Friday, November 17, 2017

Locks, locks and more locks or the tortise will alway catch the hare

Nov 1, 2017
       We weren’t going too far on Wednesday so we slept in while some of the other, faster boats left really early to get farther down the TenTomWaterway.  And here the real problem with the locks became apparent.  We are the slowest boat going down the rivers at the moment except for some sail boats that are motoring.  But by the second lock of the day, the boats that had started out early had been made to wait for the rest of us for 3 hours to go through the lock.  There had been some tugs and barges going through, which we have to wait for, but the lockmasters seem to like to put all of the PC (pleasure craft) through together.   So everyone else just gets to wait for us.  I feel really guilty but it is kind of fun because it keeps a bunch of boats together in a fleet as we go from marina or anchorage to the next.

Waiting for all the turtles to catch up
Hanging on to the bollard in the lock

Gates opening, ready, set, go
    We went through Aberdeen Lock which is where Wayne lives. He made of video of us, and then came over to the Columbus Marina and took us on a quick tour of Columbus, MS and went to dinner after having a nice docktails with a big group of Loppers that were all at the marina.

Nov 2, 2017
       We woke up to heavy fog, but one of the other boats had called the lockmaster who said he could get a group of PCs through if we got there a dawn, so we picked our way out of the marina and followed each other into and through the lock.  I was pretty confident in John’s abilities following the radar screen because of this pilot training, but it is still pretty scary not to be able to see anything around us. 
There to the fast boats till the next lock.
By the time we got out of the lock, visibility was better and the “go fast” boats took off.  Only to have to wait for us at the next lock.  We had to anchor out that night and had hoped to get the nice recreation area, but settled for one of the oxbows that had been cut across to make the canal.  Quiet evening, drinking wine and watching the full moon rise. 

Nov 3, 2017
      Another 50 miles and the last lock and we arrived in Demopolis, AL.  The end of 230 miles on the Ten Tom Waterway.  Kingfisher Bay was a wonderful marina with a heated swimming pool and a shuttle that would take us into town and pick us up for dinner.  Some of the other boats were staying a couple of days for a break, since the weather had warmed up but we just wanted to be done with the rivers.  Had dinner in a nice wine bistro, nice attempt at interesting bistro food for a small town.

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