3 November 2014
The after dinner fishing didn’t go any better than the before dinner fishing did, so there was no need to stay.
I had a restless night since this was our first time at anchor since Lock 52 on the Ohio. So I was up a few times to check. Susan also was restless since she got up twice to check. We both had the same report. Very calm, very nice night, sky full of stars. We both now appreciate how much light pollution we have at home and how amazing the night sky is in places without civilization.
The morning was neat, we got a nice sunrise, with wisps of fog lifting from the water. Which grew into heavier fog. Checked with the lock and they said it was pretty foggy. There was a northbound tow coming our way, so watch for him in the fog. They were in the process of locking down a south bound tow, and then the lock would be ours.
So we got pack up, heaved anchor (actually Susan uses the anchor hoist, she pushes buttons and sprays the goop off) and we headed down the river.
We met the tow and the tug had a unique 8 sided pilot house, looked like a mini spaceship on top of a tow boat. Very cool looking, hoping that Susan got a picture of it to share.
Speaking of pictures, I don’t know if you noticed but Susan is taking a picture of every heron that we see on the trip. I think she’s going to use the pictures to get a job with the National Wildlife Federation as an ornithologist. Or with the right wing conspiracy theory people that there is only one heron on the east coast, and she has the pictures to prove it.
Anyway, as we went by the anchorage that was full yesterday all the boats came tumbling out to follow us down. The 7 of us filled the lock nicely at 8:15 AM. I said to the lock-master that I had heard there was free breakfast. He replied that it was from 6-8AM and we had missed it by minutes. But he said, he’d look us up in Florida and would buy us breakfast there. Nice to see some of the lock-masters have a sense of humor.
Out of the lock at 8:45. We opted not to stay with Onward and Sandpiper, Loopers that we’ve seen a few times. I took the lead and Sage followed at a little over 10 miles an hour down the river.
Just after the lock we saw a young buck deer in the water. He was standing there and then became spooked by the boats. He bounded along the shore and then found a place to bound up the hill and over the embankment. Very cool to watch.
Other than 2.3 million herons, not much to see for the first 3 hours. We came upon the white cliffs at Epps. They are white limestone that they dug the waterway out of. Very cool looking. Even better for pictures was that there were herons along the shore in front of them.
The second 3 hours went by with more herons. We are still in early fall here, the leaves of the trees have not really started to change. We were surprised by noises along the bank, and it was a family of wild pigs. Susan saw the momma pig and 4 little pigs. They were on the shore but as we drew closer they ran into the brush. We could hear the squeals and snorts as we went by.
There are a number of summer cottages along the shore, but about 20% of them are in danger of falling into the water due to erosion. It’s a shame to see such neat properties get claimed by nature.
Highpoint of the day was at 12:40 PM, we passed mile marker 225. We are now half way down the Tenn-Tom waterway to Mobile!!!
We got into Demopolis Yacht Basin also known as Kingfisher Bay. We got 145 gallons of fuel at the cheapest price so far on the trip, $3.49 per gallon. I had budgeted for $5 a gallon, our average is now down to $4.27 so this price is a bonus.
We did some odds and ends around the boat (like filling the water tank) and then it was time for Docktails. There were 8 boats and enough snacks for about 15. It’s always nice to meet new Loopers and listen to their adventures.
The crew of Mara Beel got a car for dinner tonight and we went for Mexican. It was good, we all got a variety of dishes that we all enjoyed.
We wanted to hit the local grocery. Where we all come from the grocery is open 24 hours, in Demopolis, only until 8PM. Next time we need to flip the order that we do things.
Highlight of the evening was transportation. The marina is pretty spread out so they have U-Drive golf carts around the property. It was fun zooming along from the main basin up to the fuel dock to get the loaner car. While we were returning the car one of the tow boats was at the fuel dock. Where I get a few hundred gallons, they get a few thousand. That would explain the cheap fuel prices, when you pump out 20-30 thousand gallons a month you get a much better rate.
The crew of Roundabout set us up for the lock call at 5:30 AM so we can get out first thing. We will be anchoring out two nights and a stop a Bobby’s Fishcamp on Wednesday. Should be an exciting way to complete our Tenn-Tom adventure.
A close friend, Molly Doggus, passed away, I’ll miss her “talking” greetings when I come over to visit.