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Date: 29 November 2015. Tate's Hell (dwarf cypress tress)


Just prior to leaving Carrabelle I met a fellow who was quite nice. Johnny Irwin drove me home from the grocery store one day. Believe me, carrying a boat-load of groceries is Hard. He is a long-time boater who also runs a charter fishing service.

That final weekend in town I was finishing up things that had been started previously. Departure details can be found in the
From Carrabelle to St. Pete (via truck) article. Number One on that list was the installation of the Fan-tastic fan. It was placed in the overhead of Seaweed unsecured. Without butyl to seal it down any rain outside also occurred inside. That was not fun.

This was one of those instances when I should have gone online and simply bought the stuff. Argh!

I had depended on someone to bring me the butyl. That is a mistake. As Daddy used to say:

"The most reliable helping hand I have ever
found is located at the end of my right arm."


With a time crunch at hand, Johnny was a life-saver. He said he could find the butyl locally. Alas none was available in Carrabelle. The next town over is Eastpoint and there we had success. Action Auto Glass installs windshields and windows in cars. As windshields are put in with butyl, we had found our spot!

Steve, the proprietor of Action Auto Glass (phone: 850-670-1142) would not sell me any butyl. Instead he gifted me with enough for my hatch. What a sweetheart!

In the meantime Johnny and I had time now to do a bit of relaxing. He offered to take me to Tate's Hell. I am a nut for nature, loving the look of the world before concrete paves over the wildlife.

This is a picture I had taken on 24 October 2014 in Tate's Hell. To be offered a chance to revisit was a treat.


The area Johnny and I initially visited was beautiful. When we pulled up there were lily pads nearby. A boardwalk led up to the cypress viewing area.

I enjoyed looking, really looking, at the area. It was one of those times when I wished I had brought my binoculars. Sometimes having a small pair of binoculars is great. I have a big pair on the boat. Of late I find myself using the lighter weight ones far more often.

The placard offered a history and details about the area. Click for a full-size version.


I imagine the Indians hundreds of years ago saw exactly what we viewed that day...

CYPRESS KNEES (roots) grow up from the ground and are real trippers if you are not careful. Watch your step!

For the curious, the advice regarding Cypress knees is from previous experience The knots grow up from the ground and a hard. They can twist your ankle easily. This time with Johnny, we stuck to the boardwalk and I simply took pictures.

I played pirates and Indians in cypress forests when a child...

It is easy to see why this area is so special. The dwarf cypress trees were quite a treat to view.


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One of my favorite reads is the Earth's Children series. Written by Jean Auel, the books are simply wonderful. Places like Tate's Hell remind me of the world she paints in her tale of Ayla. For the uninitiated Ayla is the heroine of the story. Culminating in The Painted Caves (those beauties in France) ... well, this is a favorite of mine.

The Earth's Children Series 6-Book Bundle: The Clan of the Cave Bear, The Valley of Horses, The Mammoth Hunters, The Plains of Passage, The Shelters of Stone, The Land of Painted Caves


These books were one of the primary reasons the Kindle tempted me. You see, the hard-covers take up a lot of space and I did not have room for them aboard Seaweed. With the Kindle editions, I do. They were my first eBook purchase after getting the Kindle.


Places like Tate's Hell are paradise here on earth.

It sure would have been nice to have Seaweed at anchor right off this shoreline...

The park was blooming with new life. I suspect folks with allergies might not be happy here in the springtime.

Just up the river, more places to explore. I wish I had a kayak...

And when I get done exploring one direction, I will paddle the other way. Who knows what is around the next bend?

It was right nice of Johnny to take the time to drive me all over creation for the butyl. The bonus stop at Tate's Hell will always be remembered. Thanks Johnny!


Johnny Irwin's website:

Seabreeze Fishing

If you want to catch fish, Johnny's your man. Should you desire a tour with a guide who knows the area like the back of his hand, contact Johnny Irwin.

He is a good guy.



It was fun getting to revisit Tate's Hell before leaving Carrabelle. I would have loved to take Algae on that river. With a picnic basket, my Skipper and a trolling motor there is a lot of exploring to do in the area. Maybe you can visit too.

That is life on the waterfront. Thank you again Cap'n Johnny. I appreciate so much the fun afternoon. Happy cruising to you and yours.

Addendum. December 2015. When asked about the name Tate's Hell and how it came to be I did not remember. Fortunately Pam was able to locate a webpage with the sad tale. For details please visit:

The Legend of Tate's Hell


And thanks Pam!

I'd like to learn more about kayaks, specifically small ones.
I've heard the ones with foot pedals are amazing. Is that true?

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2015, 2023

Categories: Books, Characters, Locations, Recommendations

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