One of the more fun days we've had since living down here also turned out to be one of the most frightening.
Sunday afternoon, Mike, myself and our friends, Chad and Sommer, headed to Pensacola Beach to rent a boat for the day. It was a beautiful day. First, we stopped at a little beachside grocery store to load up on snacks and drinks. With two pregnant women, you really can't get us to go anywhere without a sufficient snack supply!
We boarded the beautiful (not so much) Southern Star just before 2 p.m. and sailed into Pensacola Bay. There were tons of boats and jet skiers racing around. I wouldn't say we were racing by any stretch. Since the speedboats were so expensive to rent, we settled for a pontoon boat. I can't say it wasn't spacious!
We traveled a few miles to a secluded beach area and jumped out to swim. The water was a little chilly, so Sommer and I took our sweet time, going in inch by inch. The guys, of course, dived right in and then proceeded to chase us down for a quick dunking. I tried to run, but as you know, running in water up to your waist when your feet are sinking in the sand is a real challenge. My foot got stuck and I fell face first in the water before Mike even got to me!
Chad found tons of sealife including live starfish and hermit crabs. (I was watching out for larger life including sharks and sting rays. None to speak of, thank goodness.)
We had a wonderful time and were on our way back when we encountered a HUGE boat speeding by us. This monster created three foot waves that were coming straight for our boat. We were on the wrong side of the canal, so Chad had to cross into the waves. We floated up, then crashed down as the wave consumed the front of the boat. Mike and I were sitting up front. I was up to my knees in water, trying to get to the back of the boat which was tilted high. I thought we were going to sink! All I could think about was that my camera and cell phone were going to the bottom of the ocean. Sommer was in the back, a look of terror on her face. Chad was trying to catch our radio that fell in the water. Mike was the only calm one, just watching the water recede out of the boat. We all caught our breath, but only just before the second wave hit. Same thing. Water filled the front end and it looked as if we were going under. I seriously thought we'd be swimming after that. I pictured all of us climbing to the back of the boat like in Titanic. What would we have done? What would we have said to the renting company? "Uh, sorry. We had a great time on your boat, but she sank few miles back."
We did finally make it safely back to shore with the Southern Star in tact and floating. We laughed and talked about it afterwards over burgers, hotdogs and root beer at a little beachside restaurant. It will certainly be a day we won't forget! We actually want to rent another boat again in a few weeks. We'll hopefully do without the near disaster next time. :)
Note: Casey is often times over-dramatic in recounting tales of exciting events. In all likelihood (and according to her husband), this incident was no big deal. But it was nonetheless scary!