The Intracoastal (Days 93-94)

We’ve seen dolphins, a ‘gator, and sunken sailboats. Also bayous.

You know you’re in the south when you’re in a bayou…”southern” for a swampy area. (More or less.)

We’ve entered the Gulf Coast Intracoastal Waterway (GIWW). After crossing the wide-and-shallow Mobile Bay — about 30 miles across — we spent last night at Lulu’s Homeport Marina, owned by Jimmy Buffet’s sister, in Gulf Shores, Ala. It was our highest-priced slip after Chicago, though we expect higher in Florida. Lulu’s is one of those tourist attractions that seems “famous-for-being-famous”…lots of colorful signs, a large gift shop, and somewhat overpriced (but tasty) food. It’s probably great fun in the summer, if you like being “where-it’s-at.” We had a long walk to the restroom, and I had a long wait once there. I’m glad we went, but once is enough. 😉

Tonight, we’re anchored in Ingram Bayou near Ocean Beach, Ala. We cruised far up into the bayou to investigate anchorage options. Seeing at least three sailboat wrecks, we retreated to deeper water! (Recent hurricanes may have blown them up here, or somebody moved their boat here in a vain attempt to keep it safe — or maybe they were towed and sunk here deliberately. A spooky sight!) Aside from the sailboat graveyard, this anchorage is quiet and beautiful and just my style.

Tomorrow, we will enter Florida and head to Naval Air Station Pensacola, where we’ll get a military rate at the base marina and a water view of the Blue Angels air show at their home base. That should be fun!

Photos and captions of the past few days below.

Many Moons at Turner Marina, on the west side of Mobile Bay, just before leaving — at 11 o’clock in this picture. You can find us by the white dinghy on our stern. We’re dwarfed by the wide catamaran in front!
Two other Looper boats and a shrimper passed us as we crossed the wide Mobile Bay.
The Gulf Intercoastal Waterway (GIWW) is narrow and straight here. Pic taken from a bridge while jogging.
Jeff uses the dinghy to wash the hull while in port at Lulu’s Homeport Marina in Gulf Shores.
We’ve seen dolphins but haven’t been able to get a photo, so this wall mural at Lulu’s will have to do.
Lulu’s Homeport Marina at night.
Many Moons is so much smaller than the yachts on either side, all you can see is our dinghy on the stern.
Lulu’s (and the adjacent marina) is owned by Jimmy Buffett’s sister Lucy.
We encountered this tug barge on the GIWW, pushing a load against a bank. We saw two boats in front of us fly sideways in the prop wash, so we were prepared. See below….
This was the strongest prop wash we’ve felt so far. The channel was narrow here, so it took some planning, and pushing the throttle, to avoid hitting something.
A small boat pushing a small barge. We see some strange things….
Many Moons at anchor in Ingram Bayou.
Capsized sailboat on the shoreline.
Nothing but the mast showing from this sunken sailboat! How does it stay upright?!
The shoreline at Ingram Bayou. See the battered dock on the shoreline?
Rusted-out barge on the shoreline.
Sunken sailboat hull on the shoreline.
Remains of a dock, maybe?
Sunset at Ingram Bayou. The lights of Ocean Beach are twinkling to the south, but it’s dark to our north.
Map of the entire Great Loop. We are between stop # 122 and 123. We started above stop #78.

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