The night before, we set a time with Third Swan to leave in the morning around 9am for Orange Beach. The forecast of 1-3mph winds from the NNW made it an easy decision to leave a day early from Mobile Bay, that and the hope of less commercial traffic on a Sunday. Indeed it was a lovely day to cross the bay. We were greeted in the shipping channel by two enormous barges and a dolphin flipping fast in our wakes. We didn't get a picture but it was a thrill to see and something we watched out for for the rest of the trip. We also didn't stay in the shipping channel long, as the route took us across the bay, a safe shortcut to our entry point into the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway (GICW or GIWW). We followed behind Third Swan, a boat from Michigan and piloted by a trained captain. We saw crab pot markers dotting the bay just outside our route. We saw a large fishing boat in the distance with large nets cast. Karen kept telling Tony that she needs a bigger lens on her camera! She's hoping that Santa will bring her one in a few weeks! We stopped into Lulu's Restaurant with Third Swan for lunch on our way into Orange Beach. We shared a delicious meal of shrimp and gouda grits and bread pudding for dessert. It was a winding route through the channel off the GICW to get to our marina where we would be having routine maintenance and a bath done on the boat over the next few days. It's a nice marina without many Loopers since it's off the beaten path. We have a courtesy car available to us, so we're hoping to do some sightseeing, get to the famous sandy white beach, provision at a Publix, and play a round of golf.