We are anchored tonight in front of a lock — a first for us. We’re here because our first and second options were blocked by submerged and semi-submerged logs.
That’s the thing about boating. You have to expect the unexpected, and leave options open.
We’re staring at the Aberdeen Lock, maybe 600 feet away, on the Tombigbee River in Mississippi. It feels secure, if weird. It’s a designated anchorage, and we asked the lockmaster before dropping anchor here.
How did we end up here? A large storm in early summer sent a lot of debris downriver, and much of it is still here. The three boats that left Midway Marina with us this morning continued down, but we wanted to break up the 60-mile trip to Columbus and couldn’t get a reservation there today anyway. After almost 40 miles and three more locks, we aimed for a popular free dock, only to learn that it’s blocked by debris. Then we considered the nearby marina, only to learn that its entrance is … well, iffy at best.
So we chose this place.
The unexpected “gift?” Our (careful) exploration by dinghy of the nearby flooded channels and streams, pockmarked by small shrubbery and floating wood and whole trees standing in water. Almost not careful enough, however! After puttering slowly for 100 feet or so, Jeff — being an irrepressible “tester” — succumbed to the urge to nudge the throttle. I kept my mouth shut. Within seconds, the dinghy went THUMP. We didn’t see what we hit, but it was big. He throttled back immediately and chuckled. I kept my mouth shut again. 😉
After that questionable start, we enjoyed the tour of this odd place … calm at the water level but hiding who-knows-what underneath. We felt like explorers, with nobody else in sight. We did find the marina about a mile inland, with only two old boats in it. No wonder.
I do wonder what it will be like to spend the night next to the lock and its adjacent spillway. I feel better knowing that the nearby lockmaster is keeping his eye on us. Even if he can’t do anything.
PS: As I write this, I’m sneezing and hacking something fierce. I can tell it’s an allergic reaction, but to what? When you move constantly the way we are doing, who knows? I’ll have to pull out the medicines.
Photos and captions below show our journey from Midway Marina to Aberdeen Lock.