We left Eastshore Marina Monday morning at 8:30 and traveling with Curt & Julie “CJ”, they are almost done with the loop. We had slight winds, and two foot waves when we left and and a slight mist coming in the boat. We didn’t think anything of it we were not getting wet. What we didn’t realize is that the mist was salt water there was salt everywhere up top in the boat. I also learned that salt needs a lot of soap and water to get rid of it.
After we left the harbor the coastguard issued a small craft warning, due to strong winds. Small craft means 65 foot boat or smaller. Now we are only 41 foot, but we didn’t have far to travel so CJ and Kent decided to kept going. The winds increased which caused the waves to reach four feet as we headed for Lulu’s Bar and Grill on the ICW. Kent said our boat is finally baptized. The spray from the waves reach our Bimini top. The picture below is not rain on our windows but waves splashing up.
When we reached the ICW Curt from “CJ” hailed us on the radio and said ” welcome to the ICW” (intercostal waterway). Half of the ICW is small like rivers and the other half is large bays of water. There will be a lot of no wake areas on the ICW.
We finally navigated into a narrow part of the ICW and saw our first dolphins. There were three of them swimming along side our boat. This was so exciting but they didn’t stay with us long as the winds were making a lot of waves for them to play in.
The sun is now out and we are trying to dock at Lulu’s. CJ was having a hard time docking due to wind, finally a young man came out and helped us both in. Lulu’s is owned by Jimmy Buffets sister Lucy. Lulu’s Sunset Grill for five yrs was at Northern edge of Welles Bay. Then in 2003 they moved everything from Lulu’s that wasn’t nailed down to the shore of the ICW. They even moved the “Boat Stage” JD Buffets one ton custom-made barbecue grill and a few Palm trees. Lulu’s reopened on Marci Grass Day Fat Tuesday in 2004. They are known for adding something new every yr. This was a very beachy look, and a great place to have lunch. They have a nice little shop, out-door bar, and several things for kids to do. Lulu’s is known for their Cheese Burger in Paradise. Kent and I shared one and it was delicious. Kent had his fresh key lime pie and he was so nice to shared it with me.
We saw our first palm trees.
Once we left Lulu’s we had three more miles to navigate until we were at The Wharf at Orange Beach Alabama. This is a five stare marina with the a lot of small shops and a high-rise condominium. Kent did a great job maneuvering our boat into the slip, there is not a lot of room between the boats. Kent asked me what was more nerve-racking the big waves or getting into our slip. I told him getting into the slip he came very close to a huge mega Yacht. I need a drink !!!!! Once we were tied up we washed the salt off of the boat. Kent is going to be a pro at washing the boat after this trip. We only planned on staying one night, however we decided to stay until Thursday due to weather and wind. Rather than going to Pensacola by boat, we rented a car today and will drive on Wednesday to see the National Navy Air museum with Julie and Curt.
When we went to pay for our slip at the marina Kent discovered he had left his credit card back at Lulu’s. So we called and yes they had the card and would hold it for us. Barbara the very nice lady at the marina said she would pick it up on her way home as she drives right past Lulu’s. I didn’t say to much to Kent other than I asked him if that would have been me how mad would he had gotten. He appreciated that I didn’t get mad at him for his mistake.
The Wharf Marina is the Gulf Coast most fantastic shopping and dinning destination. This is the most popular championship chase in big game sportfishing. This afternoon Kent saw a dolphin swimming off the back of our boat.
When I was walking I came across a boat that had sunk and sea tow was trying to lift it. I found out later that a looper boat saw it going down this morning. It was so sad to see somebody’s boat sunk. It took them until after dark to lift this boat.