Friday, December 2, 2011
WE'RE IN PENSACOLA!
Well, we made it to Mobile Bay Tuesday p.m. and anchored just north of Dauphin Island (a chilly sail day...turning on the generator & the heaters that night felt really good). The next morning, after a somewhat rolly night and five minutes after pulling up anchor and setting out for Pensacola, we had a major engine overheating problem and Al spent the next four hours replacing the impeller (that had basically disintegrated). While he was doing this, the wind was blowing us south (toward the ICW) at a rate of approximately one knot/hour which turned out to be exactly what we needed to arrive at the ICW with perfect timing to continue on our way. After starting the engine (which no longer smoked and sent alarm bells clanging....Thank you, Al!) and letting it warm up, off we went. We stayed overnight at a great marina called Marina on the Wharf (we know a lot of this means nothing to you, kind reader, but it's a great log for us for the return trip to plan on where to overnight or, in some cases, not to). The next morning, Thursday, we slept in, had a leisurely morning, and then set off for the short hop to Pensacola, arriving just before sundown and in time for docktails on Pashka with Jack & Tatiana and their friends Doug & Shirley, also owners of an Island Packet. Nice folks! The six of us had dinner ashore and turned in early for a great night's sleep. Tatiana (a serious walker who at one time competed in the Olympics as a biathlete) has promised to take Sue on a "walk" around Pensacola (get ready, legs!). An absolutely gorgeous day is forecast: bountiful sunshine with a high in the upper 60s. Nice!
We'll be in Pensacola for a few days (maybe as long as a week) tending to some minor engine work and having a tear in our jib mended. Then Pashka will join Wind Dancer for the trip south, "buddy boating" (which will be nice for the longer offshore legs that we plan on doing). We'll skirt along the Gulf Coast of Florida with several offshore hops, necessitated by the fact that many of Florida's bridges have fixed heights that are too low for our boat to pass under (stopping off at Fort Myers Beach to visit Jim [Al's brother] and Phyllis] and then head for the Dry Tortugas & Fort Jefferson (and great snorkeling in turquoise waters) before continuing on to Key West.
All for now. We'll keep you posted. Thanks once again for following us! (Al is promising to post pics today on our blog. We'll see.)
All for now. We'll keep you posted.