Gunkholing Alabama

Once again we find ourselves in a strange weather pattern. This seems to happen a lot to us wherever we are cruising. There are fronts coming down from the north and another coming up from the south and one coming in from the west and disturbances riding along all of them and all of this happening at the same time. The winds in any 24 hours is out of the southwest, west, north, northeast and south and then back to the east. So until things sort out and settle down we are hanging around the Orange Beach, Pensacola area and just gunkholing each day. Friday night we moved down behind Perdido Key in Big Lagoon and had our first serious thunderstorm of the trip. We had winds to 26 knots and lots of rain and lightening. The TV has become a valuable weather tool especially since the new digital channels from each local station have a weather channel running all of the time. We can look at the real time Doppler radar and see what is coming and when. We set a second anchor just before the storms arrived as a precaution and had no problems. We put our water catcher that is built into the hardtop to use and collected about 12 to 14 gallons of great rain water. It makes really good drinks and coffee. Unlike the Houston area which brought a black, we don’t know what, with each rain, what we caught was clear and clean.


The next morning we did some weather research, then a trip ashore to the sandy beach nearby. One thing we noticed right off were the jellyfish. Never have we seen them so prolific as we have here. There was virtually no area that was not completely covered and swimming would be absolutely impossible in Big Lagoon. Someone on the radio called it jellyfish lagoon. This is a holiday weekend, Memorial Day, and the boats are out by the hundreds. There is absolutely NO sign that gas prices are keeping people from using their boats. Quite to the contrary, many don’t seem to have any destination in mind and are very content in running up and down the waterway at full throttle all day. They are anchored all around us, tied to shore and rafted together, and many have the boats backed up to shore and tents set up on the beach. It is quite a sight to see so many folks out enjoying the weekend but it does make the anchorage pretty rolly during the day. We do not know that we have ever seen this many pleasure boats on the water at the same time in all of our years of boating. At night things quiet right down, well, except for the thunderstorms. We are not comfortable with the wind directions for travel the next few days and we do want to sail as much as possible so we will just hang out and relax and if the mood strikes do a few chores around the boat. It is also almost time for a marina stop to clean the boat, do some laundry and maybe get some groceries.


Sunday brought even more boats if that is at all possible. To say the whole thing seemed unreal is putting it mildly. We decided that we had enough of the rolling and wakes and the outboard for the dinghy was acting a bit cranky. There was no way of working on it without being thrown out of the dinghy with all of the boat wakes. Just getting it on and off the davits was a chore. We decided to head back down the waterway toward the Bear Point Marina where we plan to stay on Monday to get a few things done. We also knew there was going to be few places to anchor to escape the wakes. Perhaps Ingram Bayou would not be full since it is a tight anchorage. Once we arrived there where a bunch of boats already anchored so we headed just across the waterway toward an area with a beach and a tall stand of pine trees. Fortunately the anchor took hold since we were having problems getting it to set well in this area. Soon after we anchored a thunderstorm formed off our stern so not much work was done on the outboard but it did not do much more than rumble and lightening a bit and with very little rain. We will hit the marina in the morning and spend a night tied to the dock with power and water. It looks like maybe Wednesday might be our departure day, or Thursday or Friday or Saturday or Sunday, well we will see.

4 comments:

  1. Just a quick note to let you know I enjoy reading about your adventures. Please keep it up and be safe.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Just a note to let you know I enjoy you site. It is funny that when you anchored at Rabbit Island near the Rigolets I must missed you by a few days it seemed. We were on the hook there the weekend before Memorial day. Nice spot, lots of no seeims.
    Perhaps I will see you down the road when I shove off in a few.
    Have sailed to Isla Mujeres and as far south as Tulum. Hope to go again when I have more time further south.
    twblaw@aol.com
    s/v gaelic air
    Peterson/formosa 46

    ReplyDelete
  3. I am considering a passage from Galveston to Siesta Key in June. We want to be there for the 4th of July.
    The plan now is to sail directly across the Gulf and hopefully make passage in 5 days or so. Have you made that sail? Please tell me about what to expect.

    Thanks,

    Richard and Betty
    CoolBreeze II
    Pearland, Texas

    ReplyDelete
  4. I am considering a passage from Galveston to Siesta Key by Sarasota in June. We want to be there for the 4th of July.
    The plan now is to sail directly across the Gulf and hopefully make passage in 5 days or so. Have you made that sail? Please tell me about what to expect. Please respond to culbrz@gmail.com

    Thanks,

    Richard and Betty
    CoolBreeze II
    Pearland, Texas

    ReplyDelete

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