Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Fairhope, AL, to Port St. Joe, FL

Monday, November 8 -
Time changed yesterday and so we were up this morning at 5:30...and out of the marina by 6:30. Mobile Bay was gentle so the trip (18 miles) down to the ICW was easy. On the intercoastal waters we had dolphins playing in the boat wake.... This was what we'd see at first...

Then, ta-da!

Also spotted this set of buildings. Now, if you did a watercolor painting of this some might say it was just not realistic... WAY too colorful. :-)

We anchored in the Big Lagoon, just before the Pensacola area, at Red Fish Point. Our aim was to dinghy in to the Gulf Islands National Seashore and do some walking/exploring. Unfortunately we were anchored in a spot that held lots of shallow water and weeds between us and the shore. Our dinghy motor started coughing and we turned back. On the way BACK to Tennessee, we'll anchor in a bit different spot there and go ashore! Still, a beautiful place to be..

Tuesday, November 9-
Slept 'til 6 this morning...we're getting better. Left the anchorage around 8 and headed for Palafox Pier in Pensacola. The marina is only about 10 miles away. This is a strategy we learned the last trip: get close the night BEFORE going into a marina and take advantage of every part of the next day when you tie up. :-)

On the way over to Pensacola we were treated to the Blue Angels practicing their maneuvers over the water. It was an amazing show! We've seen them before in air shows, but felt like we actually got much closer today! Between the dolphins yesterday and the Blue Angels today I've probably taken over 100 photos!

We also saw some people involved in what we thought might just be the Gulf Oil Recovery Project.

Going to the National Naval Air Museum today. Catching a bus from downtown. Should be lots of fun! The area is so nice here I think we'll end up spending two days instead of the one we'd planned....

Wednesday, November 10 -

The Naval Air Museum was good, even if we did miss a large part of the collection due to renovations and their moving the era from Vietnam forward to another building. The new area opens in late November. A cute thing of interest was a sign defining a "navy shower," which is what we do when we're anchoring out for a series of nights and need to conserve water.

The bus trip to and from the museum was entertaining, too. We went onto two military bases, showing our ID's at check points, and got to see a lot of the Pensacola area.

This morning Lucy and I took a nice long walk through downtown before we left. (Yes, we decided to leave today. I finally came to understand today that we are probably not going to be content until we get across the Gulf to "the other part of Florida.") As we were walking in one of the parks downtown I noticed a man standing still with one arm outstretched in front of him and the other arm slightly held out from his body. His back was to us...and it occurred to me that this was probably someone taking advantage of the park setting and a beautiful morning to do some Tai Chi. Probably some pose named "plucking the bird from bush," you know. (Apologies to Dana and Joan. :-) As my perspective changed, I realized that he was texting on his cell phone.

So, anyways, we left beautiful Pensacola and headed out for Ft. Walton Beach town dock. We arrived at around 3:30 PM and there was room on the outside dock for us to stay. Here's a view from the park nearby of Segue tied up to the dock (far left, outside.)

Walked around town and saw this hotel. A picture really IS worth 1,000 words.

The sunset that evening brought a gorgeous sky...

Thursday, November 11 - Veteran's Day 2010
We're off to Panama City today. We're going to meet up with friends from a group that Wayne shares information with concerning trawlers and trawler-ing, Jill and Rudy Sechez. We went through an area dubbed "the canal"...but it was really pretty.

Rudy and Jill live aboard a boat they built, Briney Bug. They came over to the marina that evening in their boat (we got a tour and it's an amazing, comfortable home!) and we went to dine at an Italian restaurant nearby that makes great pizza.

Friday, November 12-
We were on the blue highway by 9 this morning...kinda took our time. Rudy and Jill came over to wish us a safe journey. We caught this shot of the Briney Bug.

Great trip to Port St. Joe along the Wetappo Creek (yeah, I know: Itchycoo Park comes to mind.)

Saw a couple of eagles and caught this one on "film"....

We're in Port St. Joe for a few days...then on to ready for the leap into Gulf waters. More later...

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