To Pickwick (Days 76-77)



The track of Many Moons.

Today, we touched Mississippi and Alabama. Tonight, we’re on the border of Alabama and Tennessee.

Lately, we’re not sure which state we’re in!

Stop #48 of Many Moons‘ journey to the deep south finds us near the intersection of three states, at Grand Harbor Marina just off Pickwick Lake. When we leave here, we will be in Alabama or Mississippi all the way down to the Gulf.

Unless we take a detour into Tennessee. Choices, choices!

We traveled less than 50 miles in the past two days, but they were memorable miles – particularly going through Pickwick Lock with five other boats. We’ve heard stories of people waiting three hours or more to get through that lock. We accepted another 6 a.m. wake-up call and joined a group in order to increase our chances of a quick lock-through. It worked. I’m grateful to our fellow Loopers, anchored miles apart the night before, for their coordination and communication.

By the way, our anchorage that night before was beautiful — but somewhat risky, in hindsight. We tucked into a small creek (see previous post), and the water fell about two feet overnight. The water rises and falls with dam openings and closures, and I admit that I’d not checked the website that tracks such things. Fortunately, we had no trouble leaving the creek, having a shallow keel — but our boat-mate had a deeper keel and a trickier time of it. He reported just 1-2 feet of water under him as he navigated out of the creek and into the river. Photos and captions below.

Hugging close to Ginger Gail inside Pickwick Lock.

Many Moons (on left) rafted out to Ginger Gail in Pickwick Lock. Betty Gail and Varlabania are behind us, with Matoaka and Weeble Wobble behind them. Ginger Gail was about to “cross her wake,” meaning complete the 6,000-mile loop. We had time to visit Nick and Ginger and hear some of their amazing stories.
Many Moons and Ginger Gail at the front of the lock as the water pours in to raise us 53 feet.
This is what it looks like to be at the front of a lock. This is our 12th lock, and the 2nd to raise us up rather than drop us down.
Jeff cleans the boat at anchor in Boo Hollow, just off Pickwick Lake. (Yes, it’s a real place!) We considered anchoring near others but decided to spend a night alone. It’s important to balance social time with private time.
The view from our anchorage in Boo Hollow, looking out into Pickwick Lake.
I took the dinghy ashore to take a bath (in the cleanest water since Lake Michigan) and to find a signal so I could coordinate an HVAC visit to my house in Arlington, VA. (They say I need a new system that will cost $11,000. ??!! These are the troublesome things that come up when you’re away from home.)
This picture shows the fall in river level that made the exit from Snake Creek a bit tricky for the larger boat anchored there with us.
Many Moons tied up at Grand Harbor Marina in time to take the courtesy car out for a few hours of exploration.
On a storefront in a small town. We rarely see masks here, and no reference to vaccination status. (Interesting use of that word “comfortable.” I take this sign as putting individual choice above community well-being, but maybe took it wrong. In the age of COVID, I think of masks and vaccinations as more about protecting others — by reducing transmission — than about protecting me.)
Grand Harbor offers these fun gliders along the pier. Jeff looks like he’s sleeping, but…not! .;)
Sunset at Grand Harbor.

3 thoughts on “To Pickwick (Days 76-77)

  1. Beautiful photos and continuing exciting story. I hope you get a second and third estimate for your heating/cooling system!

    Like

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