Ambler Isle
V and S
Sun 12 Jun 2011 11:43
June 8, 2011
Safely anchored, we enjoyed a day of rest, napping, reading, and snacking.  We even watched a DVD on TV.  The next morning we'd planned to leave and head west, but opted instead to launch the dinghy and take a trip into the town. Along the way two oystermen waved us over to ask the time.  The new municipal marina had 15 slips and a long wall, electricity, water, and pumpouts.  Reports ranged from free to $25 per night to tie up.  We tied the dinghy and walked ashore.  The town was very alive, few vacant storefronts.  The numerous restaurants were all busy.  A new waterfront park was built since last we visited.  Shrimp and oyster boats lined the sea wall.  We walked through antique shops, and upscale clothing stores.  Finally we stopped for lunch at "That Place Off 98" and ate oysters and grouper.  We walked several miles, trying to get a little exercise, when we came to an old man sitting on the dock stripping the copper out of old wires.  Stopping to chat, he told us he was collecting copper to sell to do some repairs on his sailboat.  He hoped to get her ready for a cruise to South America.  Last stop was the 13 Mile Seafood Shop.  We bought 7 pounds of fresh, never frozen shrimp.  Normally we buy our shrimp off the Vietnamese woman at St. Andrews Marina, Panama City, but were unsure we'd stop there this trip.  Roger and Lisa were both out of town this week, and we'd enjoyed a few days with them in Key West.  The "never frozen" shrimp was a special treat.  We'd eat several meal of it fresh.  Even after we froze most of our purchase, it would have a delicious flavor and texture.  Back at the Amber Isle, we shelled and cleaned our "catch" and sauteed the first batch in olive oil.  Then we watched the dolphin show as a pod of 20 of the beautiful creatures swam into our part of the bay.  They breached, blew, and even slapped their tails on the water as they eagerly fed on the small fish. 
Weather reports seemed favorable for a sea cruise on the Gulf tomorrow.  Maybe we'd try to go to Crooked Island.  The other option was to take the ICW 60 miles to Panama City.