We left Mobile Bay feeling fresh and ready to get back in the Loop. Boat all replenished, laundry done. We were approximately 25 miles from the Gulf Coast and the ICW (Inter Costal Waterway) It was pretty windy when we left on Sunday November 15th but it is going to be extremely windy and rainy all week. If we didn't leave Mobile on Sunday we would likely be there until at least Thursday.
The ride down Mobile Bay was far more comfortable than we thought it was going to be. Mobile Bay is approximately 30 miles running North and South but only approximately 10 miles running East and West. The winds were from the East so there wasn't time for any significant waves to build.
We reached the ICW and immediately noticed the markers that we learned about at the rendezvous we attended at Joe Wheeler Park. The markers are still red and green but since there are many markers in the water and there are many channels that go off the ICW, there are markers on the markers. If you are on the ICW you will see a yellow square on the green marker and a yellow triangle on the red marker. Good to know we are headed in the right direction.
A little tricky to see on the red marker but if you look close you will see a yellow triangle right at the top of the red triangle.
The entrance to the ICW
The salt water leaves a different wake. There is foam that the salt creates. Even the toilet flushes differently but we won't go there.
We passed our first Marina since leaving Mobile. The Marina's are getting much larger and the boats are also getting much larger. All Marina's are very friendly to Loopers and welcome us with open arms. We are a very large part of their yearly income. Most of the Marina's from here North tell us their business pretty much stops once the Loopers have gone through as it does get quite cool from the pan handle North during the winter months.
As we approached our anchorage for the evening we were inundated with dolphins swimming around our boat as we travelled.
We set anchor and Steve took Dexter to shore. I'm still a little leery of the gators as they are still in this area. When we woke the next morning this beach was gone as we are now in to tides. We have to be careful that the anchorage that we choose at high tide still has lots of water at low tide. Some Loopers have been stranded waiting for high tide so they can leave their anchorage because they run aground when the tide goes out.
Even at anchor the dolphins played around our boat.
We had the most beautiful sunset at this anchorage
Weighed anchor at around 7:30 in the morning heading for Pensacola Florida. We are expecting high winds and heavy rain for the next couple of days so we will likely stay put in Pensacola for a few days.
Shortly after leaving our anchorage, we passed a Military base that is home of the Blue Angels, America's equivalent of our Snowbirds. There was a huge military ship docked at the base as we cruised by. Why would anyone mess with the USA when they have this kind of equipment? I wanted Steve to get closer so we could get a better picture but we noticed a smaller boat patrolling the ship. We thought we might be shot.
The homes along the ICW are quite different than those along the Mississippi.
Crossing the state border in to Florida
As we pulled in to Sabine Bay in Pensacola the water was much more clear than previous lakes and rivers. The homes were beautiful with large boats at their doorsteps.
We settled in using our new headset radios to dock. In the past I would yell up to the bridge and Steve would say I can't hear you. Then I would say we are secure and Steve would say I can't hear you. Then I would chat with people on the dock, pour myself a drink and then I would hear Steve saying Janice? Janice? Janice? With these radios, no yelling, we can just talk. Much easier, and now Steve knows when we are secure instead of guessing.
Once settled we took a long walk on the beach. It was around 70 degrees and cloudy so the beaches were deserted which made for a pleasant walk for Dexter. This beach is on the ICW.
Locals looking for some spare change with their metal detectors.
The following day we took a walk on the ocean side of Pensacola Beach.