Nov 1 2008
Fog lifts and 12 boats race to the Demopolis Lock. We are on the part of the Tenn-Tom where there are very few spots to overnight and get out of the way of the barges who run the river 24-7. These are the longest travel days of the whole Loop. The Lockmasters on the T-T are the nicest most accommodating folks I have ever seen. They worked hard getting everyone handled and rafted off.
When the doors opened, it took an hour to establish a sequence and some separation. Then we jumped to warp speed (12 miles per hour).
Bobby’s Fish Camp is everything we thought it would be. The most expensive place we have stayed so far, it is $1 a foot and you still have to run your gen set for power. No power, no water, no wifi, no dock help, no dock (we are rafted 4 deep and 3 boats wide), no laundry, no courtesy car, no radio communication, no broadband and no cell phone coverage. Just diesel fuel and catfish for supper!
There are a million ways to prepare fish, but catfish is meant to be fried and Bobby does that just right! We are so pleased to be here at the garden spot of the T-T for 100 miles either way you are headed.
Nov 2 2008
It’s too far to make it to Mobile in one day. So we split it up into 2 sixtyish mile days and run at 10mph. Nicer hours to be tucked in somewhere around 2 and have the rest of the day to relax. We found a great anchorage in Ala River Cut-off and dropped the hook. Rafted to “Footloose” and enjoyed a great dinner together and they taught us to play Mexican Train (a type of domino game)! They whipped us. Took advantage of novices, no doubt!! There were 4 boats total at this anchorage. No more locks for us until we get back to a river system in New York next summer!!! We do have to consider tidal effect now.
The scenery is more like a delta now with Spanish Moss hanging from the Cypress trees.
Lot’s of birds, but also known to have alligators. This is the only area in Alabama that is inhabited by bears. We watched for both, but Jim said the only bear he saw was the one he woke up next to the next morning!!
Ye-haw—Salt Water! Ocean Air! Smells of adventure!!! While we look around and address our fresh water fears that our boat will disintegrate when it touches salt water, the old girl takes an easy breath & reminds us that she was christened in salt water and it’s good to be back. Too long gone! It’s a nice moment for the three of us!
On to Dog River Marina where she will have a little work done (yes, she is of that age!) on her bottom! They will lift her from the water in a sling and place her on the hard, a most unnatural state for her. But some discomfort must be tolerated in order to have things “put right” again.
Nov 10 2008
They Splashed our boat yesterday! We checked on her in Mobile but will not be moving back on board until tomorrow, casting off Wednesday morning to go 30 miles to Lulu’s Homeport Marina. We have been having a great time on the Eastern Shore and in Gulf Shores. We have visited with my parents in Bon Secour, my brother Kevin and Sis-in-Law Debra in Fairhope, Roger and Dawn Gill in Gulf Shores, Carol and Mike Gordon on the Evelyn J at Homeport, Jack and Linda Lawhorn in the Grove and have seen many Loopers headed down the ICW.
Some high points have been spending the afternoon cooking Chicken, Shrimp, Andouille Jambalaya (from Lucy Buffett’s “Crazy Sista” Cookbook) with my mom (it was awesome), watching the exciting (and close) Alabama vs LSU ball game with the Gills at Guy Harvey’s, and the scariest moment was yesterday when a fuel tanker backed into a power pole at the marina and knocked it down. Live power wires and blue flames arcing around a fuel truck could have been a disaster. But a 10 hour black out was the worst of the results. Boy were we lucky!