Beauty Transplant Of The New Little Red Engine: The First Stage

I had a hard time concealing my excitement during the switcheroo of the little Red Engines.  Ok.. back up a few steps.  Before we could play switcheroo, Beauty had to be moved up to the working area where they lift the boats out of the water and put up mast on boats. Of course without an engine! LOL. We needed the host with the hook on it to lift the engine out of her nesting spot. The tide was very low and recent powerful north winds pushed the water out of Mobile Bay.  Beauty’s keel was in the muck and was barely floating. How in the heck were we going to pull this time frame off  of 1:30 p.m.  Low tide was at 10:00 a.m so she should go up some before the allotted time of the switcheroo.  We were all set.  The first little Red engine was ready to be lifted up. We just needed to wait and see what the tide will do in 3 hours. We walked up to check on the New Little Red engine and to remove her cover and get her ready for her Big Day View.

The delivery of our Beta. Look at the smile on Bryce’s face

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I’m smiling behind the camera too.

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Bryce had to remove the companion way steps in order to do the switcheroo.

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Some friends of ours walked up to say their goodbyes to us. It was a beautiful day for leaving.  Fair winds Dirk and Pat. In the mean time, Cory the yard manager and crane operator said he had time to play the switcheroo now.  A few hours a head of schedule. Everyone looked their watches to see the time and how much the tide had gone up. What the heck; we might as well try to move her but how.

The first Little red Engine ready for her departure

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Three young men from Turner’s followed us back to Beauty. The plan was to help us push her off the side wall. Well of course we all Huff and Puff to push her off the wall but Beauty only moved out about 10 inches.  We tried for a bit but she was stuck… in the mud. We had to be careful because we didn’t need any damage done to the rudder. Then Bryce decided it was time to get Patch out. She is our work horse on the water as Sal was to the Erie Canal.  Well, he started from the bow of the boat what magic it was to she her move again.. but wait only the bow is moving. The young men pushed from shore but she wasn’t moving! They decided it was getting lunch time so they wanted to go get lunch and said they would return later to help us. In the mean time, Cory came by and said we might have to wait if we can’t get her up there because they had other jobs they needed the hoist for.   My heat sank. I went down below to check on a cake I had in the oven… Butter Pecan It smelled so good!

My phone was rang so I answered it.  One of Bryce’s sisters called to inform us that mom had just passed away.  Now, I had to go tell Bryce. She was always there when you needed her. A great mom and mother-n-law. She will deeply be missed.

Elenor Johnson August 18- 1929 January 31, 2018

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A few of our friends were walking down the dock and asked what was going on.  I told them our story.  Bryce was back on patch trying his hardest to get her moving. He tried to pull her from the springer cleat, back to the bow and then the stern. Our friends stepped on board to help hold her down on the high end.  Cory said they needed us to stern in towards the host.  No, engine now we are going to get fussy on how we get into the slip! OH… Crap I thought.. Bryce started laughing at me.  Told me to relax that it would be no problem. With the help of our friends Beauty finally let lose. It was amazing!  A team of great friends and Patch helped Beauty. Now she was going to get her transplant! It was a totally amazing experience.

Bryce and Patch towed us up to the boat dock where the magic happens. Bryon is on the bow helping.. John is on the Starboard side.

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A group of guys and gals were all there to help with the lines for Beauty. Our thanks to them all What a great group of people.

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Bryce getting off Patch! Great job Bryce Red heart

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As soon as the lines were tied, Cory brought in the host to start the transplant. Out with the old in with the new.

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Down in the companion way they added a chain to attach the engine.

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My heart was really pounding.. full of excitement.

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And she is out! I must admit she was a good engine.. But her parts were to expensive to replace. 

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I stood by and watched the guys move her away.

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It was amazing seeing her hang in the air

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Bryce built a crate to transport the engine back to Michigan in the Trail Blazer.

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Goodbye our friend; thanks for the many hours of adventures you gave us.  She is now sitting in the back of the Trail Blazer.

