Into Alabama (Day 84)

Many Moons at anchor in Lower Cook’s Bend, Tombigbee River

There’s snow in the air at home in Michigan. Here in Alabama, it’s in the 80s.

That’s why many Yoopers (people from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula) go south for the winter. And some of us do it by boat.

Of course, it’s not winter yet. It isn’t even Hallowe’en yet!

The sun does set about 6 p.m., so that’s how we know what season it is.

We left Columbus Marina at 7:30 a.m., followed out by War Eagle, another 34-foot Mainship. We met this boat in Michigan in early August and didn’t see it again until now. We’ve been keeping track of them, though, and are happy to see them again! By the time we entered our first lock, we were joined by a third Looper boat named Apres Sail. The three of us traveled together today for almost 60 miles and nearly nine hours, with Many Moons in the lead. We’re anchored near each other tonight, too. It’s nice to have company on these long stretches, even when we lose sight of each other for awhile.

It was quiet on the Tombigbee today, except for one barge that held us up at our second lock for almost an hour. We’ve been so lucky about lock delays and we didn’t mind. One funny thing about locks on the Tombigbee; they set off a siren to let you know that the water is about to drop. No other locks did that. The first time we heard that siren, we tried to figure out what we were doing wrong!

We are still on the Tenn-Tom, as well as the Tombigbee. I think. It’s confusing how the rivers intersect, and join, and are connected by canals. What I do know is we’ve gone through nine locks since Pickwick, and we have three more to go before reaching the Gulf of Mexico. We’ve done 18 locks total on this trip, which seems like a lot until you consider that the entire Great Loop includes at least 100 locks! That’s why lock management is such a common topic among Loopers and why all First Mates should know how to do one.

Tonight’s anchorage is another gorgeous one. I took the dinghy out to get some good shots.

Photos and captions of our continuing cruise on the Tombigbee below.

Two boats followed us into Stennis Lock. We took the first bollard, leaving them room to maneuver.
Green stuff grows on top of many lock bollards. It makes me sneeze.
DeeDee on War Eagle drove through her first lock today. That made me happy too! (I drove through my first a few days ago.)
This funny little boat passed us. It’s a floating hunting blind. Or something like that.
The only sign of ongoing work on the riverbank, on this leg of the Tombigbee.
Another sign of last spring’s storm — misplaced buoys. It’s a fuzzy picture, but can you see the green and red buoys side-by-side? You’re supposed to drive between them. Impossible in this case!)
A tow barge passes by on the river as Many Moons sits at anchor in Lower Cook’s Cut-Off.
I love this anchorage. Only wish we had more daylight to enjoy it!
This is why I take the dinghy out, even if the sun is setting. For views like this!

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