Saturday, November 30, 2013

Internet fumble!

Sorry, folks!

I had written a full description of our trip home yesterday, complete with pictures. I click on the Publish button and got the "update successful" message. However, the "update" seems to be stuck in internet limbo somewhere, since it never appeared here. So I will have to write it again. I just don't have the energy right now, so will try again later.

Dang technology!!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving Day - and we have lots to be thankful for!

It was quite cold last night, getting down to 29 degrees. We still managed to get by without having to run the heaters, and it was only 42 degrees inside the boat. Perfect for snuggling!  We awoke to an absolutely gorgeous day, even the wind has finally subsided. When I first went outside there was frost on the cap rails and decks.

Poor Duke was having a real time of it trying to use his mat on the bow. The bow deck has quite an angle to it, and he kept sliding past the mat. Poor guy had just started peeing when he slid the final time. He decided to wait until I gave him a ride to shore. We bundled up and hopped in the dinghy and headed to his favorite spot. As I was leaving Paula handed me the wrench I was constantly forgetting. Thanks, dear!

The cold air had Duke feeling really frisky. Once he completed his contribution to fertilizing the bushes, he came flying back to the dink. He leaped the last 4-5 feet and landed half way back in the boat. Then he did a butt-tuck run, made a u-turn, and jumped back out and tore off down the small beach. He repeated this process a half dozen times before finally exhausting his energy. The water was much lower than normal, so exposed the muddy bottom. Needless to say the dink is full of muddy paw prints now!

Once that job was completed, we headed over to the abandoned sailboat to retrieve the propane tank. As we came around the corner, there were 8-10 deer along the shoreline. I expected them all to bolt into the woods, but most of them stayed at the water's edge. I managed to get a few pictures, but I was a fair distance away, and cell phones don't take good zoom photos. Duke saw the deer, too, and kept his eyes locked on them until the last one disappeared into the high marsh grass. We probably spent about 10 minutes watching them.

Once that excitement was done, it was time to get down to work .The sailboat had moved a bit from its previous location. The high tides and winds had pushed it further up to the bank. In addition, we now had an extremely low tide, so the boat was sitting up out of the water. It apparently has twin keels and it is resting on them. It made it a bit more difficult to retrieve the propane tank, as it was now located at chest level. Once I removed the hose connection and tried lifting it, it was obvious that the tank was full. It was heavy, and hard to lift out of the propane locker. But I was successful. You can see that the boat has been pretty well picked over already. I was quite surprised no one had taken the propane tank yet.

When we returned to the boat I eased the dinghy up to the swim platform, as usual. Duke then hops onto the swim platform, then deftly hops up through the boarding gate to the back deck. It did not happen that way this time. He got his front legs on the platform, then hesitated. It only took a few seconds, but by the time he decided to continue on the dinghy had drifted to the side a little bit and he lost his balance. His back end went into the water and he desperately tried to hang on to the swim platform with his front legs. That didn't work and he fell in with a big splash. I plucked him out quickly and pulled him into the dinghy. I pulled back up to Microship and this time he wasted no time in getting aboard. Oh well, no more muddy paws now!

A short while later it was time to begin prepping for cooking Thanksgiving dinner. Grilled turkey, sweet potato casserole, shrimp & sausage dressing, cranberry-apple relish, and one of Paula's pecan pies. What a feast. It was nice to have two propane tanks; I could use one for grilling turkey outside, and the other with our two burner propane stove for cooking sweet potatoes and dressing ingredients. After we stuffed ourselves silly all we could do is sit around the boat and complain how full we were. A perfect Thanksgiving!

The sailboats rafted up behind us went through several boats. There were never more than three at one time, but one would leave and shortly after another would arrive. You could sure hear that everyone was having a good time.

Around 3:00 pm I just had to go have a nap. It just would not be Thanksgiving without it. When I woke up I looked out to see a little flotilla arriving. I don't know if they were traveling together, or just coincidentally arrived at the same time. But three trawlers and three sailboats were coming in. One of the trawlers anchored on the opposite side of the sailboats from us. The other two trawlers and a sailboat continued on to the back of Ingram Bayou, where we were. I don't know why, there was plenty of space to anchor before they got this far back. One of the trawlers anchored within 50' of us. I had to call them on the radio to request they give us a bit more room, as we had 100' of anchor chain out and were swinging in a large circle. They courteously pulled up the anchor and move a short distance away. He is closer than he looks in the picture.

