[Ed. note: due to the lack of cell service at Bashi Creek - this report is coming to you a day later. Also, given the spotty service I was unable to upload pictures. My apologies]
We are MOVING!!
This pre-dawn morning offered SUPER news!! Aside from a little delay due to fog south of the Demopolis lock we were cleared for departure!! YAY!! Happy, happy, happy!!!
The lock chamber was full with 9 boats but yesterday’s group of 20 also managed – lock masters have the authority to request boats to “raft off one another”. In other words, my boat is secured to the floating bollard then your boat would be tied to my boat (i e: rafting) and sometimes boat #2 will have boat #3 raft…it all depends on the lock master, number of boats and most importantly, barge traffic. You must be prepared…but let me assure you, ROGER WAS IN THE HOUSE!! Communication was excellent between the lock master & vessels AND each vessel to one another. Easy pleasey.
Speaking of barge traffic…WOW!! We had a barrage of barges without any delays or “ooops” moments. They were very professional and very Cajun. Some of the chatter sounded like, “Wonk, wonk, wonk, railroad bridge wonk, Roger”. Hmmmm, logic dictated I was going UNDER the RR bridge so no worries there but was I meeting or gaining on a barge?…visual awareness would tell me that around the next “bend” (since I was corrected that rivers don’t have “curves”) – my bad!! It’s like a new language – no kidding!
We were following the boat Sanctuary for the better part of the afternoon – super friendly – waving, taking pictures!! Charlie went below deck & I started to hear music – no, not banjos. The music radio was off, Pandora was off – then it sounded like TOOT, TOOT, TOOT…horn? Gulp!! My head started to swivel!! Nothing port, nothing starboard, nothing stern (behind)..was is geese flying south? Ducks, maybe? I couldn’t see any?!?!
I called for Charlie, knowing the risk of being told “I don’t hear anything, you’re going crazy!” was VERY REAL! Thank goodness, he heard the music too!! Whew, at least there was comfort in the idea of going crazy together! He picked up the binoculars and started searching the shorelines for a distressed fishing boat or something. Then he locked in on Sanctuary…wife was driving the boat, husband was practicing his French horn!!!! I’m just so glad it was REAL!! LOL!!! We had a good laugh at ourselves…I promise “River Brain” is a true struggle…
Location check: We are through with the Tennessee Tombigbee River and now navigating the Black Warrior River. It leads to Mobile Bay and we hope to be there by Saturday and spend a couple days touring the bay. There are several stops we would like to make – especially Fairhope! It’s such a charming town and readily accessible by water. Can’t wait!
We are currently at Bashi Creek for the evening…anchored & rafted with a boat on each side of us…Sanctuary on the port and Southern Charm on the starboard – TIGHT ANCHORAGE. Two sailboats at our stern – Country Dancer and Songlines. No pictures, sorry! It was getting dark when we all started to anchor & it took a little patience to get everyone in. Our 3 boats will need to back out into the river channel in the morning but for tonight we are safe and sound!
The fun and blessings continue….much love!