Monday, February 23, 2015

Dauphin Island 2/22-23/201

On the road again Sunday Feb. 22
 What a change in weather.  It was 61 for the low overnight.  Needless to say foggy this morning.
We went to 8 am mass at St. Patrick's in Robertsdale.

Dauphin Island, AL in Gulf of Mexico.  We drove across a high bridge over the Intercostal Highway.
 A beautiful breeze, 68 degrees, lots & lots of sunshine.  A perfect day for the beach.  We are staying at Dauphin Island Campground. We talked with people from Alabama, Illinois, Wisconsin & Ohio.   The people are so friendly.  Most people come for at least a month.  Some for 4 - 6 months.
 We waited for the sunset.
The moisture in the air is hazing the trees in the distance.

What a peaceful relaxing day.

On the road again Monday Feb. 23
The Estuarium is an educational aquarium.  We learnt about the Mobile Delta, Mobile Bay, Barrier Islands and the Gulf of Mexico.  
 The docents were very helpful.  He kindly put his had in the alligator gar's mouth to show the size.
 It was interesting to see the rays being fed.
There were so many items to touch.  I thought they'd be dry.  I was very surprised that they were moist.  They are put in an alcohol bath.  The docent said your hands are cleaner after touching them.  He was so patient in explaining so much.
 We have seen these black "purses' on the beach.  Here we see the skeleton of a baby skate that would be inside the purse.

 A regular size seahorse.  They also had dwarf seahorse....oh, so tiny.
A unique occurrence happens in Mobile Bay called a Jubilee.  During this time you can walk on shore and pick up dozens of flounder, pounds of shrimp and bushels of crabs.  It seems to happen when there is a change in the oxygen in the water due to wind and temperature.  It can happen several times a summer or not at all.  The phenomenon "Jubilee" occurs in one other place in the world.
 The Gulf of Mexico has been called the "Fertile Crescent."
 A dinosaur in the seaward...the horseshoe crab.
The docent wants us to hold it.  Looking at it upside down he explained how to tell male from female.
 Lionfish start out as tiny ones in a home aquarium.  When it gets too big they are sometime dumped in the local water.  It's a pretty fish to look at but it is eats native fish and plants.
 We drove to the west end of Dauphin Island.  It was a chilly and blustery day.  (45 and 15 mph wind).  The laughing gull is the only one on the beach.
 Other years I brought home shells.  This year I'm only bringing home the photo.
 The beginning of a home.  Lots of pylons.
 Homes have to withstand hurricane winds to survive.

Yesterday when we were driving to Dauphin Island a code came on.  When Phil checked it means when we had the oil changed they put in too much oil.  So we returned to have it taken care of.

We are staying at Davis Bayou Campground in the Gulf Islands National Seashore near Ocean Springs, MS.  We got to talking with the couple next to us.  They invited us for a glass of wine and since it was so chilly we said join us around our fire.  They are from New Hampshire and have an interesting setup traveling in their car.  We also met a Roadtrek couple and visited with them for 45 minutes.  It's great to meet and share experiences with others who love to travel.

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