Thursday, December 07, 2006

Cypress knees, magnolia trees, Spanish moss and Arctic Air?

Update for 12/6.
We had planned on doing one more anchorage before Mobile, but when we heard the forecast for strong winds and rough seas on Mobile Bay for Thursday we decided to try to go all the way in one day. That's a trek of 78 miles from 3 Rivers to Dog River Marina. It ended up taking us nearly 12 hours, but we made it. We got to Mobile. Along the way we left the Tombigbee River and entered the Mobile River. We also passed through the Mobile River Delta, the second most biodiverse area in the US. We saw small palm trees, beach grass, cypress trees, pecan trees, magnolia trees and who know what else. But, of all things, Jack Frost has followed us. A second blast of Arctic air is due here on Thursday night, bringing the threat of a hard freeze all the way to the Gulf Coast.
Making the trip to Mobile from our anchorage at 3 Rivers in one day meant that the last part of the trip would be done after dark. This proved to be more of a challenge than I expected because Hurricane Katrina damaged the lighted pilings that mark the deep channel and not all of them have been repaired.
Our friends on Kismet III radioed us as we passed their anchorage. They wanted us to stay and visit with them as they were planning on resting for the day. We told them about the forecast and they decided to head out to Mobile too. Their boat is faster and they passed us. They got into Dog River about 2 hours ahead of us, while it was still light. They coached us on the layout of the approach to the marina, then helped us tie up.
It's different being in salt water again. The boat floats just a bit higher in the water, and the marina pilings are encrusted with barnacles.
Passing through Mobile harbor was exciting, but a little nerve wracking. It is the 8th busiest harbor in the US and it sure looks it. Big cargo ships everywhere along with tows, tugs and various other service boats. We saw two famous Mississippi River boats - The Delta Queen and The Mississippi Queen.
We're finally here. We made it to the Gulf Coast. We'll take a few days to rest and relax, do some shopping and then sometime next week we will haul the boat out to do some checking, cleaning and painting on the bottom and the lower topsides. We'll also build the hard bimini top we'll need to shield us from the tropical sun we'll encounter as we go farther south. I've alerted the yard that we will be needing the lift one day next week.
Now, if this wind would stop bouncing us around...

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