One of the other trawlers, really more of a houseboat, tried to get their generator started. After trying for an hour or so they gave up. They are now sitting over there with no lights showing at all. The hailing port on the stern is somewhere in Iowa. The other boat here is from Rhode Island.

The wind has been pretty light all day, and is totally calm right now. The marine forecast for tomorrow says 10-15 knots from the NE, even less Saturday, then less still on Sunday. Depending on how the wind is actually blowing in the morning, we may make a run for it. Otherwise, we will have to wait until Saturday. I would prefer not to have to wait until Sunday, as we need to be back in Hammond Monday.

But, it will be what it will be. The most dangerous thing on a boat is a schedule!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Day 6 (Wednesday) - afternoon update

After a short nap we were ready to get off the boat for a while. So we decided to have another go at getting to Pirates Cove. The wind seemed to have eased up considerably, so off we went. Let's just say that the trees surrounding our anchorage do an admirable job of blocking the wind. We made it just around the eastern point and got blasted. We have a whole new appreciation for how protected our anchorage is!

We returned to the calm waters of Ingram Bayou, but were not ready to go back to Microship yet. We just took a tour of the area. It was a little breezy way back in the northern part of Ingram, where there is a stretch of water open to the north. So we entered the small bayou at the NE corner of the area, and explored the back as far as we could go. It is pretty back here, with lots of wildlife.

Unfortunately, less than a mile back, the bayou is blocked by fallen trees. We could go no further. It was so peaceful that I turned off the motor and broke out the oars. I rowed all the way back to open water. It was good exercise, and allowed us to hear all the sounds of nature around us.

Since I was in the rowing seat, Paula was in the drivers seat.  She has yet to operate the dinghy, and this seemed like a good time for her first driving lesson. She started the motor and we proceeded to zig zag around the lagoon. She has trouble adjusting to the fact that she has to point the motor tiller in the opposite direction she wants the boat to go. But, all in all, she did really well. More practice will make steering second nature.

While she was circling around I managed to get a couple of pictures of the other abandoned sailboat here. This one has been here a while. It is usually stuck up along the shoreline, but the high winds and water this week have floated it and it is riding on its anchor in the middle of the dead end canal on the NW side of Ingram Bayou.

I had hoped to swing by the other abandoned sailboat here to get the propane tank from it, but I keep forgetting my darn wrench every time we come out! We are down to less than 1/4 in our propane tank. We don't use it often, but I am planning on grilling steaks tonight, and turkey tomorrow.

It was getting cooler, so we started heading back to the boat. Along the way we made a quick stop for Duke to take care of business, so I don't have to come out again today. As we got to the boat the sun was just going behind the trees. The temperature was dropping rapidly, so it was nice to get back aboard. There were a couple of owls hooting in the trees, and a pack of coyotes howling in the distance.

Time to settle in with an adult beverage and start cooking dinner. On the menu tonight is grilled steaks (filet mignon, Paula's favorite), baked sweet potatoes, and sauteed zucchini and onions. Pumpkin pie for desert. We also baked the cornbread for the stuffing tomorrow.

I went to check on the anchor, just before going to bed, and there was already a layer of frost on the bow. Made the footing a bit dicey! But Duke and I made it back inside with our butts, and pride, intact.

Day 6 (Wednesday) - The sun returns!

For once, the weather forecast has certainly been accurate. We were supposed to have gale force winds, and we did. Our weather alert system (flying bridge aluminum frame) thrummed and wailed all night long. There were many times during the night when a strong gust would slam the side of the boat and make it rock side to side. At one time this may have been bothersome, but now it just rocks us back to sleep.

It got quite chilly overnight, but we were snug as a bug in a rug, curled up with each other under our down comforter and blanket. Duke was curled up on the couch under his own blanket. Since we generally don't run the generator overnight, that means no heaters. But there really is no need, we are both a bit hot blooded, and would rather the boat be cold, than warm.

We awoke to a beautiful, sunny sky. But the wind is gusting to 30-40 mph, so the wind chill is bitter if you step outside.

Duke and I made a run to shore, for his pleasure. Once ashore, and in the woods, it was not too bad as we were out of the wind. He took care of business quickly, but I walked around and allowed him to go exploring. He has not had a chance to spend more than a few minutes ashore since last Thursday, so he appreciated the opportunity to romp a bit. It was quite amusing to watch him. He would go off into the woods until he would just lose sight of me. Then he would come running back at full tilt, leaping over branches and bushes. Once he got back to he would go off exploring in the opposite direction, then repeat the process. He had a good time, and burned off some excess energy.