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Bryce and Cory went over to collect the new Little Red Engine

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Preparing her for lift off!

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OH.. OM!  This is really happening… We are so excited!!!!

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In she goes… Careful…Careful…

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She is in ….Yes, I’m smiling!! Totally unbelievable the whole transplant took less than an hour.  

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Bryce and Patch are taking us back to the side wall.

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Kurt took pictures of us passing by.

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Bryon and other guys helped us back into our area.  With the low tide we had to use the winch to winch Beauty back into her place. Thanks for the idea Bryon.

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Serge and Sandrine came along for the ride back to the wall and help with the lines. Thanks for your help.

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As always thank you all for following us!Red rose

It’s My Birthday at Turner Marine!

This past week has been a crazy one. Thursday of last week I called NC to see what was happening with the delivery of our engine.  The Betamarine plant received the engine on Thursday and expected to ship out Friday.

Friday I received a call our engine had shipped to us.  I smiled all day.  I sent a text to our adult children saying “ We are so excited our engine is shipping!   With just the news of it shipping, it made me this happy.  What am I going to do when it arrives?… I am going to dance.. and I am sure a few tears of joy will run down my cheeks. LOL

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Monday (yesterday), I called the Mobile Service Center and the sweet voice on the phone replied.  “Jane looks like your engine will be here tomorrow and if it is, we will drop ship it to you tomorrow.” We expected to get it Wednesday. Instead it will be delivered today!!  After all; today is January 30th; my Birthday and I want my ENGINE for my present. LOL

Well today is my Birthday. Our engine has arrived in Mobile at 3:11 a.m this morning. What a Birthday present.. and yes, just thinking of it bring tears and joy to my day.  As the day unfolds we will prep Beauty for her transplant. I will take photos as she arrives and prepare for the next blog.

We have done as much as we can on maintenance for Beauty this past Sunday. So we spent the day at Orange Beach with rain and wind. 

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It turned out to be a great day even with the weather. Bryce and I really enjoyed the beach.  The incoming tide created a turmoil near the inlet at Orange Beach.

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The Gulf was showing its fury today.  The waves danced as they crashed into the shore.

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There was this fog just lingering over the shoreline.

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Kids are out; must be getting close to spring break.

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Even the cute little birds enjoyed the beach.  These guys scurried along the shore scooping up tasty morsels.

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Seemed to be a few Portuguese man of wars losing their freedom on the beach. They are also known as Floating Terror

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On the way home we stopped at LULU’s Restaurant for dinner.  As we were being seated a tow passed by. That is a glimpse of the ICW other wise known as the Intra-costal waterway.

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It was such a nice atmosphere, that we stayed till well after sunset.

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It was to wet to sit in the chairs.  Apparently, Lulu’s is owned by Jimmy Buffet’s sister.

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Thanks for all the Birthday wishes…

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Thanks for following us!Red rose

Little Red engine update

Just wanted to give you an update and I’m sure many of you can understand the impatience that we are feeling. At this point we know the new Little Red Engine is in North Carolina being packaged for shipment.  Unfortunately,  it was a week late getting here due to the weather on the Atlantic Ocean.  We are expecting it to ship to us this week.  My Birthday is coming next Tuesday. I so wanted to be back on our journey! I know it’s still a week a way and there is still time that it could happen. So I am keeping positive thoughts.

In the mean time we are getting out a bit. We went to the movies and watched 12 Strong.  We out for Chinese dinner with two other couples.  That was a nice time. This past few weeks we have had to say our goodbyes to many of our new friends.  As one guy said this time of the year is hard watching all your friends leave and you’re still here. He says it feels like abandonment. He is right! Thanks Paul…LOL

I’m sure it cannot be much longer and we will make our escape too.

This is Chris and Jen. They are ultimately heading  to Belize where they are having a home built.

IMGP5370Jenn showing her excitement to leave.  They were held up here for over a month.

IMGP5379Darla & Johnny followed Chris and Jenn out.

IMGP5380Lili & Tom untied their lines about a week later. Martini glass until we meet again our friends.

