So, we had a relaxed cruise on the Tombigbee Waterway and we’re coming into our next marina at Columbus, Miss. This marina is just before our next lock, but it’s not visible from the river. The sweet guy working there is kindly guiding us in. “Just look for the yellow sail in front of the lock, then turn to port,” he says. I figure a sailboat with a yellow jib must be waiting to go through the lock. As we get closer, I see a large round concrete tie-up for barges, painted dull yellow … and it dawns on me. He said cell, not sail! Those concrete tie-ups are called cells! “Turn left here!” I said.
Get it? The word cell is pronounced “say-ell” in the south, and “sell” in the north. Add “the accent thing” to our list of things-to-learn as we head deeper into the South! 🙂
Each day on The Great Loop is memorable for different reasons. Today’s is memorable for that little incident, but also for our lock-down early this morning. We entered Aberdeen Lock about 7 a.m., because we were anchored right there. (See previous post.) We were in no hurry to leave, since we were going less than 25 miles and had just one lock. But we both had a good night’s sleep and woke early and refreshed. I slept deeply on NyQuil, which ended several hours of violent sneezing, runny nose, headache…the works. (I still don’t know what caused it, but clearly an allergy reaction.)
We noticed that the boat had moved about 125 feet overnight, swinging on its anchor, as the current overtook the wind. It’s important to point out that the anchor did not move, especially since we were anchored up-river of a spillway! We knew there was debris underwater, and Jeff was concerned about what we would find attached to the anchor. He couldn’t wait, and started to lift it even before my first cup of coffee. Lo-and-behold, it was clean. He was so excited, he said “let’s go!” I called the lock master, who said “y’all come on.”
And so we did.
And…I drove through the lock! My first time. Winds and water were both calm, so Jeff suggested it would make a good practice run. Gulping coffee, I realized he was right. He guided me through the headset — as I also guided him about the best way to get a line around the bollard, since it was his first time doing that. It’s not always easy, though it was today. In fact, it was all easy. It helped that we were alone in the lock. I’m not dying to do it again, but I know I can — at least in calm conditions.
We took our time cruising downriver at a low rumble of 6.2 mph because we had time to kill. Besides, it was a gorgeous morning and we had the waterway to ourselves. We did hear a lot of jets overhead, reminding us we’ll be berthed near Columbus AFB tonight.
Photos and captions below.