Orange Beach,FL

8 November 2014

A great day, one of our best on the trip

We started off the day by getting up late and getting breakfast. Pushed off the dock at 7:30, almost two hours past what has become our “normal” time to head out.

Coasted past the other boats in the marina and into the flat water of Mobile Bay. Ahhh, 8 feet of water, I feel like I’m back in the Chesapeake. We do a 20 mile run down the bay, autopilot is happy, I’m not punching the +1/-1 or +10/-10 button every three minutes as we snake around a river channel.

Seagull attack with three pelicans in tow. Forgot how much they follow boats around. In this case our props are picking up stuff off the bottom and are flipping shrimp and small fingerlings to the surface. The Quo Vadimus buffet is open, all you can eat!!.

We have some left over bread, so I taunt the gulls into crashing into each other while they dive for potato bread lofted off the stern. Pelicans are cool, they don’t buy into the bread frenzy, they keep fishing the wake, eating all they want.

Soon we pick up ICW marker 120 and turn east. Bye bye long rivers, so long Mobile, this tub is headed to Florida, land of sunshine and seafood. So happy the rivers are behind us.

Our first entry into the coast has dolphins swimming with us. Gulls are gone, they know the worlds coolest mammal is eating their lunch before it comes up to them. Dolphins slide through the shallow water with us, once it gets deep and we are not pushing lunch up from the bottom they are done with us and head back to the next boat that will provide them lunch.

Since this is an easy trip, I have VHF 16 on to listen to other boats. Habits have the other radio on 13 listing for tows. Who tows through the ICW. Turns out that fuel barges for the area are regular traffic in the area. Sadly, they speak English, we are spared Southern mumble and the promised Cajun drawl. We waited while two passed and then went around. A little scary moment when the depth finder drops below 3, but the tow in front says “yall push through that low spot, it’s just mud” and we are through.

Next low area we acquire more dolphins for a short feeding time and then they are gone.

I’m trying to be mindful of the locals so I go back to no wake on a regular basis. We had a big Viking come towards us and even he downed the throttle to skate past us. Souther Manners at their finest.

We work our way down the ICW and then into the bay the Orange Beach Marina is located. I feel like I’m back in Canada, watching the 20′ wide channel and making the turns when needed. Down the long channel past the ½ million dollar boats and into Orange Beach Marina. Nice covered slip, we will be happy here for the next 5 days. Restaurant on site and some spa services. We are good!

Rapid boat docking, cross tie, check the bumpers, and we are on the road in the loaner car at 12:30 PM.

Get the rental car and our next stop is at Lambert’s, home of the “Thrown Roll” What a hoot. Order food (protein and 1 or two sides) and they bring you more sides (white beans, fried potatoes, fried cabbage, deep fried okra) to the table. You want more bread wave your hand over your head and they toss you one from across the room. A massive amount of food for $9.99 to $12.99

Food was good, but we had our extras boxed the leftovers for later (aka dinner tonight) u

With two cars we split to have our own fun days. Susan headed off to the outlet mall to get new pants and sneakers for me and jeans and shoes for her. Plus some other stuff.

I headed the rental car east to Pensacola, the Blue Angels were doing their last two shows of their season. Due to the car GPS dumping me in the wrong space I had a chance to miss the show. But I ended up at Fort Barrancas that is on the property. I had a great view of the airspace (where they fly super low) and all of the precision movements. I got some great pictures of the show. Well when I could figure what they would do. Lots of the show is the 4 main doing a formation and 5 & 6 coming from some unexpected direction about 800′ overhead. They are loud and scare the crap out of me.

I’ve seen the Thunderbirds (USAF) and the Angles (USN), I need to give the nod to the Angels. They are always moving, lots of point rolls and high movements. Look for pictures in a few days.

My bonus since I was not out in the heavy spectator area that I had an easy drive back to the boat. I hit the local Publix and Win-Dixie stores up for beer and wine, they are not very impressive as the others we found.

I did get my beard trimmed at one of those walkin places. She did a great job and got rid of the pointy beard that made me look like a retired demon. So far barber places have been less problem than I though. And today I look handsome!

Dinner back at the boat was leftovers from Lambert’s. Very good the second time.

After Dinner I did a load of wash. I’ve learned that if you have two free hours and a washing machine, do a load. Machines were close, so it wasn’t a big deal.

We had a great sunset, another one to welcome us to warmer climates.

Excited about NOLA in the morning, Susan has been rocking Trip Advisor and other places, so we will have good places to go.

When we get back on Wednesday we will go to the Naval museum and then work on moving West on Thursday. The side trips make sense. It’s 600 worth of fuel to go and another $600 to come back. I can get a lot of car, hotel and food for $1200.