On Nov 17 and 18th we were still at Midway awaiting engine repairs.
Had a storm front move through Tuesday afternoon the winds were gusting > 30 mph, made for a very rocky sleepless night as the boat fenders kept hitting the dock. We attached a 4th rope to make us more secure. Finally at about 2:00 the rain started, so the winds died down, it rained until almost noon.
We’re patiently waiting for the boat mechanic to come and put the repaired starter in and change the oil in the two engines. The starter was installed, the armature had shorted out- whatever that means. Everything seemed to work and we were ready to resume our adventure in the morning.
Wednesday, November 19th
Wanted to leave early this morning, and were up and ready at dawn, however the marina was fogged in. Must have been all the rain from the day before. We were travelling/following another boat called Paper Moon and when the fog cleared up enough to see across the river at 7:35 we finally pulled out. We were in contact with Fulton lock which was 3 miles away and knew they could take us whenever we got there as well they told us there were no tows on the river for miles. This information was good news as we only went about a mile down the river and the fog was once again very dense. It was slow going we couldn’t even see Paper Moon at times.At 8:40 we were through the Fulton lock, but the fog continued to stay at the surface. We made it through the Wilkins lock at 10:50, and the fog continued to linger, but not as dense. An hour later we were through the Amory lock—with no other traffic on the river the locks were usually ready and waiting for our descent. Our final lock for the day was at Aberdeen, mile 357.5, and we were through it by 13:20. We pulled into Columbus Marina mile 334.8 at 15:30 and docked for the night. The boat next to us was “Dream Catcher” with Dick and Pat who Andy had met earlier on the Illinois river system- Joliet city wall . We had dock tails on their boat a little later—my first dock tails with Loopers. We also met Kit and Pam, from California, and Randy.
We had decided to leave early (6:00), once again following Paper Moon through the Columbus lock which was less than a ½ mile away.Because of the rain storm from earlier in the week, there was lots of debris in the river pulled in because of some flash flooding, as well as foliage that looked like pond lily pads. When we got to the lock they said there would be a bit of a delay as they prepared the lock and removed debris.We drove into the lock which was very “green”, and still had logs and other debris. We were on our way by 7:15. It was a bright sunny day but there was a cold wind at times, depending on the direction the river took us and LOTS OF DEBRIS.
We entered Alabama and made it to the Tom Bevill Lock mile 306.7 by 10:00 and once again locked through with Paper Moon. This lock was once again green with floating foliage; we did hit a log in the lock, but no major damage.
We continued to meander down the river and decided we would anchor out at the Sumter Recreational area at mile 270, which we reached at 13:45. It was a well sheltered spot in 11.5 ft of water with a campground nearby. We relaxed on the back deck and read our books for awhile in the sunshine. I once again tried fishing, as there were fish jumping everywhere- but no luck. Not sure what I would have done with a fish if I had caught one.
Had a great sleep, the boat hardly moved at all. There was no rush to leave early today as we’re only going 50 miles to Demopolis, and only have one lock- the Howell- Heflin which is about 4 miles away from our anchorage. Andy put the generator on and warmed up the boat, while we waited for the mist to clear up. Started the engines at 7:45, made it through the Lock by 8:30, perfect timing as a northbound tow was just coming out of it when we arrived. It started out as a sunny day but soon became overcast. Once again there was lots of debris, however as we went along it changed from the green foliage to lots of logs and broken branches. Only saw a few fishing boats on the river but the people were wearing camouflage and orange toques, so we may have mistaken fishermen for hunters. Saw these cliffs, which looked quite interesting.
Saw quite a few herons sitting on the debris, but the sound of the boat usually scared them off before I got a good picture.We arrived in Demopolis, Mile 216.7 at 1:30. There are a few other looper boats here, and we met Jamie from “Touch of Class”, who had left Midway last Saturday. He’s been here for a couple of days and may not leave until Tuesday. The rainfall and storm from earlier in the week had caused the rivers to rise by more than 20 feet, so traveling through the lower lock at Coffeeville at mile 116.6 is not recommended. We’ll stay put here for now.
In the past three weeks we have gone 650 nautical miles which is equivalent to 750 statute miles and that was with sitting in Fulton for 6 days. We are still 230 statute miles from Mobile Bay, with the river delay, we still hope to make it there by the end of the month.
Love reading your adventures even though I don’t understand a lot of the terms you use. I also didn’t realize there was so many locks all over the lakes and rivers.
Certainly making headway for the Gulf!