Tuesday, October 28 - Mobile, AL to Orange Beach, AL
The guys enjoyed a great cruise through the AL Canal today. In the evening, they just had to make time to go to the FLORABAMA... it's a classic bar, of sorts. If you haven't been, you need to. If you have been, you know what we mean. Enough said.
Wednesday, October 29 - Orange Beach, AL to Pensacola, FL
Beautiful cruising today - and no incidents!
Thursday, November 6 - Pensacola, FL to Sandestin, FL
Alone at last! After weeks of very difficult (and different) schedules, Tom and I converged on the boat together... with such difficult weeks behind us, we really looked forward to enjoying Fall on the Gulf in the panhandle.
While in Pensacola, we met the most wonderful friends, Larry and Kaye. We felt like "kin" once we discovered we were all members of the Reformed Church (Larry & Kaye attend a Ref. church in Texas). It is a small world, after all. We were glad we would be cruising together for the next few days at least.
Sandestin was really lovely - it had really changed since I was there some 10-12 years ago. BayTowne Marina & Village was very nice. Lots of good restaurants and shops to wander in. On Thursday night, we enjoyed dinner with our new friends.
On Friday, we took advantage of the help of a great Carver mechanic onsite at BayTowne who helped us right some of the wrongs onboard (that were done by previous mechanics). Thanks very much!
Saturday, November 8 - Sandestin, FL to Panama City Beach, FL
It was a beautiful cruise from Sandestin to Panama City. It had been many, many years since either of us had been to PCB, so it was interesting to see how much it had changed (or not). Many of the sights were familiar to me - Cassie and I had spent several of her Spring Breaks here with our Georgia friends years ago.
On Sat afternoon, Kaye was kind enough to give me a lift to the WinnDixie to get a few supplies. Thanks, Kaye. And, later, she outdid herself and prepared a wonderful meal for all of us onboard their beautiful EastBay, Miss Kaye. It was a great evening - topped off by a great show in the sky - a full lunar eclipse! Incredible.
We decided to spend Sunday in port to get caught up on a few more things onboard (including our rest!). We met a few more friends on the dock, Bobbie & Emily and the gang. Later, we borrowed the marina courtesy car to run a few errands - and had an early dinner at the Marriott.
We waited another day on Monday to depart, since there were no slips available at the next marina until Tuesday. Spent the day getting the boat ready for the next stretch of the trip. Enjoyed dinner at Schooner's on the beach with Larry and Kaye.
Tuesday, November 11 - Panama City Beach to Carrabelle, FL
We said good-bye to our friends, Larry & Kaye, early this morning. They came down to our slip for our send-off at 7:30 a.m. We will miss them! (Hope to see you two again soon...maybe in the Bahamas, Kaye??)
Our ride to Carrabelle was long, but the waterway was beautiful and the weather was perfect, so the 6.5 hours went by quickly. En route we passed some familiar boats - Rum Runner and Serendipity - headed our way. We even spotted 2 eagles today!! One catching a fish! Awesome.
At the Moorings in Carrabelle, our dockmaster/meteorologist Buddy gave us some helpful advice for our next leg of the trip - crossing the Gulf of Mexico. It can be a treacherous ride, so we wanted to be prepared. Other boats were apprehensive about the trip as well. Fellow loopers, Mike & MaryEllen (of the "MaryEllen" - a 28 ft Albin - they're brave!), wanted to follow in our wake for the trip across, so we agreed to travel together in the early a.m.
In the evening, we caught a ride with our friends from "Serendipity" to JulieMay's restaurant for, of course, more seafood!