To Plan or Not to Plan (Day 86)

Here in Demopolis, Ala., I’m again observing two general types of people on The Great Loop: those who want to plan and those who don’t. It’s obvious on our boat, but I hear about it from other boats too. Most seem to have one of each kind on board, so there’s a constant negotiation of sorts. It’s kind of amusing, actually — assuming safety isn’t an issue.

This is one of those phases of The Great Loop when you do want to compare notes, check weather, look at anchorage options, and think ahead … even if you prefer to “wing it.” We are 217 miles from the Gulf of Mexico. There is only one marina in this stretch, and it’s reportedly a very bad one (limited services and slips, etc.), so that means anchoring out for at least two nights and probably more. In good weather, this trip to the Gulf would take us about four days. And four days from now, the weather forecasts predict high winds at the Gulf. We don’t want to be in the Gulf of Mexico in high winds.

Keep in mind that our communications signals from here to there will be touch-and-go, and good updates might be hard to get. So. Choices loom ahead, and possibly a longer stretch of anchorages than we’ve had yet. I’m glad we found some huge water jugs and loaded 10 gallons of extra water on board. If we don’t ever need them, so much the better.

I shook all this off for awhile with a nice jog today, and attended a service via Zoom. It feels good to connect with my land-based networks, but it’s often a challenge to find a private place with a good signal. Today, I sat on a log bordering the marina parking lot. I didn’t notice that it was under a power line. A single pigeon sat on that line. And pooped. On me. I don’t know what that means...if anything…but I did laugh.

Photos and captions from Demopolis and Kingfisher Bay Marina below.

Kingfisher Bay Marina in Demopolis is super-organized. See all the notes posted at the boater’s lounge. ..
Sunset at Kingfisher Bay Marina, from fly bridge. This doesn’t show how large this marina is.
One reason Kingfisher Bay Marina is so busy is because this marina next door is closed up due to storms. We hear that many marinas on our route are likewise closed, making the planning challenge even greater.
This marina is more … “regulated,” I guess you could say.. than any we’ve used so far. This ticket, tied to the boat, proves that we paid. We also had to put in exactly $1.50 in gas for using the courtesy car, and bring back a receipt. We always put gas in the car, but apparently some Loopers don’t, so I guess this is a solution.
This monument in town reminded us — in case we forgot — that we are in the South. Until 2020, a Confederate soldier stood on top. An off-duty cop ran into the monument by accident and knocked the soldier off. A broo-ha-ha ensued, in spite of the mayor’s quick action. Look it up.
We joined our shipmates on War Eagle for a trek to town for provisions. Jeff used the cart that most marinas supply to bring our groceries to the boat.
Nightime at Kingfisher Bay as the moon rises between two white PVC posts that help boats to tie securely.

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