Monday, December 16, 2013

End of 2013 cruising

Our 2013 cruising season is officially over. Down Time was hauled out of the water November 22 and stored at a boat yard in Mobile, Alabama. We had originally planned to leave her in a marina on the Tennessee River near Huntsville. But when we arrived there in September we didn't really like the place, despite all of the good reviews other boaters had given it. We needed to stop in a boat yard in Mobile to have some work done anyway, so we decided to head there to store the boat. This will save us a couple of weeks in the Spring when we go back to the boat.

DT being hauled to her storage spot

Mobile is an active ship construction and maintenance harbor. On our way to the yard we passed this strange looking ship.

Turns out that this is the USS Jackson which was built in Mobile and officially launched on December 14. It is a new class of vessel called a littoral combat ship. Wikipedia says:

"The littoral combat ship (LCS) is a class of relatively small surface vessels intended for operations in the littoral zone (close to shore) by the United States Navy. It was 'envisioned to be a networked, agile, stealthy surface combatant capable of defeating anti-access and asymmetric threats in the littorals.' The LCS designs add the capabilities of a small assault transport with a flight deck and hangar large enough to base two Seahawk helicopters, the capability to recover and launch small boats from a stern ramp, and enough cargo volume and payload to deliver a small assault force with fighting vehicles to a roll-on/roll-off port facility."

The other strange thing we saw was this tented ship.

It looks just like a house that was being treated for an infestation of termites would look. I didn't want to think about what they might be trying to eradicate on the ship.

So happy holidays everyone. We'll be back on the boat around mid-April. Next year's adventures include cruising to New Orleans, touring around Cajun country, a trip across the panhandle of Florida, and a return to Marathon, Florida where we will officially end our six year adventure. 

See you in the Spring.