Friday, January 30, 2015

Whew, We Made It . . .

   So, we are finally here in Pensacola.  Our journey here wasn't quite what we had planned but, thankfully, we are now settled in for a few weeks.
   After allowing a few extra days for the waters to calm down in Long Beach, we motored out of the marina early Tuesday morning.  During the majority of the day, the waters were calm and the winds were comfortable, if a bit weak.  As the day began to draw to a close, I was contemplating what to make for dinner once we'd dropped anchor. I wish my worries had stopped there . . . wish being the operative word here. 
   As we edged closer to our anchorage, the winds began to pick up and shift to hitting us fully on the stern.  To make matters worse, the swells were growing rapidly and shoving us toward shore.  By the time we were within sight of our anticipated stop for the night, it became painfully apparent that, not only were we not stopping there for the night but, were not stopping anywhere for the night.  The weather made the choice for us; we motored all night long aiming for Pensacola.  The swells were horrendous.  Anything and everything that could be jolted off of the shelves was on the floor in no time.  The cats were hiding in the safest places they could find.  We did the only thing we could do, hold on.

   Finally, daylight broke.  I had been able to grab a few hours of sleep during the night and Bill had had none. The cats were still rattled but, along with the waters, were settling down.  Our bellies were empty and we were feeling a bit sticky from the salt air.  Despite all of this, the sight of the markers to the naval marina made me feel calm, eased, and, frankly, thankful to be heading toward land.  For a second, I felt like a cartoon character that, after an impossible ordeal at sea, crawls to the beach and kisses the sand.  I am happy to report that this was only a passing feeling and I did not attempt to reenact this scene.

The Cats Got Their Rest, Too . . . After Fresh Food and Water, of Course
   With a little patience, we made it through the narrow channel markers, tied up to our slip, and caught up on some much-needed rest.  That afternoon and the next day was spend settling in.  We completed our check-in paperwork with office, familiarized ourselves with the marina and the base, and managed to get everything that was thrown out of its place back where it needed to be.
Flags Cover the Ceiling; The Blue Angels Are Based in Pensacola  


Just a Few of the Many Unit Patches Covering the Walls
   Today, we rented a car for the weekend to run some errands since Pensacola does not have the small town layout that we left behind.  We took advantage of the prices at the Navy Exchange and Commissary to restock provisions, made a run to the bank, and discovered a small hole-in-the-wall deli for lunch.  Based on a recommendation from someone at the bank, we ordered gyros at the Hip Pocket Deli.  On the outside, the building didn't look like much but, the interior was definitely interesting.  Military memorabilia covered the walls; any space not taken up by pictures or flags was covered with tons of unit patches.  Nearly everyone there had on some sort of working uniform (most were flight suits).  The lines were long and so was the wait but, it was worth the trip to see this off-beat spot and try the food.

   While we're here, Bill and I both have a long list of to-dos that we want to take care of.  I plan on posting pictures on the repairs/improvements as they are completed.  We also want to check out more of the area while we have the car (That's what we're doing this for, right?).  There are lots of things to check out on base and a few spots we want to visit around Pensacola.  I'll take plenty of pictures of all of that, too.   Stay tuned for more adventures from Pensacola.   

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