Friday, January 8, 2021

Christmas Time in Gulfport, Mississippi

After our first week in the Gulfport Marina, we settled in to life along the northern gulf coast. We knew it was going to be cooler than we wanted, but we were surprised how cold the next few weeks were. We had a number of low pressure systems come in from the north and bring a stiff north wind and temps dropping into the 30's F at night. That helped us get into the Christmas spirit. One thing we were looking forward to seeing while we were in Gulfport was the awesome Christmas lights display that is set up in the city park next to the marina. Kim loves Christmas lights and the Christmas season in general. 

 In my last entry, I wrote about all of the damage in the Gulfport area from Hurricane Zeta. We were very concerned that the city would not be doing the display this year. Much to our delight, even though the storm came when they were well underway setting up the display, they were able to salvage about half of the display and had it lit up each night throughout the month of December. Kim and I got bundled up a number of nights and walked around the loop in the park.

Kim's favorite, the sea serpent.

The marine version of Santa and the Sea horses.

There is a nice walking loop through the lights.

This is my favorite, the tunnel of lights constantly changes. 

No nautical display would be complete without a sailboat.

Kim decided that we had to have a Christmas display of our own. It was cool to see a few boats in the marina had lights on. 

Just a few lights around the cockpit, but we did have a Christmas Tree and a Nativity scene that Kim made out of shells. 

In my last entry I showed some pictures of two boats that had met their demise in Zeta. One day a dump truck and this loader showed up and hauled them away.

Getting ready to take a bite.

I took a walk and when I returned, this was all that was left.

I was impressed that they separated the fuel tanks and engines for proper disposal. It was clear they had plenty of experience at this job. 

We took a trip over to Gulf Shores to visit some good friends that were in town. We had an enjoyable visit and then made plans to have them aboard SHIFT for a day of sailing. I was watching the weather and finally found a day that would be a bit cool, but had decent wind and sunshine. December 9th was the day to do some sailing. It is kind of hard to capture much of a sailing trip from inside the boat, but here is a few pictures of our crew for the day.

Dick enjoying the day. We had full sails up in 12 knots of breeze at 60 degrees and making over 6 knots. We hit over 7 at one point. 

Super fun people. 

We sailed 13 miles out to Ship Island and 13 back. It was a very nice sail with some awesome folks. 

Love this shot

Dick keeps all of us laughing. 

The Captain and the Admiral. 

Before we left the dock one of our neighbors was getting ready to go. Wayne is 72 and singlehands this 42 foot Catalina. I sent him a series of shots I took. He was happy to have them. They were the first shots he had of his boat under sail.

"Infinity Too" Under full sail. She is a Catalina 42 MKII

The rest of the month was spent walking around the marina and the surrounding beaches. Some days are cool and blustery and some are nice. We wanted to experience this part of the coast in the winter to see how it was for living aboard. So far so good. 

A Blue Heron while out on my morning walk on a nice calm day.

You just have to have a Kim on a beach picture. The tide was very low on this day.

We have a Coast Guard station just behind us. It give us comfort knowing those guys are ready to come help us if we need it. 

We have some Military aircraft that fly out of the airport just north of the coast. I am not sure if they are Mississippi Air National Guard or some other unit.

I spent some time trying to determine if this is an F-18 or F-15, but not sure. We see them make a big wide circle and then land into the north wind. 

That is about it for this entry. We left Gulfport on December 22 and drove to Arkansas and Missouri to spend time with family for Christmas. I will write about that trip in my next entry. 


  1. Gut wrenching to see those damaged boats meet their demise but inspirational that the local residents did not let the hurricane damper their Christmas spirit!

    1. Every time I see a boat abandoned or destroyed it is sad. I am sure each one was someone's dream.

  2. We really enjoyed 'your' visit and then 'our' visit, especially the sailing. We need to get together again now that the holidays are over. Talk to you soon.
    Dick & Cathy