-E.B. White

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

CROSSED M0BILE BAY ON JAN. 10TH - decided to make a run for it. The winds were down a bit, left in low tide so the channel out to the bay caused the pucker factor - if you know what I mean - lots of skinny water. The Bay was kind to us and no sooner did we reach the Intracostal the dolphins were there to welcome us. It just feels warmer knowing we are nearing Florida.
We made it thru Pensacola on the 11th - we love the white sand dunes along the waterway.

Anchored on Chocthawatchee Bay and woke up to a beautiful sunrise - heard on the news that they have rescued 800 or more sea turtles from the gulf and will release them after cold weather moves thru and water temps get above 50 degrees.

Now how about a "little" info on aids to navigation - these are the road signs of the water. Lighthouses are the most familiar aid to navigation - they warn the high seas navigator of the proximity of land.

Range markers indicate the centerline of a channel. A range consists of two fixed aids to navigation positioned with respect to each other so that when seen in a line they indicate that your craft maybe in safe waters.

Lighted bouys are metal floats that are equipped with a battery powered light and mounted atop a short skeleton tower. Green lights mark the left hand side of the channel coming in from the sea and red lights mark the right hand side.

Red Lighted Bouy

Green Lighted Bouy

The channel markers on the Intracostal Waterways are generally marked with either numbered daymark signs

Green daymark
or numbered green or red bouys
Green Bouy - called Cans

Red Nun Bouy

My question is - Why is there always more bird crap on one side?
Somedays on the Intracostal Waterway we are in wide open bays like this.

and some days in narrow cuts like this

We made it to Panama City on the 12th and because our weather window this week was very small and a big blow was coming we decided to stay a week; get a rental car; drive to Columbus, Ms - 360 miles or so, pickup our Envoy and bring it to Panama City with a plan to leapfrog it eventually to Ft. Myers. So now we have not complicated our boating life style enough by adding a dog to the mix, but now we are dragging our car along.

Panama City Marina
The next morning our friends Rick & Pam on Tourist caught up with us, but they just stopped for fuel and headed out for a gulf crossing (a very small weather window that go fast boats could make). Some days it would be nice to go faster. We wish for them calm seas and a safe crossing. Hope to see them soon in Ft. Myers.

Tourist (Rick & Pam onboard)

We spent the week cleaning the boat, repairing some torn canvas, walking the town, and walking Izzy. One of Izzy's walks resulted in a visit at 9:00 PM to the ER for Rick. Izzy and another dog decided to run full blast towards him and knocked his feet right out from under him and he landed on his right elbow on the concrete. Thank goodness for friends Mike & Pam (met in 2005 on the Tenn-Tom Waterway) who live in Panama City and keep their boat at the marina. 1st off for their help in getting Rick to the Emergency Room and 2ndly for graciously inviting us to dinner and sharing great boating experiences.

Broulee all clean and shinny.

The piling where our boat was tied - oysters anyone?


They keep saying "Izzy get the stick, get the stick" - You call this a stick? It's a palm frond!

I have not seen a decent stick since Columbus, Ms.

I got another new toy - meeeet snakey - I have never seen anything like it before! They just don't have toys like this in Minnesota.

I also was lucky enough to get some new soup bones to chew on, but need to keep snakey held down because he moves around alot.

I heard this awful sceaming noise outside and ran out to see what it was - I've never seen so many birds in the sky at once - and our ducks up north fly in a nice V-formation - these guys are crazy.

Quick, I really need to get over there and check them out.

They also took me to the beach for a romp in the ocean. It was all good until I drank too much salt water and upchucked my lunch.

We did pull over in the car so mom could get this last picture of the beach at Panama City - nice one mom.

Tuesday, the 19th of January we all got up early - they are whispering about something - oh, oh the engine is starting.

OH, NO - there goes the dock !

Now that we can't go for a walk - anybody want to play ball?
And now I have to do my business in this tiny tray with AstroTurf in it - Kelly, JoJo, Buddy & Cisco you don't know how good you have it even if you have to poop in snow. It's very humiliating!

We passed this pulp mill on the way out of Panama City and my mom was plugging her nose. It has something to do with the memory of a road trip to Canada when she was a little girl and her and her sisters throwing up in the backseat of the car - disgusting!

I guess we may be crossing the big pond tonight hopefully we won't need these guys!

P.S. We did leave from Apalachicola on Tuesday night at around 6:00 PM ET - nice seas - 1 to 2 feet and by morning flat seas. In Clearwater at the city marina at 5:00PM and greeted by Randy & Cindy Picklemann on Morning Star (a Krogen Manatee) who just happened to be at the Marina visiting friends. Looks like another blow tomorrow so will probably hang here for a day.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

LEFT COLUMBUS ON SATURDAY, January 2, 2010 and are just now January 6th passing thru Mobile, AL on our way to Grand Mariner Marina on Dog River (south of Mobile). It's been an interesting five day trek with Izzy on board. I just figured out we have done this trip 13 times so it's kind of hard to keep blogging about that telephone booth in the middle of nowhere or the white cliffs at Epes, or the history of Demopolis, Columbus and the Tenn-Tom waterway, the locks and their rise and fall and all the neat anchorages. You will have to go back to some of the old blogs for that and we are now stuck in Mobile with some of the wierdest weather we have ever seen this far south. Got here Wednesday night and as usual the restaurant is closed for maintenance so no rest for the galley wench - woke up Thursday morning to a beautiful sunrise and temps warming to the high 50's. By 3:00 in the afternoon it all went to hell and snow and gale force winds are predicted for the next four days. Oh well time to catch up on the blog.

Are you kidding me - this is necessary because the winds are whipping in from the north - thankyou to Deb's sister Gail for leaving the door open in Southern Minnesota and letting the winds this far south.

I forgot to mention this new 4.65 billion dollar stainless steel processing plant that we have watched being built since November of 2007 just north of Mobile. It is owned by a German company out of Dusseldorf named ThyssonKrupp. It covers 3,500 acres of that 1,200 is under roofs. When completed (estimated sometime in 2010) it will be the largest steel plant in the world.

Beautiful sunrise Thursday Morning before all hell broke loose.

We have seen this ship in various stages for the last couple of years and it finally peeked our curiosity enough to google it and this is a new generation high speed warship named "Independence" to be comissioned January 16, 2010 in Mobile, Al at the Austal USA, this is the 1st Littoral Combat Ship comissioned thru Austal for the Navy Defense. On May 4, 2009 the Navy ordered a second ship - think it is to be named Coronado.

Now Izzy's blog time - please play with me, please - I am soooo bored?

Every morning I get up and someone has moved all my toys back into my toy box - why????

Now I have to get them all out again!!

There now they are perfect!

I really need to get off of this boat five days is asking alot - please someone wake me up when we get to land.

Some fine waterfront property - hey Brad & Kate - it's the Smith Compound - Alabama style. There's a shanty for Mammy & Pappy, one for Granny and one for Uncle Bubba.

I think they should start thinking about moving out -

before this happens.