Sunday, May 20, 2018

And just like that...we're home!!

Headed Home...

And we’ve been here since May the 9th!  After an overnight stop in Columbus MS we motored up the TN-Tom, transitioning 5 locks without incident until…we reached the final (Fulton MS) lock of the day.  Barge traffic takes priority and we had one ahead of us (north bound) and one heading south bound.  While we weren’t thrilled with a 2+ hour delay at the end of a long day, we really could not complain – so we didn’t.

By 6:35 we were safely docked at Midway Marina, Fulton MS ending an 11 ½ hour day.  Since we considered Midway our “home” marina while traveling America’s Great Loop, it was great to be “home”.  We visited with old friends, talked about those who had left the marina and met a few new friends.  A quick visit to town for a bite of dinner (surprisingly, very disappointing) and back to the boat for a restful nights’ sleep.


Wednesday the 9th we were underway by 7:25 am, knowing we had to clear 3 locks in a short distance we were eager to get that behind us.  Before long we were approaching the FINAL lock!  The Jamie Whitten Lock at mm 411.9 is the tallest (or deepest, depending on your perspective) lock on the waterway with a lift of 84 feet!  It’s the 4th highest single lift lock in the country and it’s always windy upon approach – at least that’s our experience!!  Once we locked through we were headed to Pickwick Lake aka HOME!!

The Jamie Whiten Lock - look closely at the right side of the lock wall
As we approached the lock, the lock master called us with a message of caution..."Whitten Lock to The Lower Place you may enter but watch out for the kayak.  He just locked through headed to Fort Walton FL."  WHAT?!?!  Charlie used binoculars from the fly bridge & spotted him.  I was already on the deck preparing lines but had the chance to speak with him.  He started his journey in Knoxville  TN with Fort Walton FL as the destination...in a KAYAK!!!  See, we aren't so unusual!!  He's been in my prayers!!

After some confusion about our slip assignment at Aqua Yacht we were tucked in for the summer by 4:15pm!!  Ahhhhh……

That’s right we are home for the summer.  Plans to play on Pickwick Lake with family & friends are in full swing and a few road trips are on the agenda.  We need to make the most of our time because The Lower Place will be heading south when the leaves begin to fall.

Thank you for coming along on our journey.  Make the most of every day and be a friend to a stranger!

God Bless!

Monday, May 7, 2018

Mobile AL to Columbus MS - What a ride!

A little foggy in Mobile AL
We have been puttering UP the river for the past week – with a weekend reprieve in Demopolis AL.  Apparently we are cruising like “a couple of horses headed to the barn.”

May 1 – we departed from Mobile AL after the fog lifted of course! And a mere 10 hours later we arrived at Three Rivers anchorage.  The current reduced our typical cruising speed by 2.3 mph so it was a LONG day but we reached our destination.  So thankful for the extended daylight hours of late spring!!
lots of debris to dodge
May 2 – Up and at it early (no fog) and a mere 10 hours later we were anchored in Okatuppa Creek by 4:45pm.  Wednesday was a little “shocking” for Charlie.  Originally we planned to dock at Bobby’s Fish Camp - it was hot & AC sounded like a great idea.  We pulled in, secured our boat & hopped off to catch the lines Huckster (another looper boat).  Charlie grabbed the rail (metal) on Huckster and got a little “tingle”.  Once they were secured we started looking at the power boxes, Charlie touched the top of one and “SNAP”!!  Katie (Huckster) and I heard the jolt!!  We immediately decided to leave and anchor.  As Kevin (Huckster) was helping us cast off, Kevin touched our boat rail…yep, “POP”!  They left the dock as well.

Charlie called Bobby’s and reported our experience.  They appreciated the report and said they would have it checked. Geesh….
A brand new day - God is so very, very good

May 3 – another early start (6:15am) but with TWO locks behind us the current was quickly becoming a non-issue!!  A mere 12 hours later (see a pattern?) we were docked at Kingfisher Bay Marina in Demopolis AL!!  YAY!!  Air conditioning, filling the water tanks, topping off the fuel tanks, pumping out the holding tank…like a day at the SPA!! LOL!!!  And a nice surprise…we stayed 3 nights!!!

The usual marina stuff…get off the boat and walk, walk, walk; do a few loads of laundry, a trip to the grocery store, visit with other boaters and BONUS!!!!  Anna Marie (Dock master) invited me to the local community theater production of The Miracle Worker.  A fabulous performance and my favorite kind of theater…community!!  Our stop at Kingfisher Bay never disappoints and I felt blessed to be there!
I don't know who owns this house - but look at the FLAT WATER!!

May 6 – A later than usual start of 8:40 was a nice way to begin the day.  A short while later we watched Riverview Baptist Church via Face book live and really got homesick! But it was so nice to see everyone – great job Brother Allen!! A short 7 ½ hours later we were anchored in Sumter Creek…so close to home!!
Hot diggity dog!! The River Walk in Columbus MS!!
May 7 – Like kids at Christmas, we were up before dawn and under way by 6:20 headed to Columbus MS…a girl needs to see her mama!!  By 2:30 we were anchored in the old river channel, near downtown, the River Walk and Pedestrian Bridge!!  A short dinghy ride to the floating dock and we were back on solid ground again.  AND VERY familiar surroundings – I utilized the River Walk a LOT when I was in the corporate world…it was my recess before going home.

We were met by my niece (huge surprise) and my parents!!!  After talking a tour of the old trail we walked up the hill and had an early dinner at Harvey’s.  It was so nice to see family and although this was a brief visit we look forward to seeing each other this summer!

We will depart at the standard “0’dark:30” on Tuesday the 8th continuing our trek north.  Our loose plans for the remainder of the week are Columbus to Fulton to Bay Springs to Aqua Yacht (home).  Pending no unforeseen delays we should be home on land by Thursday.  We can’t wait to see what everything looks like with leaves, flowers and grass!!!

God Bless