After several days of traveling from sun up to late afternoon, we finally reached the point of our journey where heavy coats were NOT a requirement and we had the pleasure of sleeping in until the sun came up. We’re calling that a success. Along the way we (mostly me as Tom knows these things already) acquired a certain set of essential boating skills like tying up in a lock, using a VHF, securing dock lines, and figuring out the red and green channel markers (which should keep us from running aground). These were items that I didn’t realize were on my bucket list but now I get to check those babies off.
As we hit the end of the river at Mobile Bay on Wednesday afternoon (11/20), the waterway became industrial. We dodged several tows and very, very large ships in a short amount of time reminiscent of a game of Frogger. I was relieved to put that part of the journey behind us.
We stayed at a nice marina in downtown Pensacola called Palafox Marina on the suggestion of some boaters we met at Bobby’s. It was close to a downtown area and we were able to walk to a great tapas restaurant for dinner and do a tad bit of shopping.
In Destin we docked literally in front of Margartiaville at Harborwalk Marina where we stayed for two nights. While having lunch there Friday, a couple from Nixa approached us and introduced themselves. It is a small world and tickets on Alegiant are cheap! We found a beautiful sunset and our first minor (yet annoying) equipment failure. The sump pump stopped functioning. This meant no shower drainage. Tom fixed it once already over the summer by replacing the pump. He was thinking this time it could be the floater switch thingy. So off to West Maine we went.
Tom replaced both the floater switch and the pump to no avail. My part of that whole business was to act as plumber’s assistant and find or hand him tools—almost like a surgical nurse—almost.I thought he did a bang up job, but it didn’t do the trick. Thank goodness we had a spa card to the hotel right above where we docked. We used their showers which were as wonderful as you would expect from a waterfront hotel spa.
On Sunday we traveled a short distance to Panama City. We met with someone at Miller Marine on Monday morning to go over the repair/upgrade list and flew home Monday night. Seeing the boat out of the water was quite a picture, but they let us stay on it while they lifted it out. Freaky. We hope to pick it up in January and explore more of Florida at a relaxed pace. After wintering in Florida and the Bahamas, we’ll start up the coast around April-ish.
We are looking forward to spending time with the kids and extended family over the holidays and pray that everyone travels safely.
Posts will resume in January.
Julie & Tom, Wonderful start to your adventure! Maybe we will see you again at the AGLCA Rendezvous in May!
John & Robin Halstead
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So many new things to learn. Red right return. Enjoy the holidays, and let’s do lunch!
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