Gulf Shores, Alabama
Still "living" at Gulf State Park
I find it kind of humorous that we don't do anything for several days and then we do everything else right in a row. Not on purpose, but it ends up being that way.
We have taken a dolphin search cruise down here in Alabama, in the past: http://chasinrainbowstoo.blogspot.com/2012/04/no-alligators-but-dolphins.html
This trip, we found another place that does Dolphin cruises, but also does a combination Dolphin and Wildlife Cruise. It is Cetacean Cruises. They take you on a 2 hour cruise (and no, Gilligan, we didn't get lost in a storm, LOL). Their prices are very reasonable, we found a coupon good for $3.00 off each on their website, and the cruise was fantastic.
time with about half as many people on board. 3 people even got off the boat before we left the dock saying it was too crowded for them and I agree, although we stayed on. There were also a couple of men between us and the Captain that were talking sports so loudly I couldn't hear the Captain telling us about the Swamp. The boat we were on is called the Explorer and it is custom made to move efficiently through as little as 2 feet of water, which is why they can go up into the swamps where the water is very shallow.
We had a fantastic Captain and first mate, Rachel. Our Captain reminded me a lot of my Uncle Kenny, a happy man with a laugh and joke for everything. He and Rachel were both fun and interesting tour guides.
First we learned a lot about the Intracoastal Waterway which goes all the way across the Gulf Coast, from Brownsville, TX to FL. According to the Website "Everything" "In the 19th and early 20th centuries, navigators were faced with a problem; to ship supplies by sea to another American location, they had to follow the coasts of the Gulf of Mexico and/or the Atlantic Ocean. However, these voyages were often fraught with peril, from offshore storms, shallow reefs, and high waves. A better system was needed, to reduce the hazards of navigating the coasts and to shorten distances.
They not only found us "A" dolphin to see,
They found us a whole pod of them. We not only found them, but were able to watch them "dancing" (a euphemism for 'playing around' when there are little kids aboard) and playing around in the water, all around the boat. Unfortunately, most of the photos are of backs and fins, because they move too fast to focus the camera, but I still took over 300 pictures, burned up 3 batteries (fortunately they are rechargeable) and came 'home'
and deleted the 200 that were just blurs or water. There were still more than enough for this blog and then some. It was the best dolphin cruise we've ever taken.
are regular white tailed deer but they just stay very small because of where they live, in the swamps, they don't get much good food. There are also tons of wild pigs, javelinas which are a real nuisance and have made a very fast comeback since Hurricane Ivan because they have no natural predators, especially since the big alligators are all gone. He said they have the usual, opossum, raccoon, skunks, 4 main kinds of snakes, and black bears. Then he said, "but that's no big deal, we have those over on the island too, in the State Park. . ." Well, that answers a question Mr. C and I had. When we took our first bike ride down the trail past the park into a wilderness area there were several fairly flat areas of scat with very large (cherry pit size) seeds in them. We had been discussing what would eat something with seeds that size and then leave piles around with seeds that big. We had no idea they have bears down here, but that would be our best guess, given the scat we saw. We also never thought of Gulf Shores being an island, but if you count the Intracoastal waterway and the bridge you have to go over to get here, I guess it IS an island.