29 May 2009 Mobile, AL to Pensacola, FL 122.8 miles
We left Mobile just after lunchtime, after browsing through numerous antique stores. From Mobile, we headed south to Dauphin Island to take the ferry across the mouth of Mobile Bay to Fort Morgan. This is where, during the Civil War, Admiral Faurigot (spelling may be incorrect) breached the Southern defenses to enter Mobile Bay with his command of “Damn the torpedo’s, full speed ahead!” The ferry ride was a 40-minute trip with cool breezes and sightings of a few dolphins thrown in.
Unfortunately, we ended up driving through downtown Pensacola in the late afternoon again in order to reach our next stop over—Fort Pickens—which is part of the Gulf Islands National Park. This island is long and narrow, and apparently used to be covered with Pine and Oak, but Hurricane Ike wiped most of it out in 2005 (I think). The campground just opened last week for the first time since then. However…no showers or flush toilets—just the coveted “Pot O’ Gold” porta-potties.
We were serenaded last night with a symphony of sounds—a variety of birds, as well as a chorus of frogs and other nightlife in the bushes. It was the first night we’ve had without cloud cover—the stars were stunning. This morning, we went for a walk on the beach…fine, white sands. Our “walk” turned into a 2 ½ hour hike—we’re guessing about 7 miles with the route we took, down to the beach, to the fort, and back along the nature trail. We actually saw a shark swimming along the shoreline about 20 feet offshore, along with a stingray and numerous blue crabs. We learned that the “gopher” holes in the sand actually belong to the ghost crabs.
We will be staying here another night. Tomorrow we will be going to the Naval Air Museum in Pensacola, before turning north toward Georgia. I am very low on power, and nowhere to plug in here, and there are not any pictures yet because of camera difficulities...sorry...so it may be a couple of days before you hear from us again.