Friday, September 19, 2008

Visit to Mystery Vessel Ruins

WHEN? Friday · September 19

WHERE? Gulf Shores, Alabama · find us on the map

WHY? History swept ashore

After several days of rumors that Hurricane Ike's storm surge had washed an old wrecked ship ashore near Fort Morgan, curiosity got the best of us and we drove over to Gulf Shores to check it out.

Once we were in the area where we thought the ship ruins were, we stopped at a small grocery store located at 5160 West Fort Morgan Road (State Highway 180) to ask directions. Tequila Bay Bar & Grill is what you see first from the road, and just west of there is a road named OUR ROAD, on which you can turn south (only way it runs) and get close enough to view the ruins.

Shipwreck at Fort Morgan in Gulf Shores
Several beachgoers are poking through the wreckage
Click on the photo for a closeup size comparison

There's a good bit of speculation about what ship it is. Although some suggest it's a Civil War schooner that ran aground in 1862, others have said it might be the schooner Rachel, built at Moss Point, Mississippi in 1919, and wrecked near Fort Morgan in 1933. I vote for the second possibility.

Newswires have been buzzing with stories about the area's newfound relic:

See our photos on flickr:
Ship Washed Ashore Near Fort Morgan

ShipwreckWindblown Mae DeanHistory buff WendellCorrosive closeup

Update from Hurricane Isaac
Associated Press/Press-Register, Brian Kelly - In Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2012 photo, the ghostly remains of an old wooden ship rest along a private beach at Fort Morgan, Ala. The ship is the Rachel, a schooner built in Pascagoula, Miss., during World War I, according to Mike Bailey, historian with the Fort Morgan Historical Society. The ship was lost in a storm in 1923. The remains of the the Rachel have been uncovered by hurricanes in the past, but more of the wreck was revealed in the wake of Hurricane Isaac. (AP Photo/Press-Register, Brian Kelly)

Read the Yahoo story regarding this.
Shifting sands from Isaac reveal 1923 wreck

Thursday, September 11, 2008

waves Waves WAVES

WHEN? Thursday · September 11

WHERE? Gulf Shores, Alabama · find us on the map

WHY? Winds from the edge of Hurricane Ike

Gentle breezes are what we are used to in Lower Alabama. So when we started having noticeable winds, we knew something was up. And that something was the outer edge of Hurricane Ike.

Our sense of adventure and goofiness about photos led us to Gulf State Park where a big stretch of beach is accessible to the public from a long boardwalk leading from East Beach Boulevard.

We knew we were in for quite a show because the big waves on the Gulf horizon were clearly visible from the road. Then the sand being whipped up by the winds stung our legs as we walked across the road from the public parking.

One other couple was at the end of the boardwalk looking at the waves and taking photos like we were. This was one of those scenes when you just had to be there or, perhaps, have a video camera. I doubt even a video could have captured the few minutes we were there experiencing the powerful waves rushing to the beach. It is not difficult to see how such storms erode beaches.

There’s very little contrast in our photos because so much of the powerful waves were the same light color. Even the sky was almost blending in with the sand and waves.

See our photos on flickr:
Wind and Waves from Hurricane Ike

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Robert St. John’s Restaurants

WHEN? Wednesday · September 10

WHERE? Hattiesburg, Mississippi · find us on the map

WHY? Lunchtime ... and we were hongry

After agreeing ahead of time where to have lunch on our way back to Alabama, we discovered that Crescent City Grill was one of two restaurants in the building. A quick walk through Purple Parrot Cafe landed us at our destination. Both restaurants are owned by Mississippi food aficionado Robert St. John.Dual restaurant sign
We were quickly seated at a booth with a view to the outside patio, and our server Kelly arrived shortly thereafter. We couldn't have asked for a better server, who seemed to have one section of her brain completely devoted to what was available from their menu.

We chose the Mahi Mahi, with Wendell's being grilled and Mae Dean's being blackened. Everything, particularly the salads, were very delicious. We arrived with a good appetite, but couldn't finish the generous portions that were served, and there was certainly no room for dessert.

Robert St. John's Celebrity Chef-ness extends beyond the local region. Wendell already followed St. John's newspaper columns on food, and he has many published cookbooks, at least three of those in collaberation with other people we are fans of — Marshall Ramsey and Wyatt Waters.

We are looking forward to using some of St. John's recipes and possibly purchasing some of his cookbooks.

Our photos may help you recognize the restaurants located at 3810 Hardy Street:

Robert St. John's Restaurants
on flickr

By the way, St. John owns restaurants in Meridian, Mississippi as well.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Jesse's Whiskey Steak

WHEN? Thursday · September 4

WHERE? Magnolia Springs, Alabama · find us on the map

We returned to Jesse's Restaurant in Magnolia Springs for its famous Whiskey Steak, which we've discovered are outstanding. Their breaded fries that accompanied them were very good also.

Eat this steak before you die!

After lunch we browsed next door at Moore Brothers Village Market and discovered they had a part-time butcher who is from Meridian, Mississippi, where we lived for about three years during the late Seventies.

Even if it's a little out of your way, we encourage you to visit the historic town of Magnolia Springs and this first class restaurant.