To Demopolis (Day 85)


After a long but relaxing day (61 miles) on the Tombigbee, we find ourselves in Demopolis, Alabama. Sounds Greek, right? That’s because it is Greek, for “City of the People.” I wonder how many people in this city know that? It was founded in 1817 by Napoleonic exiles. I don’t know who they were, but it’s another example of our country’s deep roots in Europe.

For Many Moons, and all Looping boats, it’s another milestone. It took two long days of cruising to get here from the last marina, and it will be another two days to the next one. This is another phase in The Great Loop where marinas are widely-spaced, and you can’t escape anchoring out.

Not that I want to! Last night’s anchorage was great, and it was a bit frustrating to arrive at such a beautiful place in late afternoon when the sun sets so early. (If you wonder why we don’t linger more, it’s because of marina reservations; they are hard to get and important to keep. For one thing, a 40-gallon water tank doesn’t last long. For another, we had important mail waiting in Demopolis.) We had an issue with batteries last night–fairly minor stuff compared to the mechanical issues we hear about from others, but all part of the evening’s work. Making meals always takes time, too. Reviewing and charting the next day’s route. Making calls to people who don’t read on-line stuff. And there’s the blog. Somehow, the evenings fly. By the time I pull out a book or video, I’m too tired to read or watch much.

Wake-up came before sunrise today, as we were eager to start on the long cruise. We had another lock coming, and you can never tell how long you’ll have to wait. The possibility of arriving somewhere at night is always on my mind. But we didn’t have to wait; we sailed through the lock, and the entire cruise. In fact, I even took a short nap while under way – the first time I’ve done that in a long time.

The relaxing part of the day came after our surprise encounter with a barge, in the mist, with the rising sun in our eyes. That occurred just as we pulled the anchor and re-entered the river. I was grateful that our companion boat was ahead, saw it first, and called on the radio. I’m not sure we would have been that quick.

Almost every day brings some kind of surprise. I’ve always loved surprises, but they sometimes come more quickly than I want on this trip! 😉 Here’s another: We’ve traveled 1,900 miles. That’s almost one-third of The Great Loop. I bet nobody expected that when we left the tiny marina in Pequaming July 30. I sure didn’t.

Taking the dinghy out last night at Lower Cook’s Bend Cut-Off.
This is where we spent last night at anchor. The river is the white part. We pulled out of the blue “cut-off” and straight into the path of an up-bound tow barge. No, we weren’t about to collide – but the river is pretty narrow here.
We encountered this barge as we left our anchorage, with the sunrise in our eyes and mist on the water.
Inside Heflin Lock. I’ve become used to “kissing” the lock wall. (I’m the one who puts that line around that round bollard.)
We traveled today with War Eagle, a boat very much like ours. This is how we show up on Nebo, the boat-tracking app.
Sunrise on the Tombigbee.
White cliffs along the Tombigbee.

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