We woke up today and decided to explore something on the island we hadn’t already seen. We have the tendency to do the same thing over and over again and realized if we were going to travel to new places in a few years, we needed to get used to the whole “exploration” thing. What better way to start than a place we really know, but haven’t taken the time to “get to know.” We started by going to the local surf shop, Blue Revival Surf Shop, to buy some more Sun Bum sunscreen and lotion. Eric swears by it and practically bathes in it daily. I haven’t been as careful with sunscreen in my younger years, and will certainly pay the price, but being in the sun as frequently as we are now, I have joined his sunscreen religion. We picked up a cool Sun Bum and DI sticker for the Yeti (my new way to document my travels since I’ve given up collecting playing cards) and continued east on the island.
Billy Goat Hole boat launch was dead! The wind obviously deterred the boaters today. In the past, we would have most likely been one of the 6 people that still make the trek down here and battled the waves…not because of confidence…but because of ignorance. We never checked the marine forecast carefully enough and were always the ones launching the boat with 3-4 foot seas just to try to go relax on Sand Island. It’s so nice to be able to be here and know what days to go out and what days you should just relax from the shore – without the hour long drive from Mobile!
Our travels east took us past the campground, the Dauphin Island Sea Lab, until we made it to a dead end, to the home of Fort Gaines. Now, this was not my first time to Fort Gaines. I vaguely remember visiting it as a kid with my family. I think we rode the ferry when we were staying at the Gulf for summer vacation. I don’t remember much about it except I wore an attractive turquoise tank top and lavender shorts. That, coupled with the fact that I had braces and glasses as thick as Coke bottles, and it was a sight to see! If I can find the picture again, I will share it. It really is a beautiful sight to behold. Other than the outfit, I don’t remember much so it was worth another trip.
We parked at the beach and decided to walk around to the Fort instead of parking at the entrance. Eric had decided to skip the sunscreen for the visit since we were going to be “inside” the Fort, but he quickly realized we might get more than 5 minutes of direct sun and made us stop at the truck and “bathe” before we started the hike to the front of the Fort. The walk was pleasant, and it was a beautiful day. Dolphins were jumping in the water (honestly), people were fishing, there was a wonderful breeze….just an all-around gorgeous day.
When we made it to the entrance to the Fort, Eric started getting excited. He’d brought the GoPro and knew he would get some great pics inside the Fort. We walked by the cannons and through the gates and he got more and more excited when in the distance, he saw a small sign. Yep, there was a fee to enter, and he didn’t bring cash. So we took a few pics on the cannon and on the exhibits on the outside of the Fort and vowed to come back again when we brought cash. So much for being adventurous today!
On the way back to the house, we stopped by the only grocery/hardware/liquor store on the island, the Ship and Store, and bought stuff for his homemade tomato soup and adult beverages for our afternoon on the beach.
When we finally made it home at 11:30, Eric whipped up the best homemade tomato basil soup in the Vitamix while I ate leftover steamed shrimp and corn from Skinners Seafood. All this and it wasn’t even noon! Before this new life, we could stay in bed until noon on Sunday…and I’m not kidding! I wonder what else today has in store? I can’t wait to find out….