We still have three sailboats here this morning. No one is any hurry to take a dinghy ride, with the bitter wind blowing like it is. One of the boats was supposed to head off to the Wharf Marina yesterday, but I think the stormy weather delayed that.

The Three Amigos!

Paula was cooking breakfast by the time Duke and I returned. Homemade biscuits, and green onion sausage patties. I just love sausage biscuits! As I came aboard, she handed me a mug of steaming hot coffee. What a woman!

We spent the morning trying to decide if we should again attempt to get over to Pirates Cove for lunch. While the wind is out of the NW, meaning it should be a relatively soft and dry ride, it is REALLY cold out there. So neither of us is sure we are willing to make the chilly ride over. Plus, we want to take Duke, since the place is dog friendly. But he is likely to freeze his skinny tail off before we get there. His Aunt Becca has purchased a sweater for him, but he won't get that until we get back home.

Shortly before lunch the sailboat, that was supposed to leave yesterday, pulled out. So now we are down to two boats left here. The original boat is not supposed to leave until Saturday; not sure what the other one plans to do.

We are down to two other boats here.

Here are some pictures of how it looks from our vantage point inside the boat. Really nice scenery, not sure  if you can see the Pelicans and Loons around the boat.

Duke loves laying in the sun. He is quite content that he can lay in his favorite spot on the couch, and have the sun, too. We call it "belly up mode". This is how he likes to sleep.

Well, this has been another Bloody Mary morning, so I think it is nap time now. Perhaps I will write more tonight.  Perhaps, there will even be something to write about!! :)

Day 5 - Rainy Tuesdays

Last night was a wet one. It rained so hard at some times that it woke us up and sounded like hail hitting the deck! I got up a couple of times to check on things and found it was just heavy rain, and lots of wind. By the time we finally got up around 7:00 am, it seemed as though the worst had passed. We actually started seeing some blue skies.  Then, a short while later, I looked out the window and saw that we had more bad weather approaching.

Aww, c'mon!! More rain???

Well, that was the last we saw of blue skies today. It rained the remainder of the day, well into the evening. It was also quite chilly, as the temps fell all day. It was 64 degrees when we woke, and quickly started falling. By noon is was in the low 50's, and by sunset it was in the 40's. Wind chill was 35 degrees. And it is supposed be colder tomorrow, and colder yet on Thanksgiving. Hard freeze warnings are up, and is supposed to be 29 degrees here Thanksgiving morning. Brrrrr!

Given the bad weather, no one left their boats today. Well, except us. I did have to make a bathroom run to shore for Duke. But he was out and back in the dinghy in less than minute. I don't think I have ever seen him go that quick!

Looking forward to landfall!

One bright spot in an otherwise gloomy day is that we received news that our good friends, Alan & Peggy, are going to be getting married. Congrats to them!!  An even bigger surprise, and a very exciting one, is that they have honored us by asking us to be best man and matron of honor. We are tickled pink to be allowed to participate in this event. Now if we can just get the wind to subside so we can get back to Bay St. Louis for the wedding! :)

We spent the day reading (thank goodness for Kindles), listening to music, and watching the rain, and blowing wind . When the wind gets to 30 mph and above, it makes some interesting sounds when passing through the aluminum framework on the flying bridge. It starts as a low thrumming sound, then builds to a sort of wailing. Kind of eerie, actually. I used to have a wind alarm set on our weather station; it would go off when the wind hit 30 mph. I now have it set at 40 mph, since the sound from the flying bridge serves as adequate alert to wake me in the night!

The heavy rain has alerted us to some leaky spots we had not seen before. So I have some new items added to my ever growing boat to-do list. Does this lists ever get shorter? I mean, we have had this boat nine years now, and I have completed hundreds of items on the to-do list. But it just gets longer, never shorter!

Since it was getting cold tonight, Paula suggested chili for dinner. Sounded perfect to me. So we cooked the ground chuck in the skillet, added the black beans and other ingredients, then transferred it to the small Crockpot we keep aboard. This allowed the chili to do the slow simmer it needed to develop the best flavor. Then, using a black cast iron skillet, Paula made some of her killer cornbread. Since the oven was already hot, she also baked one of the best pumpkin pies I have ever tasted.

