4 November 2014
The plan was to call the lock at 5:30 AM. At 5, we heard the engines of Passage fire up and head out the basin. I turned the radio on and listened as they called the lock. Others in the group heard the same, so we all started throwing off lines and getting ready to leave early.
Quo Vadimus was off the dock at 5:30 heading towards the lock. It was still pretty dark, but getting lighter. We followed yesteday’s GPS track, and the lights along the shoreline. There were 7 of us in the lock Passage , Mara Beel , Roundabout , Estrellita , Miss Ginger , Onward and us. We got tied up, locked down and were out the gate by 7AM. Another night locking under our belts!
We locked down and into the fog. With the Radar on we tiptoed down the river. I kept the speed down so the boat behind us wouldn’t get lost. He said later he wanted to get on the radio and say “Thanks Foster, you have the biggest orange balls.” The two balls at the stern were all he could see in the fog.
We’ve seen lots of eagles on this trip, today was no exception. They are amazing to watch in the sky and Susan got some great pictures.
Most of the day was winding in and out of the cuts of the river. It’s pretty amazing how the river twists and turns around.
We were soon split into two groups with Mara Beel , Roundabout , Estrellita ahead of us. We kept up averaging about 8.6 knots, just over 10 miles per hour.
Early in the afternoon we passed a tow that said, “Y’all look for that gator on the starboard side” and the search for gators was on! We looked for the next two hours and didn’t see any. The crew of Mara Beel , kept saying “Gator!” but we didn’t see anything. I’m thinking they were leading us on, Their admiral takes great pictures, we’ll check and see if she has any.
Around 3 PM Roundabout and Estrellita dived into a little cove for the evening. Mara Beel and Quo Vadimus kept going to the world famous Bobby’s Fish Camp.
When the Tenn-Tom was being created there was a small marina at Demopolis. They could see the advantage of getting boaters to come up the river, the problem is the distance. So they sought out and found a partner to set up a ½ stop on the river. Since then Bobby’s Fish Camp has grown with the number of cottages and places to put RV’s. They have a pretty decent season with early spring, late fall hunters and the boating groups across the summer.
The “marina” part is only 150′. With two boats already there we were able to grab the last dockside slip. We put our locking fenders out on the other side and quickly had Mara Beel tied up next to us.
The crew of Mara Beel hosted Docktails on their boat. We were joined by the Captain of El Nido , he is another single handing sailor on the loop.
One of the snack items was Door County Cherry Salsa. We had seen lots of stuff made in Door County WI, and almost everything had Cherry’s in it (pies, bread, cheese, sausages, etc). The salsa was very good and we’ll see if we can order some over the internet.
There is a restaurant on site that serves the “Worlds Best Fried Catfish”. Sadly the restaurant is only open Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Susan made us pork cutlets and asparagus. Since we are in the south she also made dirty rice (rice, bell pepper and browned ground beef. Very very good.
With a 10 hour cruising day under our belts and another one schedule for Wednesday we were both in bed early.
Only two more days on the river!