We don’t always stay in a marina.
Some nights we find a safe place to get off the river and “drop the hook” to anchor out for the night. The benefit is that it is very, very quiet and it’s free.
The downside is there is no electricity, showers or restaurants. Sometimes we don’t have a choice because the distance between marinas is too far to motor in daylight.
This photo is our morning view leaving the Sumpter Landing anchorage. The fog was beautiful and gone with the sun.
We have stayed at some wonderful marinas on the river system.
And some sketchy ones, too.
I judge a marina but the showers. First, do they have showers? Is there just one shower for men and women? Is it clean? Do I wear my shower sandals or my rain boots in the shower?
Marinas will advertise showers, laundry facilities, restaurants or a courtesy car for transient cruisers to borrow. More than one washer/dryer is huge. A restaurant on the marina site is really nice.
And courtesy cars are very interesting. We borrowed one truck that we were sure wouldn’t make it the 4 miles to the grocery store.
Docks- floating or fixed
Floating docks mean we don’t have to worry about tides.
The tide raises the dock as it raises the boat. Otherwise Tim has to arrange the lines attached to a fixed dock to compensate for up to a 3 foot drop in water level. And crawling up on the dock from the boat at low tide is hilarious.
We are definitely not in South Dakota!
National Naval Aviation Museum
We spent a whole day touring the National Naval Aviation Museum while we were at the Palafox Marina in Pensacola, Florida.
We watched a movie on D-day while were there:
You can see the trailer here: https://youtu.be/nwwDIvvV-NM
Eating our way around the Loop
The best marinas are attached to the town. Walking 2 blocks to restaurants, shopping and haircuts is a treat.
Panama City Marina was right in town.
The Wharf was in Orange Beach and there was a 12-screen movie theater!
Right now, we are in Port St. Joe which is on the edge of town. They have a restaurant in the marina but we can walk downtown where we have a choice of 10 or 12 local little restaurants.
Yes, I don’t cook on the boat as much as I thought I would!
Tim and I started our Great Loop Adventure on 9-11-2017 in Ottowa, Illinois. We put the boat on a trailer and drove 9 hours from our home in South Dakota to Heritage Harbor Marina in Ottowa to put her in the water. Tim's brother, Dan, drove the truck and trailer back to our house. Thanks Dan!