Life certainly is good aboard!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Day 4 - Monday, Monday

Since we are stuck in one location, it is getting difficult to come up with things to write about!

The weather today was much warmer than the last few days, getting up to 68. Much more humid, too. Still have winds gusting to 20-25 knots. There is a big storm system heading our way from offshore of Texas. It is supposed to arrive tonight with heavy rain and even higher winds.

We did manage to get off the boat for a while. We had hoped to go have lunch at Pirates Cove nearby. It is an interesting place, a bit of a hole in the wall. But, fun to visit, and very dog friendly. We have not stopped there in 3-4 years and were really looking forward to it. But the weather is just not cooperating. As soon as we left the protection of our anchorage we were buffeted with high winds and a heck of a rough and wet ride. We were going to have head directly into it for at least 30 minutes or so, and would have been soaking wet by the time we arrived. I quickly executed a maneuver Paula taught me a few years ago... the U-turn!

I dropped Paula and Duke back at the boat and went to investigate the abandoned sailboat. Maybe there was something to salvage. It looked like it had been picked over pretty good, but I did find a perfectly good propane tank. I think it even still has propane in it.. and we need some! So I am going to return later with a crescent wrench so I can remove the regulator and liberate the tank.

We spent the afternoon reading books, watching wildlife, and trying to get the bread to rise so we can make Stromboli for dinner. It's just not warm enough to get it to rise properly. So I preheated the oven a little and stuck it in there. Then I tackled reprogramming the satellite dish so we could have TV again. Not that we watch much when aboard, but it is nice to catch the news and weather. We also use it for listening to DirecTV music channels.

It was getting late at this point, and we were getting antsy again, so time for another dinghy ride. I fixed us a couple of hot buttered rums in travel mugs, and we all hopped in the little boat to go exploring. A woman from one of the sailboats was rowing a small inflatable boat around the anchorage. As she passed by Paula commented that she was sure getting her exercise. The woman responded that she was going stir crazy on the boat and had to get out and do something. The couple in the other sailboat also got out and started rowing around the shoreline. So everyone was out getting a little fresh air before the storm.

The wind really ramped up and it starting getting cooler so we all headed back to our boats. Around dusk it started to drizzle and did that all evening. Just after dark a third sailboat arrived and anchored much closer to us than the others, but still a good distance away. It was time to start dinner so I checked on the bread, and it had hardly risen at all. Oh well, I just took a rolling pin to it and squished the heck out of it. I was able to spread it out enough so we could fill it with all the goodies, then roll it up and put it in the oven. It turned out delicious, one of our favorite boat meals. Thanks to our daughter, Alison, for the recipe.  We have made it hundreds of times over the years, and never tire of it.

I spent the evening remotely accessing customer's computers to get some service work done. Gotta pay the bills. By the time I headed off to bed it was raining pretty steadily.

Sorry, no pictures today.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Day 3 - Just another day in paradise!

Woke up to an absolutely beautiful day!  While the wind is still howling, we have clear blue skies, low humidity, and cool temps. Tucked in behind the trees we are not feeling the brunt of the wind.

Sunrise in Ingram Bayou

It was too cool and windy to sit up top this morning, but we still enjoyed the view while sipping coffee and nibbling on some more of the pumpkin bread. Other than the one sailboat here, and they are anchored about a half mile away, we have the entire place to ourselves.

Checking the weather forecast again, I see that little has changed. Forecast is for high winds through Friday, and heavy rain Monday night and Tuesday. We were supposed to meet up with our friends Bill & Debbie Stuart, who live in Gulf Shores, but the weather is preventing us from leaving the protection of our anchorage. Perhaps things will ease enough tomorrow for us to dinghy in to a local marina to meet up with them.

With the clear and sunny skies, Ingram Bayou looks completely different. Compare this picture to the one from yesterday.

Ingram in all its glory!

Foggy Ingram!

Paula decided she was in a baking mood today, so fired up the oven and made some Banana Oatmeal cookies. Holy cow, they sure smelled good. The folks on the sailboat downwind of us came out sniffing the wind to figure out where the smell came from!  I have been snacking on them all day!

I finally got around to launching the dinghy, so we could go exploring. Of course, Duke was quite excited at the opportunity to go for a bathroom break ashore, so that was the first place we visited. He wasted no time in hopping out of the dink and taking care of business. He was one happy dog!

