30;17.010n 88:05.553

The Big Adventure
Doug Gillis/Shirley Hunter/Chief of Security Rags
Thu 3 Nov 2011 21:27
On Monday we drove my car to Pensacola and left it at the new marina.
Pensacola is lovely and we had a nice walk round. We will be in Parafox
marina and have chosen our slip. It is so nice there and our trip so far
has taken us so long we have decided to keep the boat moored there until
after our trip to Europe next month, otherwise at our present rate we
might miss our flights
We left Biloxi on Tuesday morning and it was lovely, a little breezy which
made backing out a bit tricky but we were full of confidence as the
weather report said winds 5 – 10 out of the south and sun shine. Later in
the afternoon when the winds were at a steady 20 gusting to 30 on the nose
– Jack in Pashka behind us gave the weather men F for effort !!! The
result of the uncooperative wind we did not get as far as we wanted and
decide to anchor out off Petit Bois island – It was idealic – we had a
beautiful sunset and Doug and I took Rags ashore in the dingy for potty
time – This is working well right up to the moment I realized we were not
alone !!! – This huge raccoon was just down the beach – I couldn’t get
back in the dingy fast enough !
The next day was not quite so idealic. We woke up to a very windy day
which made the trip to the island in the dingy an adventure. Actually
trying to get into it off the back of the boat while it bobbed about
wasn’t easy then when we got to the shore I tried to jump off and fell
half way in – I have the grace of an elephant ! When we finally got her
beached I grabbed Rags and promptly dropped him overboard – Now he was
upset to say the least. We had another interesting trip back to
Destination (the beach was about ½ mile from the boat and the sea was
rough), the waves came over the front of the dingy and into it – Suddenly
there was this frightful hissing sound – I thought the dingy was losing
air but no – Our off shore lifejackets which were on the floor of the
dingy had got wet – Now we can all guess what happened next – Oh yes both
of them activated and inflated all over the dingy – I won’t repeat Doug’s
comments – not for tender readers.
Poor Rags was unceremoniously thrown back into Destination and we hauled
up the anchor and left to try and catch up Pashka who had left while we
were playing in the dingy. The wind was on the nose again and this time
the best speed we could do all morning was 2 knots, and the wave were
crashing over the bow quite alarmingly. We gave up on Pensacola and headed
instead for Mobile Bay. Unfortunately the sailing Gods hadn’t finished
with us yet – as we were power sailing up Mobile channel the engine cut
out and stopped. About this time the wind dropped too. So we sailed up the
channel at 3 knots while we waited for Tow Boat US to come and tow us in –
again !! Do I need to mention the Captain was not a happy bunny when we
finally docked? Rags was still not speaking to me but he cheered up when I
took him ashore and there were 6 lady dogs playing in the parking lot – He
didn’t sleep last night – I think we wanted to go back and play some more.
We are now happily moored at Grand Marina in Mobile bay. They have taken a
slight liberty with the name but everyone is very friendly and Doug and
Jack bled the engine and changed the filters and added fuel – no comment
here please. We are now fully functional again. We plan on staying here
for about 3 days as the weather ( always our friend) has turned nasty – in
fact as I write the wind is whistling through the halyards and the boat is
rocking. They say the front will bring some colder weather. I am so glad
we got the boat all washed and repaired this morning and now we can batten
down the hatches for the storm.