Nov 13/14, Days49/50 Roll Tide

What a TERRIBLE Saturday. After trash talking with Alabama football fans all the way down the rivers to Mobile for the last month, the Huskies lay an egg against USC. I’ll probably get by only having to eat crow with the Daphne, Alabama Enterprise car rental guy from Saturday morning, but even so, so much for that fun diversion. It was great while it lasted.

Our original plan had been to get to Mobile by the middle of this week, fly home on Friday for Thanksgiving and then fly back to the boat to continue our trip. Since we arrived a bit earlier than expected, we’d thought we’d try and get to Pensacola, Florida but then boat gremlins appeared in the form of steering issues.

The steering works fine (how else would we get here?), but the hydraulics are leaking a bit and the upper helm station squeaks and feels “lumpy”. Turns out the bearings in the upper helm station are gone. No problem! N went into the toolbox (ie, wallet) and broke out our most effective tool (ie, Visa card) and here we’ll sit until the part arrives and gets installed. We could have pressed on, but would have risked losing steering in the Gulf which seems like an awfully vast body of water to be risking steering problems.

Even the moorages are tricky. Notice this sailboat’s mast relative to the horizon? That’s not good when you don’t have the sail up! This guy went aground tied to the dock and had to wait for the tide to get away.


Speaking of vast bodies of waters, northwesterner’s don’t often get into waters with nothing on the horizon, but that’s how it is in Mobile Bay. It pretty weird to go across a huge open body of water looking for pilings with “channel marker” numbers on them to know where you are. I think we’ll be doing a lot of channel marker spotting for a while so we’re once again delighted to have….our image stabilizing binoculars!

Here you get an idea of the navigational posts in what is a very large expanse of water.


OK, so we had a day off the water in Fairhope, AL. N played golf while B headed into the wild outdoors.

Believe it or not this chip shot landed 12″ from the whole for a tap in par on 18! Can’t say the other 17 went as smoothly, but it’s still golf in balmy November weather on the Gulf Coast.


Meanwhile, B got her “animal” on! Note duct tape on gators snout.


N’s anchor recovery business has been suspended indefinitely after seeing this along the river….notice the lack of duct tape on this one!


We also went to the #1 Alabama tourist attraction; the battleship USS Alabama.

Can you imagine cruising on this? Whaddya mean no dock space? We’ll just blast a bunch of trawlers out of the way! This boat draws 33′ (that’s more underwater than our entire boat is long) and goes 30 knots.


These guns launched 2,000lb projectiles as far as 21 miles. To put that in perspective, you could anchor the Alabama in Tacoma and basically blast everything from Olympia to Bellevue! Whoa!


The ship was pretty cool and very much more accessible than the USS Missouri used to be when on display in Bremerton, but I can’t decide if having a battleship as your number one tourist attraction is good or bad. Either way it’s a must visit when in Mobile.

The average US Sailor in WWII was 5’8″ and weighed 145 pounds, but N still fit in the bunks.


Next day was again spent on the dock. Amazing how you can fill time doing absolutely nothing and feel so busy!


In the early morning you can catch the boats at the dock and buy freshly caught shrimp (minimum buy was 6lbs for $20)


….which you then barbeque up for an excellent shrimp dinner!


As it turns out, N kept up the “not so” subtle pressure (if you know N) on the repair yard here to get parts ordered and work scheduled. N can be obnoxiously relentless in a pleasant way when encouraging a seemingly unenthusiastic crew to get something done (right kids?!). Seems all is marching ahead, but we’ll reserve judgment until the final wrench is turned.

In the meantime we’ll be dinking around with our dinghy in sloughs like this one that go miles back off the gulf with depths that allow access to fairly large boats.

One thought on “Nov 13/14, Days49/50 Roll Tide”

  1. So what do you do with 6 lbs. of shrimp???

    Love the gators! The biggest one I’ve ever saw in the wild in Florida was about 15 feet! But I’ve heard they can be up to 18 feet. They are amazing if you hear them growl. They rear up on their front legs and growwwwl, almost a roar! They also grunt, call, and leave tail tracks that you can follow.

    I hope your repair is safely completed! So my guess is that Nick wrote this post…trying to guess from the tone!

    Travel safely! J


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