Of Locks and Logs (Day 81)


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.

Debris in the river

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.

This morning at Midway Marina as the fog starts to lift.
Looking across the bow of Many Moons, still tied to the pier, as fog shrouds the submerged trees stumps.
Can you tell that somebody lives on this houseboat at Midway Marina? With a dog. Lots of people live on their boats all summer long or even all year long. Sometimes they never leave the marina.
You can just see the three Looper boats ahead of us. Yesterday, we led; today, we followed. It’s nice to mix it up. (Jeff may be horrified that I showed our mish-mash of lines on the bow, but that’s how it is at times. An anchor line, two bow lines, and a bumper line can create a jumble.)
Industry along the Tombigbee is rare so far, and we’ve seen only one underway barge in three days.
Looking for the channel to Aberdeen Marina in the dinghy. The surface is clear here, but it wasn’t!
Found the channel markers to the marina! They look obvious here, but were very hard to see from the river.
The most beautiful part of the sad Aberdeen Marina. Too bad it’s so run-down. (But I was entertained by the sign there about hunting regulations. Deer, racoon, possum…no squirrels mentioned. 😉 )
That’s our boat at anchor, pointed at the Aberdeen Lock spillway. The lock itself is to our right. Tomorrow morning, we will back up a little and enter the lock through that white area.
Our view from anchorage tonight.

2 thoughts on “Of Locks and Logs (Day 81)

  1. Maybe it’s those beautiful grasses that you are sneezing from ‘Mary. Continue to love your riding and journaling. I thought the knots were pretty awesome, but what do I know…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Maybe it’s those beautiful grasses that you are sneezing from ‘Mary. Continue to love your riding and journaling. I thought the knots were pretty awesome, but what do I know…

    Liked by 1 person

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