Mobile, AL

Two words for what took up most of our time in Mobile, AL – boat projects. Traveling the river from Kentucky down here we basically did a “shake out” of the boat. Fortunately Turner Marine is a fantastic marina to spend some time and to work on a boat.

We (OK, it was mostly Kent) spent some time to accomplishing the following –
  • Replaced the engine display. 
    • This display went out a few days prior to arriving in Mobile. Without it we have are missing critical data such as rpms, engine temp, engine hours etc. New display was ordered, installed and we are back to having the information we need.
  • Engine maintenance – changed oil, replaced fuel filters, replaced impeller.
  • Generator maintenance – changed oil, replaced filters, replaced impeller, serviced heat exchanger.
  • Installed water maker (well, mostly installed)
    • Having had one on our last boat and knowing we are going to be in the Bahamas where water is limited unless you stay at a marina we decided to install one. We chose a rather simple design to convert salt water into drinkable water at a rate of 20 gal/hr.
  • Installed dingy davits and bought a new dingy. 
    • Short version of the story: Back in Portland we bought an inflatable dingy that rolls up and can be stored on the bridge.The downside to this set up is it takes us 25 min to inflate/deflate and that becomes an inconvenience when anchoring in a new place each night. It is even more of an inconvenience when it is silly hot or pouring rain because we are using a foot pump to inflate. The new set up with a dingy that is always ready to drop in the water will be much easier to get us and the dog to shore. There are of course some compromises as we don’t have the ability to use our swim step because that is where the new dingy hangs but we knew when we started this trip that if Plan A (inflatable dingy) did not work out we would need to move onto Plan B (install davits and get a rigid bottom dingy).  
    • Head sanitation system rebuilt and head hoses replaced. This project we hired out – it’s just a smelly project in a small space. Rebuilding the sanitation system now allows us to treat our waste before discharging overboard (similar idea to how cities treat waste water). 
      Kent and Glenn in boat project mode.

New davits and new dingy.

As a break from the boat projects we broke away to explore the USS Alabama, which served in WWII. This was a fantastic experience as you are able to walk through just about every part of this huge ship. We spent several hours here in awe of the size (680 feet long) and how self-sufficient it was in supporting ~2,000 men aboard during wartime.

USS Alabama is huge – it is approx 20 Heartbeats long, 8 HBs wide and the weight of 3,900 HBs. It also has far more power than the puny flare gun on HB.

Tight sleeping quarters.

Alot to see on the USS Alabama and very few places were closed to viewing

We also did some quick trips while we had the rental car, both trips were an hour so away. First we went to Pensacola, FL to deliver an item to Mike & Mary (Forever Friday). The 4 of us plus John & Gina (Alysana) had an amazing dinner at Urban Swinery in the downtown area. Second trip was with John & Gina to Lulu’s which is located in Gulf Shores, AL. Lulu’s is your classic beach bar and restaurant and happens to be owned by Jimmy Buffett’s sister. The night we were there was part of a Songwriters Festival and we caught some of the younger songwriters. All of the kids were great but it was the 11 year old (Jack) who killed it and was super inspiring. He will be going places for sure!

Obligatory stop.

First white sandy beach we get to and it’s 40F – brrr. We were in Gulf Shores, AL.

Giant fresh shrimp for dinner one night from the fishing boat at the next dock.