Friday, November 11, 2011

Saturday, November 5, 2011

 We woke to heavy fog again this morning, so we had to cool our heels until we could see where we were going.

About 8:15 the fog was beginning to lift, and by 8:45 we were on our way; it was really quite lovely.

We saw a number of fisherman out trying their luck.

We saw a lot of floating plants this morning, some in large clusters, others appeared to be single plants; Joe said they’re water hyacinths, a free-floating perennial that is an invasive species.

On Wednesday, we left Tennessee and crossed into Mississippi.  Today we left Mississippi and crossed into Alabama.

Our first lock of the day was the Tom Bevill Lock and Dam near Pickensville, AL.  Tom Bevill was a 15 term legislator from Alabama who earned the nickname “the King of Pork” bcause of all the federal money and development projects he secured for his district.  We had to wait about 15 minutes for the lockmaster to fill the chamber so we floated around and looked at this boat that is on display at the visitor center there.  It’s the 108 foot US snagboat Montgomery which was the last steam-powered sternwheeler to ply the inland waterways of the south.  From 1926 to 1982, the Montgomery was used to keep seven of the South’s major rivers free of snags and other obstructions—the Coosa, Alabama, Apalachicola, Chattahoochee, Flint, Black Warrior and Tombigbee rivers.

This is the visitor center.

When we started our approach into the lock, this egret gave us the evil eye and stood his ground until we got too close, then he flew 100 feet down to another post.  When we got to that post, he gave up and flew away.

 It was a beautiful day, the temps got into the high 60s and the sun was all alone in the sky with no clouds.  It’s so much more fun to cruise in these conditions.

We are still seeing beautiful fall colors and many houses on stilts.  One of the houses had a wood fire going outside and the smell of smoke was wonderful.

I made bread today, so the smell from the oven was pretty nice too.

Phil likes to sit on the bow on sunny days, here he’s enjoying the scenery while Joe drives.


The Tombigbee river winds in and out of the canal, and there are other rivers that enter too.

 Our second lock of the day was open when we got there, but another boat had called and requested that we wait for him because he was “only 20 minutes away”.  50 minutes later, this boat that came cruising in.  Grrrr.

It was after 4:30 by the time we got out of the lock, so Joe steered us to an anchorage behind the lock and dam.  When we arrived, we could see 3 other boats that were already anchored there, so of course they had the best spots.  The space that was left was narrow and had lots of stumps that had to be avoided, so it took quite a while to get Paradise situated; we hit a log during the process.  For the first time on this trip, Joe decided to add an anchor at the stern.  He took the anchor out with the dinghy...
...and dropped it about 100 feet back while Phil was feeding out line.  
 After the anchor hit bottom, 

Phil reeled the line back in until Paradise was safely restrained fore and aft.  

 Joe checked how we were looking.

This will be a quiet anchorage with no tows.

It was 6 pm before everything was secure; it had been a 9 hour day and we covered 2 locks and 52 miles.

No locks tomorrow and we only have about 50 miles to get to Demopolis, AL at the confluence of the Black Warrior and Tombigbee rivers.
My brother, Bill Howie called this afternoon and he and Eileen will meet us at the marina in Demopolis where we will spend the night; it will be great to have happy hour and dinner with them.

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