Monday, November 26, 2012

Orange Beach to Pensacola

What a nice day.  I got up early and took the rental car into town to check on the truck at the body shop, drop off some mail at the post office, and got some banking done at Regions.  Then I turned in the rental car at Hertz and had a really nice conversation with Marion, the driver who took me back to The Wharf.  His son is in the pilot training program at Auburn (our son Scott is a commercial pilot) and his daughter is an air traffic controller at Las Vegas getting ready to transfer to Sacramento (that's the second controller family we've met on this trip).  Guess what we talked about?

With all the problems associated with me wrecking the truck last Wednesday, this week has really worked out nicely.  We paid our bill and departed The Wharf.

We decided on a short 20-mile ride to an anchorage south of Pensacola at Fort McRee.  Another boater that visited here called it Ft. McCreepy and we agree.  

We took the dinghy over to the island and walked a short distance inside the fort.  After about 175 years it was in rough shape with lots of holes in the concrete floors, dark, cold, and CREEPY.  Plus, our flashlight was weak so we didn't dare go very far. We found at least 2 entrances like this one.  Ft. McRee was one of three forts built to protect Pensacola and its natural harbor.  Because of the difficulty accessing it from the mainland, it has pretty much been left to the effects of the elements.

Here's a pic of the fort from a distance.  Just about the entire treed area is the fort.

On the way here, things started to look a lot more like Florida - bright colors and white sandy beaches.

Here's the dinghy on the beach with HMR anchored in the distance.  There were no other people on the island.  We had it to ourselves.

I've got quite a few shots of the pretty water and the white sand, quite a change from TX, LA, MS, and AL.  The colors are much brighter than shown here.  It was a very overcast day.

This one is from the top of the fort.

Rhonda walking the beach and comparing her foot size to one of the many birds on the beach.

These are some big birds, I assume herons.  Lots of pelicans today also, which by the way are my favorites around the ocean.

Here are a couple perched on the Minimum Wake sign.

Rhonda would like to have taken this shell home but someone was still living inside this one.

And, HMR at anchor.  Hoping for a nice peaceful evening.  The forecast is for some showers tonight/tomorrow morning and a couple of hours of thundershowers tomorrow around noon.

Not sure about our plans for tomorrow, gonna have to watch the weather.  Our next anchorage is 32 miles east at Spectre Island.  Oh yeah, one other neat thing about this anchorage - it's just a short distance away to Navy Pensacola Air Station, so the Blue Angels and other aircraft practice overhead a lot.  Sorry, no pics, maybe tomorrow.

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