Monday, February 19, 2018

…On The Boat Again…

That’s right boys and girls…The Lower Place is back in action & heading SOUTH.  After we finished America’s Great Loop in October 2017 we didn’t want to stop cruising.  But The Lower Place needed a little TLC (repairs, maintenance, cosmetic touch-ups) so Aqua Yacht Marina was the place for 98 days “on the hard” and we are so happy with the final results!
Locking through...yes!!! It's C O L D!!
Once the boat was back in the water we did a very short (one afternoon) shake-down cruise with the Wimberly crew on Friday, February 9th and everything checked out perfect. So what else would we do?  We loaded clothes, food & water and pointed the bow south on February 11th, of course!!  We made it to Midway Marina, Fulton MS and pulled in for the night.  Midway was our home marina for over a year before we started the loop.  We still have so many friends there so it was like a small homecoming – very enjoyable!! Good Times!!

Bright and early Monday the 12th we headed to Columbus Marina, Columbus MS.  Now this stop was really a homecoming!!  Mother loaned her car to us for the entire week! What a blessing! Where would we be without moms (or moms-in-law)?! We had several things to do before we ventured further…taxes, medical, visits with friends and family AND making new friends!  It was a very busy week and time just zipped by!!!
Just a sample of Mama's road jam! Love her!
At 0’dark thirty on Sunday the 18th we departed Columbus Marina and officially felt like we were headed “somewhere”!  And this early morning routine still isn’t routine…but at least we have coffee.  Now, in this part of the country we have had unusually heavy rainfall therefore flooding/debris is a concern.  We aren’t in “danger” but we must be aware of the current water levels AND additional rainfall to the north of us.  By 2:40 we called it a day and anchored off the river near Sumter Recreation Area, Aliceville AL.

Monday the 19th brought ANOTHER early departure (6:40am) with a planned destination of Kingfisher Marina, Demopolis AL. Charlie called the next lock (Heflin Lock and Dam) to ask about barge traffic, water levels and fog.  We were clear on everything, pulled up anchor and headed back to the river channel…only to be greeted with light fog…turning to dense fog…ending with radar navigation until we reached the lock (5 +/- miles)!!  The lockmaster hailed us and apologized saying, “It really wasn’t this bad when you call earlier.”  It was not a problem – just a reminder how quickly conditions can change.
Much better!!
Once we were secured in the lock, the lockmaster told us we could stay tied until the fog lifted or additional traffic arrived.  We were traveling with another boat – gold looper Emery El - so it was decided we would travel on slow & easy.  After an hour or so the fog lifted, the skies started to clear and we had SUNSHINE!!  For the first time in weeks we saw the sun!! Hallelujah!

AND I had my first sighting of Spanish moss too…I knew we were getting closer to Demopolis!  Before 1:00 we were secured in our slip at Kingfisher Marina. We are only staying 1 night in contrast to our last visit in Oct 2016 – we stayed almost a week!  Good Times!!

So this post is very narrative without a lot of details and I wasn’t sure I was going to resurrect the blog for this journey because…
1.        I only know we are headed south – no concrete destination
2.       This is a “down and back” trip with our only (insurance) requirement to be north of Demopolis AL by June 1 (beginning hurricane season).
3.       Our summer goal is to play on Pickwick Lake with our new friends, neighbors & family. Yep, bought a house while waiting for the boat to get finished.

But I will try to splash a few pictures, share some funny stories and pay forward the many pearls of wisdom I learn while cruising aboard The Lower Place.
I'm calling this "sunny conditions"

God Bless!

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