IMGP5387My heart is breaking…I am so happy to see everyone following their dreams.

IMGP5404Kris stood on the bow waving goodbye to me… Roger thanks for the book.  Kris and Roger and friend decided to buddy boat with Lili and Tom. They keep us posted on their journey and are having a great time.

IMGP5424Pauline, Miranda, Me and Mike and Bryce We walked over to say our goodbyes to the Mike and Miranda. Pauline joined us. It was great.

IMGP5447It really is great to see people of all ages doing the loop. Mike and Miranda are the youngest one we have met on this time around. both only 26 years old. They keep us posted on there whereabouts. They are a fun couple.

IMGP5448Well now that we have said our goodbyes to many people we just take it day by day. We continue doing little thing on Beauty to keep us busy. We added a raw water shower system to the front bath and replaced the aft bath with this new shower head and faucet.

IMGP5432We also took a drive to Flora-Bama. We had a great lunch at OLE River Grill.  Miranda and Mike texted us that they also anchored nearby and ate here.  Miranda dug up an app that allows her to post way points, so we are watching their progress as they travel east.

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I am doing this backwards, on our way to Flora-Bama we stopped along Orange beach . It was a beautiful day. We are enjoying the sand.

RoadtripAs always thanks for following us!Red rose

Awesome Road Trip: Destin to Panama City

A road trip just what the doctor ordered. Soon we should be back on our journey. We decided we would take a road trip and get a view of the anchorages and the passage way into the different areas. Just walking the boardwalk of Destin FL put me right back into the cruising mood. As we walked the boardwalk, Bryce squeezed my hand in a gentle loving way and whispered “It won’t be long now”. I know he is right. This layover wasn’t just hard on me; I needed to remember it was hard on him too. Now we see the light at the end of the tunnel. Tomorrow our Little Red Engine is due in to North Carolina. We are told they will drop ship it the same day. Next week should be an exciting week for us. 

Our first stop on our road trip was at Destin FL. This stop got our blood pumping again.

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Bryce laughed so hard when he read this sign. “ Transient Boat Slip Open to Public No overnight Mooring” If you notice, there is no water in the slip when the tide is low.  Must not cater to transients eh?

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I like the name of this commercial boat ”New Florida Girl”. Blue really has never been a color that I have cared for.. but for some reason over the past few years the color blue has become one of my favorite colors.

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As we walked along the docks looking at other boats we struck up a conversation with these two gems. Victoria and JP. JP is off the New Florida Girl.  Victoria captains an 85 foot (IIRC) sail boat.

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As we strolled though the Destin docks, a nice guy offered to that our photo. I think he noticed this big white camera hanging around Bryce’s neck… LOL

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Jimmy Buffet Margaretville. We were in Destin way too early in the morning to enjoy Margaretville.  On the other hand; “Its five o’clock somewhere..”

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The streets were just starting to wake up. We could see early birds like ourselves out exploring the area.

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This was the view we went for.  We wanted to see the passageway into Destin anchorage. Our mast is too high to go any further on the ICW. And we cannot make it under the bridge in the background. But we are told by locals this is good anchorage. Now we get to go back by boat and meet up with Victoria and JP.

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As we were driving  down the road we could see this sailboat on shore. We found a parking spot and went out to investigate the issue. What we found out was crazy.. There were a few locals around and I started to ask questions. This is not a small boat. Phantom of the Aqua is a documented vessel from the US Virgin Islands.  

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We were told that she came upon the shoreline during the hurricane 6 months ago.  Apparently it was blown from the Virgin Islands and landed here in Florida. The owners were notified and they came and put up not trespassing signs .  No one really has a good way to get her off shore. Apparently some one offered to help remove it for a mere $30,000.00 dollars 

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I did enjoy some time on the beach even with the chilly air.

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Back on the road again .. We reached Panama City. What another pretty place.

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Guess what.. we got to eat at Margaretville. I thought this plane was cute. 

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Cool these are sails portraying a gaff rig.

