Sunday, October 26, 2008

Orange Beach, Alabama from the new Phoenix West Condos

These photos are from the 27th Floor of the new Phoenix West condos at Orange Beach. Condos of this height are a new addition to the Alabama beaches. Before the new high rises, photos like these would have had to be taken from the air.

Romar Lakes Condos and wetlands.

The Wharf mixed-use development (retail, dining,condos, atractions) on the Intercoastal Canal (opened 2006). The Wharf has been very slow getting established. Businesses are having trouble keeping their doors open, and condos are worth less today than they were at pre-construction prices.

The centerpiece attraction, the Ferris Wheel, said to be the Southeast's biggest, can be seen at center. The toll bridge over the Intercoastal Canal is at left.

Wetlands and south end of Lake Shelby.

The beach, Romar Lakes at left, Terry Cove Cotton Bayou, and Wolf Bay in the distance.

The beach, Phoenix West II under construction, and Lake Shelby at far right.

More information on Orange Beach here:

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Lagoon Pass - Gulf Shores Alabama

We spent Friday through Tuesday on the Alabama Coast. The purpose of the visit was to help my parents move from one condo to another. We were able to spend a little time on the beach and a little less fishing, but the trip was a nice change of pace. We lived on the Alabama Coast for eleven years, in five different homes, before we moved back to McCalla last year. It was a nice place to live, but running from hurricanes gets tiresome. Hurricane Ivan put 18 inches of water in our home and Katrina came up to our doorstep.

We lived at Lagoon Pass for a couple years. We traded our condo on the beach for the beach home. Living on Little Lagoon with the Gulf just across the street was nice for awhile. I could decide to go fishing on the spur-of-the-moment and be wading in the Gulf 10 minutes later. But the house was almost imposible to get warm enough in the winter or cool enough in the summer. There was also constant upkeep; beach homes take a beating from the wind, salt air and heat. The there was Hurricane Danny that blew half our roofing off and put two days of rain in our living room and kitchen. It can never be said that living on the beach is dull.

We always saw great blue herons, brown pelicans, and other birds from our back deck. The occasional sea turtle would swim in, and once we watched a pair of river otters play.

Lagoon Pass has changed a lot since we lived there. The seawall has been extended into the Gulf and sand has been addred on both sides. The cement wall where I sat waiting on a redfish to take my bait has been removed, and tons of sand has been added to the beach.

Mullet netting fishermen travel through the pass in small boats to fish the coast. Mullet will not take bait that most fish like. The vast majority are netted from boats such as this one. Fisherman also use cast nets from banks, docks, and seawalls. The seawall at Little Lagoon Pass is very productive during certain times of the year.

Redfish, bluefish, flounder, Spanish mackerel, whiting, speckled trout, white trout and pompaano are some of the species that can be caught here.

Fisherman with oil rig in background. Hundreds of oil rigs dot the Alabama Coast.

Here's a treasure hunter with an underwater metal detector.

This fisherman has caught a big flounder. It is a little early for the flounder to be hitting really good here. As the night's grow colder, they will move from Little Lagoon through the Pass and into the Gulf. During the month of November, thousands will be caught in the Pass.

For more information on Lagoon pass, see my Squidoo Lens: