Panama City, Florida

Day 330

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     Panama City is located within the Florida Panhandle and along the Emerald Coast. The Emerald Coast is the unofficial name for this Gulf of Mexico coastal area in the state of Florida that stretches about 100 miles from Pensacola to Panama City. The term Emerald Coast was coined in 1983 by a junior high school student, Andrew Dier, who won $50 in the contest for a new area slogan. 

     The development in this part of Northwest Florida had previous names such as “Floriopolis,” “Park Resort” and “Harrison.” In 1906, the development was titled “Panama City” and incorporated in 1909. A developer named George Mortimer West hoped to spur real estate development in this area during a period of intense popular interest in the construction of the Panama Canal by changing the town’s name from Harrison to Panama City. 

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     Today was the annual “Blessing of the Fleet”. The Blessing of the Fleet is a tradition that began centuries ago in Mediterranean fishing communities. It is a blessing from the local priest and pastors that is meant to ensure a safe and bountiful season. This is an event held throughout the world at numerous seaport towns at the beginning of the fishing season. I don’t recall it ever being held in Maryland. 

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 The ships would line up in the harbor and pass before the priest who would bless each ship.

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   More than 150 vessels participate in the Blessing, ranging from ships to kayaks.

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     The pirates wanted a picture with Barbara.

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     This pirate takes his role seriously.

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Technical Stuff:

Gulf Shore, Alabama to Panama City, Florida: 182.7 miles

4 hours 15 minutes

11.1 MPG

Diesel: $ 2.20

 

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