November 16, 2012
The fog is really thick this morning and we call the Lockmaster at the lock and ask him what the schedule is for this morning. He says that there are no commercial boats expected early this morning and to come up as soon as we can safely and he will get the lock ready. We leave the dock about 7:30 after undoing Barbara El.
At the lock we have to wait for the lock for a few minutes. We are drifting in the river waiting and here comes Ya-ting jumping in the middle of the pack and wakeing some of us and generally making a lot of trouble. Kermit gives him the 5 blasts on the horn and finally he comes around. We have all arranged our lock ties to permit Oban who is up river and needs a port tie in the lock to have room at that side of the lock and not have to tie up to the last bollard. His boat could be too long. We all get in and Ya-ting decides to take the opposite side even though we told him to take a starboard pin. A real idiot. We wait about 20 minutes for Oban and finally get him tied and down we go. At the lower side we all slow down to let Ya-ting go ahead.
The rest of the day is a wonderful trip. We arrive at our anchorage at Tensaw River about 4:30 and it is getting dark again. We raft up and Kermit takes Rusty to the bank for a short walk. It’s black mud and they sink up to their knees. One of the problems with dogs on this trip. They get back to the boat and get cleaned up. We have dinner together and go to bed fairly early.
November 17, 2012
Off to Mobile. It’s only about 55 miles to the Dog River Marina. It seems like we have a lot of Tows working the river this morning. Thank goodness these guys are good. It got a little close a couple of turns. We are splitting up today and One September is going to Fairhope. They are going home for the holiday and leaving their boat there.
We get to Dog River about 2:30 and settle in. About 4:00 we head across the street to the Mobile Yacht Club for dinner. Had one of the best dinners yet on the trip. Baked Grouper, topped with Crab. OUTSTANDING!!
November 18, 2012
Mary Jo and George Gowan came in last night about 11:00 or so. I was already in bed. Got up to welcome them and jawed a while. Then went back to bed.
Had mechanics look at my steering this morning which is leaking hydraulic fluid. Their analysis is the same as those in the past. The unit needs to be rebuilt or replaced. They do not have the capability to rebuild and would have to send ours back to the factory to get it done. They do have another unit in house that they ordered for another boat a while back. It turns out it is not compatable with my system. It will have to wait.
We go over to Fairhope to see One September. The town is very nice and touristy. Had lunch and walked about town and some folks shopped.
November 19, 2012
Wonderful weather. Bright sunny skies and warm. Cool mornings. Great. Slow day with not much happening. Had lunch at the Pelican Reef Inn out towards the beach. I think that was the name. Kind of a rustic place, but the food was good. Went to the grocery store afterwards. Just what we need. To eat some more.
November 20, 2012
Mechanics come to work on the engines. Nothing major, just oil change etc. I would do it myself, but don’t have the oil and they are going to do some other things. This takes up most of the day. Mary Jo and George are leaving today. It has been great to have them on the boat. I hope they have enjoyed themselves. It can get boring sometimes.
November 21, 2012
We head to Orange Beach, Al to the Orange Beach Marina. What a great day to travel. Weather is wonderful, the water is calm and the winds are light. It is a great run. We don’t get away until about 9:30. Had to take care of the marina bill, get pumped out, etc. Then smooth seas. We did run into several tows on the way over which I did not expect. There is more commercial traffic than you would think in this area.
Got to Orange Beach Marina about 4:00 and tied into a covered slip. This is nice except the satellite receiver does not work under the roof. Oh well. Ate dinner at the restaurant at the marina. They give us the loaner car which we will have until they reopen after the holidays. This is a nice place. Well protected, secluded.
November 22, 2012
Today is Thanksgiving. I am very thankful. I clean the boat and enjoy it. Joy does a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner. We ride around a little. Go to the grocery. A wonderful, lazy day. Miss the family and the folks back in Savannah and many of our friends in other places, but we are having a wonderful trip and enjoying every minute of it. We are blessed.
November 23, 2012
Since today is the day after Thanksgiving, the marina is not manned. We still have the courtesy car so we decide to go over to the Naval Air Museum in Pensacola. It’s only about a 20 mile ride. It is a great show! The planes are very well presented and the quality is fabulous. They have a wonderful collection of hardware from early days of flight to today. And it is free. If you ever get a chance to go there, do so.
While we were in Pensacola, we went to Best Buy and bought a new Ipad. I’m going over to the dark side as this is my first Apple product. The Navionics program is much better on the Ipad than the Droid. We’ll see how it goes.
November 24, 2012
On to Ft. Walton. The weather is beautiful and we get an early start about 6:30. Wanted to stay at the Town Dock, but when we got there it was closed due to damage. Tried to get a slip at another Marina in town, but none were available. Finally called Bluewater Bay Marina which is up in Ward’s Cove on the north side of Chocawatche Bay. It’s out of the way, but they have room.
This marina turned out to be one of the more fun stops we have had. We got there late and the UF/FSU football game was on in the bar. There are many fans from both sides and it is a fun evening. Had a couple of doz. Oysters on the half and had a great time.
November 25, 2012
Borrowed the courtesy car and went to West Marine and bought another battery charger. Ours went TU again and I can’t depend on it. I also install a battery isolator and rewire the port engine alternator so that it will charge the house bank some when we are running. I am not able to complete the installation, but things are working.
November 26, 2012
Off to Panama City. The winds are up early also and things on the Bay are a little choppy, but they are on the bow and it’s not a bad ride. Once we are off the bay it’s much smoother in the river. When we reach Panama City and enter the bay we get a great welcome from the dolphins. They put on a great show in our wake and we made sure they had plenty of wake to play in.
Bay Port Marina is a nice marina. We will be here for a week. Don and Sam are due in on Wednesday evening. Looking forward to their visit.
November 27, 2012
Clean the boat day. Lots to do before Don and Sam get here.
November 28, 2012
Finish cleaning the boat day as Don and Sam are due this evening. They get here about 6:30. They have already had dinner so we lounge around on the boat and have docktails. Great to have them.
November 29, 2012
Don and I go shopping for a little while. I have been having problems with the new Ipad not working right with the Navionics program. We go to West Marine, Best Buy and Home Depot and back to the boat. Then Sam and Joy take off and Don and I finish the installation of the new battery charger. Then docktails, and later the Falcons/Saints game on TV.