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Debbie Graham and her date..sorry I forgot to write your name down. What a fun couple to talk to. Thanks for helping make our visit to Panama City a good one.

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The next day we had the pleasure of hosting a small get together with, Greg, Pauline, Miranda, and Mike. 

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Thanks for following us!Red rose

Pelican Marine-Pensacola Florida

Do to the freezing temps here in  Turner Marina they turned off  water supply a few days ago. . It really isn’t that bad they gave us warning. Today Wednesday they turned the water back on so we cold refill our tanks again.  Finally we were able to check out the seals on the new tank. They worked! All is good.Smile Even better news the weather map shows it’s warming next week back into 50’s and 60’s

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It is such a good feeling to know we are getting a few things done on Beauty while we await the arrival of the replacement of the Little Red engine. With that said,we thought as along as we had our vehicle here we might as well go to Pelican Marine in Pensacola to check on our new–to-be engine arrival. It’s funny because we are replacing The Little Red Engine with another Little Red Engine. We are  Hoping for something like a tracking number, anything that might help us know when to expect her arrival. I think the tracking number is like an ultrasound it can give us an expected due date.. LOL Okay, so we arrived at Pelican Perch. We spoke with Jake. He was a very nice guy. But would not allow me to take his photo. He placed a call to NC office to see when the new Little Red engine is schedule to arrive. Drum roll please………January 12, 2018. I can’t wait; it’s only a week away. Once it is sent to NC, it will be dropped ship to us at the Marina. We figured we should have it no later than the January  15,  2018. I’m so excited….I just can’t hide it…That song is playing in my headSmile  

This photo is the office at Pelican Perch Marina & Boatyard

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Bryce has taken the self tailer mechanism off the winch.  He is cleaning it here.

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We had to order a part for one of our cabin top Winchs.  They finally came in.  A small plastic self tailer piece was broken.  Just another repair out of the way. LOL

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Thanks for following us!Red rose

Time To Catch Up On Maintenance

Hope everyone had a great New Year’s Eve. I thought I would share with you what we have been up to over the past month. It’s funny; it has been so cold here and with all the humidity in the air we had to purchase a few dehumidifiers for the boat. I can’t believe how well they work.

Bryce took the bus home to Michigan to see his mom just before Christmas and brought back the Trail Blazer.  It has helped us out a lot having our own vehicle.   He said the bus trip was nothing like the old Greyhounds.  The 1000 mile Express trip took 24 hours and had only 8 stops every 150 miles or so.  Many stops had 24 restaurants right inside the terminal.  The bus had WIFI, electricity to charge devices, bathroom and comfortable reclining seats that were much better than planes.

With so much spare time on our hands waiting for the engine, we have been doing some maintenance. I have to laugh.. before we left home back in August, we wanted to paint our top deck. But we ran out of time. We forgot to bring the paint with us. Now to make this a short story; Bryce brought the paint back with him and it has done nothing but rain and the temps are 30’s to 40 and in the teens at night. We were able to replace the front hatch and the aft water tank.  They say its been the coldest here since 20 years.

Here, Bryce is putting on the new hose attachments on the new aft water tank. On the old tank, you can see the dark spot where we tried to seal it.  It did not work well.  We have since found that 3M makes 8005 specifically for polyethylene.  Virtually nothing sticks to this plastic.  No sure it would fix this huge crack in the old tank though.

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You might be asking yourself why did we replace our hatch.  Not that I like to spend money…LOL The answer to that question is. We had already reseated it once and the darn thing just kept leaking.  Heavy waves and rain washing across the bow would make its way through.  So we replaced it with the much more rigid Ocean series hatch.  The Ocean Series is used on the newer boats. It is so pretty. The funny thing is now I want to replace all my glazed hatches.  But this is the only one that has issues. The top photo is our old hatch and the bottom port (left) is our new hatch, The other two show Bryce working hard cleaning off the old sealant and getting ready to seal in the new.     

