Sunday, November 7, 2010

Tombigbee Waterway

After a one month 60 mile side-trip to Joe Wheeler we were back on the Tennessee River heading to the Tombigbee Waterway.  The first day took us through two locks, 30 mph winds and up river 60 miles to the junction of the Tombigbee Waterway where we stayed at a very popular Zippy Branch anchorage with 4 other boats. 

Day two was our first experience on the Tenn-Tom.  Very narrow, hairpin turns and shallow waterway made it feel very different than the Tennessee River. We awoke early and were excited about our venture down.  As we turned a corner and saw an oncoming tow, we called on the VHF for instructions on how to pass.  He told us to pass on the “2” and sit tight due to the narrow channel, size of the barge and strong wind.  No problem with the “2” (starboard to starboard) but immediately after stopping we ran aground (11 feet to 0 within a five foot area).  Stunned by the sound it made we looked ahead to see another boat named Destination, ran aground in front of us.  Luckily, we were bow in and the wind took us off after 30 minutes.  However, the boat in front of us wasn’t so lucky with her stern hung up.

Craig kept a great attitude through the “grounding” and when our cruising looper friends, Lazy Dolphin passed us, Craig radioed him to say we took this anchorage! When I wanted to cry, he made me laugh!!

The next day we made it through three locks, covered many miles and went to a local marina called Midway as the temperature that night was down to the low twenties. The cold evenings were a great chance to cuddle up with dad and a movie!  It feels like Autumn. 
The twenty degree nights at anchorages with no heat allowed for a great time for a camp out in the salon.  It was cozy and comfy and they slept great.  It was cute to see how excited they were to sleep somewhere new.   
We stocked up on art supplies at the last stop and the girls love getting back into painting with non-washable acrylic paints! 
Heading to Aberdeen Marina was a half a mile channel into the swamp! 

This week it's suppose to warm up and we'll be cruising down the Black Warrior Waterway.  Looks like it'll be very scenic without any places to stop, cell phone tower, marinas, etc.

Tom Kerkstra, my parents friend, loaned me some great books. I'm currently reading Black Wave and love it...thank you Tom!!!!