of competitive golf,
and concludes with a great
meal and awards ceremony.
WHERE: Simmons Bayou / Port St. Joe
WHEN: November 8–9, 2013