Many years ago the Pensacola newspaper sponsored an exhibition of pelican statues, which were placed around the town. Less than half of the original 41 still are in place. Dana scavenged and found some of them, so we scattered them around the blog as our own little art exhibit. Anyway, we docked at Palafox what seems like a year ago. It rained. And rained. It rained so much it felt like Ludington, minus the Badger.
At least the rain gave us time for some essential work inside the boat. Dana productively went through drawers full of stuff we didn’t know existed. Doug even more productively watched full replays of Tennessee’s two SEC wins and basked in a warm glow not experienced since about 1998, never anticipating the two steaming manure piles that would be the last games of the year. The point is that living on the boat in Pensacola was like living in your car in a car wash.
So we left for a couple of weeks. Which was long enough for us to remember why we love Arizona. Not only did we catch up with many of our favorite people, literally every day was clear and 75. We’re happy that New Yorkers retire in Florida, but don’t have any idea why they do. The worst thing about our Thanksgiving was that the boys stayed with their fuzzy cousins in Chattanooga. It’s questionable whether they’ll want to return to us after being spoiled by their Aunt Terri, but they have no choice.
All that said, we were anxious to get back to Misty Pearl and underway. We want to be to St. Petersburg to scoop up Mallory and Shannon on our way to Marathon (Florida, not Greece) for Christmas. Surprisingly, we didn’t return to rain. There must have been at least a couple of other dry days in our absence because Pensacola was able to bust out the Christmas decorations.
Nice. Although one of us doesn’t understand the need to start with the Christmas stuff before completely giving thanks for a bountiful harvest, or beaver pelts, or whatever the Pilgrims celebrated with the Wampanoags. It seems unlikely that the first Thanksgiving morphed into nonstop radio carols until at least the football games were over. And what’s up with the “modern” Christmas music anyway? It’s all either funeral-dirge slow or some nonsense involving holidays in the hood or some such crap. As Lucy annually reminds the gang, Christmas is all about Ho Ho Ho and Santa Claus and mistletoe and giving presents to pretty girls. Let’s keep it that way. Let’s not start until December.*
Today was a good day—with a crappy weekend looming—so we bolted for Fort Walton.
For the most part the cruise was uneventful. Except we had dolphins ride in our wake next to the boat for 20 minutes or so. That was way cool. They surfed instead of jumping, but either way Dana was able to take some pictures so we now can prove that we aren’t inferior to all the other Loopers who have a bunch of dolphin photos.
We also started to see vestiges of the hurricane. Or maybe just bad boating skills. We also started to see Santa Claus.
Fort Walton is home to Eglin Air Force Base. The rumor was that the base is bigger than Rhode Island. A simple google search seemed to debunk this claim, but it’s still pretty big. As we approached the marina huge transport planes swarmed over us like a flock of very large and noisy pelicans. We assume they’re just training since there isn’t much logic to transporting stuff in circles.
The Fort Walton Yacht Basin proved to be a tad more spartan than we had imagined. And exposed. To high wind. After a series of figure-8 maneuvers that the untrained eye might wrongly associate with cowardice or incompetence, we finally backed into a very narrow slip to await the wind and rain promised to arrive any minute. The dock dude said that other people have given up and gone elsewhere. Maybe he was lying, but we’ll take it.
There probably is a pretty part to Fort Walton Beach. Hopefully we’ll find it. Today mostly we found tattoo shops. And an axe throwing shop. Seriously. A place where you can get drunk and throw axes for the low low cost of $25 per hour.
Maybe it’s extra cool because you throw indoors. Who knows? What we do know is that nobody was inside throwing axes.
Before the rain started we sat up on the bow and enjoyed the calm before the storm. And yes, we put lights up. Before December.
* Dana does not approve of this message.