Back to the boat for lunch... hot dogs with pepper jack cheese, potato salad, and cole slaw. With an ice cold beer to wash it down. Life is surely good! :)

Then it was time to get down to business. I have been meaning to make some changes to our electrical system. We have an Iota 90 amp battery charger that I installed a few years ago to supplement the 120 amp charger in our inverter. The problem was that the Iota charger was running off the engine room light circuit. So, if I forgot to unplug it after shutting down the generator, it would be using the batteries to run the charger. That was not good. Also, when running the generator, if I had both chargers running, using the oven or cooktop would cause the circuit breaker to trip. So I wanted to isolate the Iota charger to a dedicated breaker that only ran from the generator or shore power. I spent the afternoon running new wires and connecting to a spare breaker on the electrical panel. It took a few hours but I finally got it all hooked up. When I ran the generator and tested the new configuration, the breaker tripped after a few seconds. It turns out the charger needs a 30A breaker, and I had connected it to a 10A breaker. Duh!  Fortunately, the galley air conditioner is on the fritz, so I was able to connect to that 30A breaker. Voila! We can now run both chargers, oven, and cooktop simultaneously! So now I only have to run the generator for two hours, rather than three hours, to get the house bank batteries charged up! An afternoon well spent. :)

By the time I was finished with the electrical project, it was time for our daily sunset ride in the dinghy. A couple of travel mugs of wine and off we go. While Ingram Bayou is known for it's scenic beauty, it is also known as a location of abandoned boats. There are two sailboats way in the back now. I got a picture of only one, but will get a picture of the other on our next outing tomorrow. The one pictured below was not here when we came through last May. 

Abandoned sailboat

We cruised all the way to the back of Ingram. The waterway forks in the back, with the west leg dead ending about a half mile back. The northeast leg goes back into the woods a ways, then is blocked by a fallen tree. The fishing is supposed to be good back there, but I have never tried. Since we are stuck here this seems like it may be a good time to give it a try. 

While we were out another sailboat came in and anchored between us and the other sailboat. They are still a good ways from us, so we still have the back area of Ingram to ourselves. The folks on both of the sailboats also took a late afternoon dinghy cruise through Ingram. We chatted with the people from the first sailboat. They commented on the fact that they had seen us here several times here before. Paula and I had already noted that this boat was here the last three times we have anchored here. As I mentioned previously, we thought they were living aboard here. It turns out that it is purely coincidence that they just happen to be anchored here at the same time we are. They come over from Mobile and spend a week or so at a time here. The guy even apologized to me for shining his spotlight in my eyes last May, when we were making our way in here late at night, after our nightmare crossing of Mobile Bay.

As the sun set it was getting quite chilly, and the wind was picking up again. So we decided it was time to get back to Microship. Poor Duke was shivering, and his teeth were chattering! As we turned the corner and the boat came back into view, Paula commented on how beautiful the scene was, and asked me to get a picture of it. So here it is.

Microship at anchor in Ingram Bayou
Once back aboard it was time for a couple of sundowners, and watch the sunset. The wind had subsided again, and it was very peaceful. No dolphin excursion boats, no fishermen, just the sound of nature. As the light faded the stars came out in all their glory. The Milky Way was very bright. 

Sunset on Ingram Bayou

Paula made her homemade Chicken Pot Pie, and I was in heaven. It must be driving those poor folks downwind on the sailboats crazy to be smelling all this good food. On top of that, she baked a Dutch Apple Pie for dessert. If she keeps cooking like this, I hope the wind never lets up!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Day 2 - Settling in for the long haul.

Awoke this morning to find the winds were still calm. But it is overcast and foggy. Ingram Bayou is a beautiful anchorage, located just north of Orange Beach. We have spent many nights here, and it is one of our favorite anchorages on the gulf coast.

Early morning in Ingram Bayou

The raft of six trawlers broke up at daybreak. Took them a while to get separated, then all headed out to the east. The sailboat remains. Having seen this boat here multiple times before, and always anchored in exactly the same spot, it makes me wonder if the couple is living aboard and this is there permanent spot.

We had a wonderfully peaceful night, and slept like the dead. I got up first and made coffee, and Paula finally followed the smell up the stairs. We took our mugs of steaming coffee to the top deck and watched the wildlife. Pelicans, Loons, and Osprey hunting. Pods of dolphin feeding all around the boat. Blue Heron wading in the shallows, snagging fish. We had breakfast up there, some of Paula's most excellent Pumpkin bread. Good stuff with some chocolate milk to wash it down!

