Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Bye, Bye Columbus

Wednesday Sunrise over Columbus Marina

We were up bright & early this morning, ready to head south.  Note my rugged look – no lipstick OR earrings!! 

We had 6 boats leaving so it was a great group, we coordinated with the lock master and he had us in the lock by 8:00!!  GREAT JOB COREY!!

Our time spent at Columbus Marina was super!  Lots of family, friends and fun but I have to admit today was a great time to leave.  Beautiful weather, great cooperation on the river and the Alabama side of the river REALLY knows how to welcome travelers… as we past the Pickensville AL campground, folks were lined up and waving just watching the boats pass by – so friendly!!

Who ya gonna call??
Trust me, zoom in, there is a telephone phone booth on the river bank...

As expected we had some barge traffic but the tug captains were so nice and they communicated on the radio in a clear and concise manner – very professional!  

We had 2 locks to clear today, so once we came out of Columbus I took the helm and Charlie was down below working on a few small projects – something involving wiring, electronics, etc.  I past a barge – he was on the “shoulder of the river” working on the barges – he said, “The river is yours except for 140 feet” (that was his width & have NO idea how long).

And I met a barge…when he radioed and said “I can take you on the 1” I CHEERED!!  And Charlie came running!!  Everything was fine – I was just excited because I understood the language!!   Although probably not the safest move to snap a picture…kids, don’t try this at home.  By the way, “take you on the 1” means road rules of America – conversely, “take you on the 2” is the European driving method, at least that’s how I can keep it straight in my mind…it worked!  Thank goodness there isn’t a 3 or 4!

Once we cleared lock 2, Tom Bevill (for those tracking on a map), it was smooth cruising.  That’s when the boats started talking to each other about where we were going to anchor tonight – hence our planning session the night before.  We picked out 3 different anchorages toward the end of our travel day - this provided us options for various reasons - unexpected delays at the locks, feeling good & deciding to motor longer or stopping early so we can lower the dinghy and explore before dark!  And if all 6 boats picked the same anchorage – it could get crowded.

Our general rule of travel for a “good day”:   What you can do in your car in an hour, you can do in your boat in a day – emphasis on the word “general”.

By 3:26 PM we were at anchor & rafted to Southern Cross!!  A great travel day of 49.6 miles with enough daylight get off the boat and explore…in our dinghy (a smaller boat)!  We are here for tonight and perhaps tomorrow – it’s like a 5 star resort…4G with 3 bars of connectivity…kids would love it here!

If you are near Bobby Johnson Rd, Aliceville AL - swim by - we'll be here all night!

I am trying to incorporate the Great Loop route map on this blog but so far the links I’ve read to help me make no sense…I need a 9 year old to interpret!!  *grin* However, I am determined to get it done just hang in there with me – there is a learning curve!  So in the meantime I will sporadically throw out random questions that pop into my head or facts from locals who know what they are talking about…

Today is a random question – if the word “tug” means to pull, tow, haul then why does a “tug/tow boat” push the barges up or down the river?  Honestly, I don’t know????

These are the thoughts floating in my brain…for the next year…


No comments:

Post a Comment