Float Through the Back Bays of Orange Beach
We have just experienced a new favorite in our “Things To Do In Orange Beach” list. Getting outdoors can renew the soul, and getting away from the crowds on a Sunset Cruise in Orange Beach on your next Alabama Gulf Coast vacation can be just the ticket!
Tucked away in the Orange Beach Marina (by Fisher’s Dockside) is the entrance to a perfect, relaxing sunset cruise in Orange Beach…Anonyme Cruises. On a unique electric boat named Anonyme II, passengers take on the meaning of the name (anonymous) as they float through the coves and back bays of Orange Beach.
Leaving the Orange Beach marina on our boat tour, the old pelican floating alongside us seemed to set the stage, making it clear that we were now in his territory, and we should relax and settle in with a glass of wine.
Cruise in a Duffy Electric Boat
Our Duffy electric boat would be taking us at a maximum of five knots, about six MPH, from Terry’s Cove towards the Perdido Pass bridge and Cotton Bayou. “After all, this tour is about the ride, not the destination.”
A Duffy, the original luxury electric boat, was first built in the USA in 1970. It runs on several golf cart batteries, which are charged while docked in the marina. The ride is quiet and comfortable. The boat is low profile, so you feel the water’s coolness around you, and you see wildlife up close.
The cruise times are set:
–Morning Cruise: 9:00-11:00 at $60 per person
–Sunset Cruise: 3:00-5:00 at $60 per person
–Private Cruise: 9:00-3:00 or by appointment; $350 Total
There is a six-passenger maximum per cruise. Lifejackets are provided, and children ages eight and under are required to wear a life jacket. There is no swimming allowed while on the tour. Passengers can bring their own beverages and snacks. An ice-filled cooler is provided.
How to Book a Tour
To book a two-hour boat tour, contact:
Capt DD 251-223-6673 or book online.
Location: Orange Beach Marina, 27075 Marina Rd, Orange Beach, AL 36561
Touring the bays in Orange Beach
On our sunset cruise in Orange Beach, we saw various homes, including an ultra-modern spread with a boathouse large enough for commercial fishing boats to dock.
Nestled in the cove are original cabins that have braved many hurricanes and survived. With modern condominiums in the background, cruisers imagine lifestyles of today and yesterday.
Looking back at the urban sprawl of Orange Beach, we were happy to be on the quiet, back bay.
Things to Do in Orange Beach – Pelican Watch
As we watched the high-rises in the distance, the bay gave us our first glimpse of some of the area’s original residents, a flock of brown pelicans.
Brown Pelicans were on the Endangered Species List along the Alabama Gulf Coast in the 1970s, but the populations have recovered due to enhanced environmental protection.
Brown pelicans measure up to 54 inches long, weigh from eight to ten pounds, and have a wingspan of around seven feet. They are considered the smallest members of seven pelican species worldwide.
For a couple of Grans, just floating is enough entertainment for some afternoons.
The Captain is USCG Licensed
DD Russo grew up on the back bays in Orange Beach. She expanded her love of the water when she crewed on private boats through the Bahamas, Cuba, Mexico, Haiti, and more. She earned her USCG Captain’s license while back in Orange Beach. The rest is history, as they say!
DD’s calm assurance is felt as she maneuvers the waterways. She fills passengers in on the business’s history and local area information to the tunes of an easy-listening playlist perfect for cruising.
Dolphins are Eating Dinner in Front of Us
We cruised from Terry Cove towards the Perdido Pass Bridge. As the fishermen and sunbathers came into view, DD’s trained eye spotted the first dolphin. Our no-wake boat tour went hand-in-hand with the serenity of the feeding pods.
Dolphins were feeding under the bridge, circling and surfacing slightly, only to stay on the task at hand, eating dinner! We could see them using the herding method, where they work in pods surrounding schools of fish. They take turns entering the fish school from below to begin feeding.
Many of them have busy days, rocketing into the air to show off their flipping skills. We have had the opportunity to see them in action on another boat tour that produces wakes perfect for their antics. You can check out our article about a Dolphin Cruise in Orange Beach.
Life along the Bays
DD treated us to a private look into some backyards of the residents who live along the back bays of Orange Beach. It’s easy to visualize neighbors bringing in their daily catch to share, along with some tall tales about the ones that got away.
The Great Blue Heron is one of the most common birds found on water bodies in Alabama. As DD explained, a heron chooses a location and lays claim to it. This one seems to enjoy the neighborhood.
We could imagine how much fun it was for DD and her family to grow up on these waterways, learning boating from their father.
A Business Built on Love
DD’s father started a charter business in the 1980s on a vintage sailboat named Anonyme. He worked in the business for over 40 years and at one time lived on a schooner. He launched a tradition of boat captains in the family, including DD, her brother, and brother-in-law.
DD and her sister, Kristy, started the current business, Anonyme Cruises. They say theirs “is a story built on a foundation of love…Love of family, love of boating, love of the water, and love of Orange Beach. It’s in our blood.”
You can hear the love in their father’s voice as he talks about his life and business in this video:
Hurricanes Are a Part of Life along the Gulf Coast
Our boat tour took place shortly after Hurricane Sally impacted the area.
Boat slips and marinas have been cleared of most of the damage, leaving behind remnants and ongoing salvage efforts. Hurricane Sally left an estimated 572 vessels displaced after the water receded in Orange Beach
The End of a Perfect Day on our Sunset Cruise
On our way back to the marina, we enjoyed a soft sunset over the water. If you had been on board, you could probably hear some sighs of contentment coming from us.
When it started to rain, we zipped the plastic windows down to enjoy this additional layer of nature, the light patter of rain on the plastic. It was a simple solution that ensured our comfort.
We have definitely added Anonyme Cruises to our favorite things to do in Orange Beach. We know you will enjoy it too.
Support our Alabama Gulf Coast
Local businesses along the Alabama Gulf Coast have had their share of challenges this year. So travel to our very own Alabama Gulf Coast as soon as you can to support the local economy.
At the end of our beautiful day on the water, we had a delicious meal of local seafood at Playa at Sportsman Marina, on Canal Road in Orange Beach. While we enjoyed our drinks overlooking the bay and Perdido Pass bridge, we couldn’t help but yearn for the boats to be moored in the marina. It’s just a matter of time. All will be well again soon.
We visited the Alabama Gulf Coast during an authentic Indian Summer in November. Weather historians deem the timeframe for an Indian Summer to be September to November, with unseasonably warm temperatures. We couldn’t have asked for a more perfect time to visit.
As we have said before, the Alabama Gulf Coast is perfect any time of year. We will definitely be back soon.
A huge thank you to Gulf Shores and Orange Beach Tourism for their hospitality during our trip to the beautiful Alabama Gulf Coast. Our adventure with Anonyme Cruises couldn’t have been any better! We enjoyed this visit as professional bloggers, but as always, our opinions are our own.
We love our Alabama Gulf Coast beaches!