Sunday, July 19, 2015

Back on the Loop

Well, we are finally back on the Loop.  Down Time was at Dog River Marina in Mobile from November 2013 until April 2015.  We visited her twice; once in July 2014 when she was launched and moved to a covered slip and once in October 2014 when we took her out for a few days.

We returned to Dog River in early April and spent about three weeks getting her ready to go.  From Mobile we headed to New Orleans.  On the way we anchored at Petit Bois and Cat Islands, both in the Mississippi Sound.  We took a slip in New Orleans at Pontchartrain Landing Marina and retrieved our car which we had left in Mobile.

We had two sets of guests in New Orleans.  First were Bill and Birute Fleck from Michigan and second were Walter and Margaret Boswell from Cleveland.  None of them had been to New Orleans before so we laid on the whole tourist thing.  Some of our activities were:
·       A guided walking tour of the Garden District
·       Lunch at Mothers
·       The World War II Museum
·       Beignets at the CafĂ© du Monde
·       Muffulletas at the Central Grocery
·       Dinners at Arnaud’s and Pascal’s Manale
·       A tour of Oak Alley Plantation
·       Riding the complete length of the St. Charles streetcar line

After our guests left we took a driving tour of Cajun country basing ourselves in New Iberia.  We visited sights from James Lee Burke’s books as well as the Tabasco factory and a rice mill still using 100 year old equipment. We drove to Starkville, MS for Jim’s 50th high school reunion.

We left Pontchartrain Landing on May 19 headed east.  We made one night stops in marinas in Gulfport and Ocean Springs, MS and in Gulf Shores, AL before spending the Memorial Day Weekend in Orange Beach, AL.  We spent a week with Jim’s high school classmate Bill Shook at his dock on Perdido Key, AL.  Jim’s sister, Melanie, drove down from Birmingham for a few days.

Back in April we had rejoined the Marathon Yacht Club which gives us reciprocity with yacht clubs all over Florida.  So our next stop was the Pensacola Yacht Club.  We visited the National Naval Aviation Museum (twice) where we watched the Blue Angels practice  We availed ourselves of the all you can eat boiled shrimp and the all you can eat prime rib nights at the Yacht Club.

Our next stop was the Fort Walton Yacht Club, and then on to the St. Andrews Marina in Panama City.

Now it was time to return to Cleveland for medical checkups.  We left the boat at a friend’s dock in Panama City (thanks Rich) and headed back to Ohio in our car.  On the way we visited Jim’s sister and both sets of grandkids.

We are now finishing our two weeks of medical tests and getting ready to head back to the boat.  Once back, we will continue east along the Florida panhandle with stops in Port St. Joe, Apalachicola, and Carabelle.

Since we left Mobile we have been enjoying the Gulf seafood.  Diane is trying an experiment to see if it is possible to eat too many oysters.  So far the answer is “NO”.