This is a remarkably wonderful place to vacation––and a great house with a caring landlord to boot. Your front door opens onto the lush North Florida swamp, which puts you in mind of the remotest parts of the Everglades, through which one of us has walked and camped. Only a handful of cars drive by Bald Point Road (at least in April and May), which ends a half-mile north at the state park––essentially just a fishing pier, several nice trails, beach access and air-conditioned bathrooms.
Your screened back porch looks onto a sandy beach with tidal flats and pools and tons of shore birds, sometimes under the watchful eye of a bald eagle. The water’s in a transitional area––always the most interesting in nature—where, to the south lie the upper reaches of the Gulf of Mexico and, to the north, Ocholockonee Bay. (The Ocholockonee River’s headwaters form amid farmland 130 or so meandering miles away in Worth County, Georgia, and the river’s mouth spills into this bay.)
Best of all, you’ve got a tidal creek running alongside two bedrooms (and the neatest walk-in double-headed shower with a view), and that makes all the difference. CAUTION: There’s an alligator in there sometimes; we saw it twice. There’s an abundance of blue crabs and a trap for your use. Snowy egrets feed in the morning, and all sorts of creatures traverse from swamp to creek. Put aside the tide charts and observe that creek; compensating for countervailing winds, you’ll literally see the ebb and flow.
The house is spacious and features a great media wall. The owner pays special attention to your comfort with good screening, which you will come to appreciate. In spring the breeze is almost always present and you’ll easily learn how to compensate for nature when it isn’t. The kitchen is well-stocked, but you may want to pack some extra cutlery and, especially if you are home cooks, some cooking utensils and small utility and serving dishes.
All my long life––we both grew up on Florida barrier islands––I’ve heard about the “mating season” of sea creatures. Here, for the first time, I saw it. For several days, you couldn’t walk 20 yards along the shore without seeing horseshoe crabs, the larger female in front, usually partially buried in the sand, and the male behind and facing her.
We didn’t know Gary before we rented Blue Marlin, but we thank him for building it, keeping it fit, furnishing and supplying it and for being such a responsible, reasonable and pleasant landlord.