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One of the advantage of having our Trail Blazer here is the freedom it offers to explore the area.   We took a drive on New Years Day and had lunch at Tacky Jacks in Orange Beach AL. As you walk in to the restaurant can take a piece of duck tape and write your name or a message then stick it anywhere you want to inside outside. On the floor, wall, celling, anywhere you want. It was a fun place with good food.

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I received a few Christmas gifts that I would like to share with you. Cynthia & Bryon I can not thank you enough for the Christmas gifts.  Cynthia made me a beautiful Christmas Tree that I hang from my wine rack.  Bryon made me a beautiful bracelet. I will treasure them. Thanks so much for the perfect gift.

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Roger and Chris what a great night we shared with you on Christmas and New years Eve. Thanks so much for the shrimp and fantastic margaritas.  Roger; so far I keep flipping the pages. Roger is the Author of Fayal Roads. I just started reading it; but so far I can’t put it down. I love the Julia’s spunkiness.  She was born in London. The oldest daughter of Admiral Jonathan Langston. I remember my grandmother telling me if a women wasn’t married by a certain age she was known as an old maid. But Julia finally decided to marry Mr. Reston Howe and move to Washington State of New York. Not a marriage made in heaven. This is a tale of History in the war of 1812. Roger said the sequel is in the making.  I find it so far a good read.

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Thanks for following us!Red rose

A Very Merry Christmas from Mobile, Alabama

Well, We have been here nearly a month now. Our new Beta Marine engine has been ordered. They say we should expect it mid-January. I am bound to keep a smile on my face no matter how long it takes or how bored I get. I am waiting for the weather to warm so I can get my swing out. Yesterday was pretty nice but the breeze was chilly. I saw all the snow our family and friends are getting back home in Michigan. I cannot say I miss it. I think snow is beautiful; but most of all, I hate driving in it. Be safe out there to all our family and friends and everyone else.

We have had a small get together here on our boat. Tom , Lili and Jim and Shirley came down for cocktails one night. It was a ton of fun.

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I received a text from Karen one of the couples we meet in New Orleans saying they were in Orange beach. So on Christmas eve we drove up to see them. It was such a lovely place. They were staying at the Wharf. We went out for a delicious dinner. I ordered Oysters they were magnificent tasting. However, later that night, I once again saw those oysters coming out the way they went in…. what a bad night it was.

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Our wonderful bartender David.. He was very pleasant. 

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After our dinner we took a walk around the Wharf. The lights were beautiful.

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The following afternoon we meet up with some of our new friends to celebrate Christmas at Turner Marine. We had such a wonderful dinner. It was a smorgasbord of food.

Pauline & Greg left, Roger & Chris on top, in the center we have Bryon and Cynthia and Paul on the right.

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Tom, Shirley, Chris & Jenn

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Well, Christmas arrived and passed now its  time to think of the New Year’s.

Thanks for following us!Red rose

Mobile Alabama, Weekend Car Rental Exploration.

What a nice weekend cold and all. Enterprise has a great weekend special; Three days for $46.00 dollars. Bryce said it was time for us to get a way for a few hours. We drove in to Mobile on Friday evening after receiving the car. It was wonderful just driving around for a few hours. While we are waiting for everything to settle down here with ordering the new engine and all, we might as well enjoy the sites.

Saturday we drove over to the Alabama Air Craft Pavilion. Due to the snow and ice they weren’t allowing tours to walk up the ramps, so we walked the grounds.

The Battleship Alabama is moored here.  There was also a B52 bomber named “Calamity Jane”!!

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This is the first time we have actually seen a sub out of water.  There were also a number of tanks and armored personnel carriers displayed.

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Afterwards, we drove along the eastern Mobile bay shore and stopped at Shux On the pier for a bowl of soup and a beer.

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It was chilly out had to put on the winter coat. This is called the Fairhope Pier. The first Fairhope Pier was built in 1895 it was used as a commercial dock for the bay boats. In 1968 they built the first concrete pier and it remained opened until she was hit by Hurricane Ivan in 2004 and Hurricane Katrina in 2005. She reopened in 2006 after renovations.

