How far do we have to go to get warm in December?
It was a sunny 78 degrees when we pulled Ginger Lee into Fairhope, Alabama. I really thought I had my answer. We were all tee shirts and shorts, bare feet and umbrella drinks on the aft deck. Yee ha! The deep south! The next day the temperature never made it out of the forties. The next night was twenty-two degrees. Then there was a storm. The day after that it snowed. We were there for six days and never turned off the heater.

Fairhope Municipal Marina on a beautiful but frigid morning. The temperature was below freezing. Colder than our hometown of Wareham, Massachusetts.

Totally unprepared for a quarter-inch of snow, the city of Fairhope closed down due to weather. I’m serious.

Downtown Fairhope scene.


Apparently, Fairhope was not far enough. We moved on.

Flora-Bama Lounge and Package.

The only guest at Flora-Bama. They let us stay for free.

Flora-Bama was nice and sorta warm. Not shorts weather, but I was able to stick my bare feet into Gulf Coast sand for the first time.

Gulf of Mexico sand.

Inside the Flora-Bama Oyster Bar. One end of the bar is in Perdido Key, Florida, the other end is in Orange Beach, Alabama. Hence Flora-Bama.

They invited us to sign the bar. I misspelled my home state!

It was the same story in Pensacola, Florida. The days were gorgeous, the people friendly, the raw oysters awesome (so I hear), and to top it all off, they sold beer and cigars right at the end of the dock. Still, we couldn’t open the windows, and we needed to use our heater at night. It was excellent long-sleeve shirt weather, but not warm.

Pensacola beach scene. Wonderful place. The XO used to live here. I love this place!

A Pensacola beach bar. There are tons of them.

Pensacola sunrise.

The only guest in Fort Walton Beach. Free dock with water and pump-out. No electric. Pretty good place near a supermarket. The XO enjoyed a yoga class. Still not so warm. Moving on.

Moving on through the Intracoastal Waterway.

This man-made part of the Intracoastal is called The Ditch.

It wasn’t until we docked in Panama City that we could finally open windows and hang out in shorts. No heater was needed at night. It was great. Then the fog rolled in.

Fogged in at the Saint Andrews Marina in Panama City, Florida. A wicked pea soupah.

A warm, sunny morning. I’m glad we stayed.

Raw oysters and beer.

World champion shucker Honor Allen shows off his custom-made shucking knife.

Believe me, there are worse places to be stuck in port. We met some very nice people and really enjoyed the special ambiance that only a historic working port can provide.

Ginger Lee and working boats.

The XO test drives a fancy water toy by Hobie. Afterwards she proclaimed “I gotta get one.” After hearing the $2,000 price she amended her proclamation to “I gotta get one someday.

Fellow looper Tom gets his unique boat rPAD ready for departure.

Another look at rPAD. She has a custom-made pilothouse, twin hulls, and twin 50 horsepower outboards.

How far do we have to go to get warm in December? As far as beautiful Panama City, Florida. SOCOBO 12/22/17

Dusk at Saint Andrews Marina, Panama City, Florida.


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