Duke has decided to be stubborn about bathroom breaks on the bow. He has refused to go, preferring to wait for a much hoped for dinghy ride to shore. But I have not launched it yet, so he is going to have to make do with his AstroTurf mat on the bow. I figured he would be about to pop by this morning and would go quickly. Unfortunately, he was unable to hold it through the night and decided the ice chest by the back door was as good as place as any to let go. So we had a mess to clean up when we got up. Duke got fussed at, and banished to the bow until he did his remaining business. He toughed it out up there for six hours, shivering in the cool breeze. I went up there and encouraged him several times, to no effect. Finally, in early afternoon, he gave in and the dam broke! Have not had a problem with him since. He goes on command! :)

We were feeling decadent, so had Bloody Mary's, a late, leisurely lunch of leftover chicken & dumplings, and a long afternoon nap. Woke up feeling refreshed and relaxed. The wind started picking up, as forecast. We had hoped to continue on to Pensacola, but with 25-30 knot north winds forecast, I think we are going to be here for the rest of the week. 

We ate dinner late, since we had a late lunch. Fettuccine Alfredo with chicken was on the menu tonight, and there was nothing leftover this time! Wow, was that good stuff. Settled in to watch some TV, only to find that there are hardly any local over the air TV broadcasts here. Switched over to satellite and that was not working, either. The in-motion dish needs to be reprogrammed periodically, and this is one of those times. I did not feel like messing with it tonight, so put it off until tomorrow. So we just sat here and listened to the wind howl and read our books until bedtime.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Boring can be a good thing

Well, I wish I could have some excitement to report for our blog readers. But, for our sake, I am happy to report that I do not. We had a completely uneventful trip from on our first day of the cruise. It was certainly a long day, though. We departed at 8:15 am, and arrived at our first anchorage at 11:00 pm. But the weather cooperated this time, and we had a smooth trip. Even across Mobile Bay. In fact, it was dead calm when we entered the bay at 6:30 pm. Paula even cooked dinner as we crossed the bay... chicken & dumplings. Yum-oh!
This was our first full crossing of the bay at night. While we got caught in a storm here last time we crossed in May of this year, we were 3/4 of the way across before night fell. This time it was black as pitch by the time we got there. To make visibility even worse, there were patches of fog across the bay. But we had no problems, and did not even see another boat in 2.75 hours it took us to get across. We entered the ICW on the east side of the bay at 9:15 pm.

As we progressed eastward we passed Lulu's, and Tacky Jack's. Since it was Friday night, we expected them to be packed. Much to our surprise, both places were almost totally empty! I have never seen Lulu's like that. Of course, it was 9:45 pm, but I expected at least the bar to be hoppin'.

As we approached the Wharf marina we started getting multiple alerts about impending collisions. Looking at the chart plotter I could see at least six boats had left their AIS transponders on. Since we were going to be passing within 10-15 yards of them Coastal Explorer software was warning us of the close approach. I finally had to mute it.

As we approached Ingram Bayou I could see two targets on the radar. So it looked like there were at least two boats already anchored in there. When I made the turn to enter I briefly turned on the spot light to see how they were anchored. It turned there were not two boats, but seven?  One small sailboat that we have seen here before, anchored off to the side. Then six trawlers, all rafted up together in the middle. I squeezed between them and the sailboat and went all the way to the back and dropped anchor in 10' of water. With all the trees around we are well protected from the high winds forecast for tomorrow. Now it is time for a nightcap and some well deserved sleep.

Thanksgiving 2013 cruise - Day 1

We got off to a late start this morning. The weather forecast has been changing so much it has been difficult to plan when and where to go. Today and tonight is supposed to be perfect weather, then degrading to a cold and blustery day tomorrow. Looks like it is going to be very windy for the next several days. So we decided to go for it and head to Florida. We did not get underway until 8:15 am this morning, and we need to be across Mobile Bay before the front arrives sometime early tomorrow morning. So, it is going to be a long 15 hour run to our next anchorage in Ingram Bayou, just north of Orange Beach, AL.

But, we are off to a good start, with light winds and calm seas, as you can see below. This is supposed to persist well into the night, so we should be fine getting across Mobile Bay between 6:00 and 8:00 pm tonight. You can follow our progress by clicking on the Live Tracking link on the right.

It does not get much better than this!