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There is a small marina off the pier but really needs some repairs done to her.  A few broken docks. The tide is down in this photo.

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Sunday we took 5 loads of laundry into the laundry mat. We then decided to take a drive to Dauphin Island.

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I think this Heron is waiting for the fisherman to catch his lunch.

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Do you notice anything different? Yes, Bryce colored my hair. Sometimes I just need a change.

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We stopped and had a lunch at Jt’s Sunset Grill. What a nice place. Susan the Bartender is magnificent; so much fun to talk to. When we walked in we were greeted with hellos from these two couples. They are RV’er and are staying at a nearby RV park.  It was really nice to talk to them.  Sorry I did not get their names.  The near couple is from Iowa.  The far couple is from Indiana.

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OM!! we were coming out of a tunnel and right before my eyes a semi truck didn’t look at the clearance of 12 feet. We saw pieces of his truck or tunnel land on the ground. I was very happy to get past  the opening. The bottom photo is tunnel number 2. it was really cool. I love the reflection.  These two tunnels go under the Tombigbee River that dumps into Mobile bay.

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Thanks for following us!Red rose

The Little Red Engine Conclusion

After many hours of hard diligent work on the head gasket, fuel injector, hone of the cylinders, and much more The Little Red Engine said no more.  After 21 years, she passed away at 9:16 on December 8th. It is sad but It is also a celebration. She has sailed/motored the great lakes, the Gulf of Mexico, Bahamas and Atlantic Ocean. Now we wait for the new arrival of her predecessor. 

This is the cylinders after hone; aren’t they pretty.  Deck is very clean, pistons de-carbon.

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Putting the engine back together.

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It’s funny the poor guy keeps trying to resuscitate the little red engine.  Here, we try to boost the crank speed with an electric drill.  The engine is getting fuel, air and now a bit more compression. She chugs every other revolution, but will not quite start.

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We had a get together with some new friends, a few days ago. I am sure they are all getting restless and ready to set sail. It’s funny we are all from Michigan. There is at least 4 other boats here in Mobile Alabama from Michigan.

Grace the young lady on the starboard side with the long hair also stored her boat at Sailor Cove for winter storage with us.  It’s a small world. LOL..  Grace is next to Emily.  Then there’s Todd on the left.  He is headed to Panama.  And Mark and Linda are in the back.

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Good food with good guests.

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Look at the snow… We are in the south and it snowed. Mother Nature didn’t want to deprive the people from Michigan of snow. LOL

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George is covering his eyes from the lights. LOL

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Thanks for following us!Red rose

Playing the Waiting Game

Waiting for prices on parts and engine prices seems to take a bit of time since most places aren’t open on the weekend. Bryce continued to clean the head and block on the Little red engine. I am very positive that she will over come her sickness and we will be on our way soon. We have been taking walks and found 3 more marinas right next store. There is also a West Marine here at Turner’s but they were closed on Sundays. On Saturday evening we went down to the end of the dock and we watched a parade of Christmas lights. It sure is nippy in the evenings here. Bryce pointed out that we haven’t seen spider webs. I think it’s to cold for them.

I was so bored I make cookies for Bryce..  His favorite is oatmeal raisin.

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Bryce putting together his list of things needed. Along with measurements of this and that for the new engine.  He has also priced parts to repair our little red engine.

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After cookies I made bread…Little bread maker with purple lid

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One problem! Now that I made this bread and cookies they have to be eaten. LOL

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I liked this one best! They drove the boats close to the sea wall and tossed out candy. 

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2nd best. These guys tossed out bags of candy with a glow stick in the package so the kids could see where the bag was.. Awesome idea.

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The two Queens on the bow of this vessel where tossing out beads to the kids.

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My 3rd best..Loved the lights… Santa had a lot of helpers on this sleigh…..

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This pontoon looks like it was transformed into a 60’s motorhome… Kinda cool..

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This cruiser was the leader of the pack. Full of Ho..Ho…ho’s.. and dancing animals on the bow.

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Thanks for following us!Red rose