Monday, November 22, 2010

Our Greenhorn is back

Our first two nights in Mobile bay were a bit rocky.  Pulling into Eastern Shores Marina in the town of Fairhope, Alabama Anna and I expected to find this beautiful oasis where we could lick our wounds from the river system and recharge the batteries before moving on into the Gulf.  With the winds gusting at close to 50 knots out of the northwest we quickly found that most of the water in Mobile bay had been pushed out to sea, we put Blue in the mud as we tried to push her bow into the slip.  I could not believe the tide was as low as it was.  The dock master reported that at low tide they were down a good three feet lower than there lowest tides.  With blue finally tied off, the winds picked up and we found ourselves in the washing machine.  It was a tough two nights to say the least.  I was able to jump off the boat, but Anna was unable to jump as far as me and found herself marooned in the tea cup at low tides.  On the morning of day three we were joined by a whole group of looper boats and we took advantage of the local shrimp boats and bought five pounds of fresh ship right off the boat for 20 bucks.  What a deal!  With some friendly advise from our new friend Craig on Diamond, we prepared New Orleans Barbecue Shrimp.  My god it was good!  Finally feeling like we could walk without hitting the walls, Anna and I prepared for the arrival of my Uncle Ed.  Many of you may recall Ed had joined us for a week back on Lake Ontario.  Well the big guy decided his back had recovered from sleeping on our aft berth enough to want to give it a second go.  I informed Ed that our cruise with him would take us through Pensacola the home of the Blue Angels and that their home coming air show was taking place on the day we would pass through.  Like a kid finding out Christmas was a week early Ed informed us he had never seen them fly and would love to check it out.  Having seen the Angels fly over Chicago from the boat, Anna and I decided that this time we should go to base and watch the show from the flight line.  Leaving Mobile Bay Ed, Anna and I cruised with three buddy boats, Monkey Girl, Crawdad and Gone Crusin.  It was a fun day spent relaying useless babble over the VHF as we made way to the Gulf Coast Intercoastal Waterway.  As our boats rounded the marks of the GCICW we were greeted by two pods of dolphins.  Everyone went nuts with excitement as they played in our wakes and seemed to smile at us as if to say what took you guys so long?  Our first night was spent in a wonderful anchorage, we sat on Blues deck and watched the dolphins swim around us as the sun set on the bay.  The next day thinking life can't get much better than this we headed to Holiday Harbor to get a good night rest for tomorrows big air show.  When we tied up for the night, we could hear the rumble of the Prat and Whitney jet engines as the boys in blue practiced overhead.  I got a kick out of hearing Ed do the Tim the Tool Man Taylor impression as he reacted to the unbelievable power of the jet engines overhead.  Our day at the air show was just perfect.  With the temperature in the low 80's and not a cloud in the sky we sat for hours and watched the performers overhead and then we climbed through many of the jets on display off to the side of the runway.  Once again the Blue Angels left the crowed in ahh as they displayed their aerobatic skills overhead.  On our return to the boat, I got a call from Bill on Monkey Girl and he jokingly said he was busy stitching together his blue jumpsuit, after looking at all the dreamy stares from the women he thought we should all have one on hand.  The remainder of our time with Ed took us trough the panhandle of Florida to Port St Joe.  Looking back we all agreed these are beautiful landscapes but the towns are hurting badly.  With the economy in the ditch and the oil spill, the people here are barely getting by.  The overwhelming display of disappointment and downright anger towards the over exaggeration regarding the oil spill is present everywhere.  Not a waitress, Bartender, dock boy or check out girl missed their opportunity to express how happy they were to not have seen a drop of oil on their shores, and how crazy it was to come home at night and see reports of birds covered in oil and men cleaning the shores in white suits right in the area where they saw nothing.  I guess it is a lesson to us all, our media is extremely powerful and has the ability to spin things anyway they see fit.  Much to the sadness of the people in the gulf shores, they were in the medias cross hairs.  



Man where they Good!

Ed still cant get over how fast a dinner party can be pulled together in this crowd.

It is hard to smile when you have just consumed 20 pounds of shrimp.

We were given wonderful views of the early morning fog.

This sunset from Holiday Harbor was just out of sight.

Nothing says God Bless America better than a special forces jump master landing in front of us with an American flag trailing behind him.

I have to say these planes were some of my favorites.

This plane was the loudest of them all.  Ed was in hog heaven.

Can it get any better than this? A jet truck racing a plane down the runway.  Would you believe the truck made it to a top speed of 348 miles per hour.  WOW! 

That guy just burned all the diesel I needed for the trip.

The Boys in Blue get a great welcome as they appear on their home turf.

Everything is timed right down to testing the flaps before take off.

To Cool!

Just crazy how close they are to each other.

Like it is not hard enough, how about two of us do it upside down.

I will never get tired of seeing these guys.

They are just all around impressive

Welcome home guys, this will be their last show for the season, next year they will have two new pilots and many new support crew.   I am sure these guys were going to party that night.

We had a great meal at this restaurant right on the Florida state line.

The next day we ran into the Navy Seals training in the waters around the base.  Man these guys looked tired.  We joked they probable started in Virginia.

Our Friends the Dolphins are back, this time we got a shot.

The fishing fleet in Port St Joe. 

Someone carved figures of pelicans into this tree in St Andrews harbor.

Thank you for a great visit Uncle Ed.  Safe travels home

A great view from the bar at Port St Joe

With a great view is the perfect pour.  Cheers everyone

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