Sunday, September 28 - Grand Rivers to Buchanan, KY
The new "crew" (including myself, Mom & Marty) had to get back in the swing of things today after being away for a while. The ride was a pretty one down Kentucky Lake today. A bit rougher than we expected, but it smoothed out by the time we arrived in Buchanan.
Paris Landing was a state park and a fairly nice facility. There was a little party going on at the neighboring boat, so Cap Tom gave them some "party music" by sharing Jimmy Buffet from our own sound system onboard!
We had our own dinner onboard, and called it a night!
Monday, September 29 - Buchanan, KY to Decaturville, TN
It was an early departure from Buchanan in the morning, as we embarked on our first stretch of the Tennessee River. We were struck by the sheer elevation of the rivers edge in some areas - rock cliffs that look like canyon walls. Beautiful.
After a short four hour ride, we arrived at Mermaids Marina. This was a very quiet spot - definitely post season here. A neighboring marina was already closed for the season. We were one of only 2 overnight boats in the marina. (It felt a little like parking in someone's back yard...)
The marina was very gracious to loan us their Lincoln, so we could venture into town for supplies and dinner. We had a (surprisingly?) good meal at Granny's Kitchen...even got to meet Granny herself! Thanks!
It was a bit eerie walking back to the boat in the evening - the marina was pretty dark, and the river was covered with a rising mist...oooooo!
Tuesday, September 30 - Decaturville to Pickwick, TN
We stretched out our day on the water today in order to reach Aqua Yacht Harbor at Pickwick. Although it meant 6 hours cruising, it was worth it to reach this beautiful marina. After a much needed nap, we all dressed for dinner - the marina loaned us their van to go to Jon's Pier 57 Restaurant. Pretty good.
On Wednesday morning, we got up early so the marina mechanic could come aboard to do a few minor repairs. Once he finished, we set out for some more sightseeing.
In the afternoon, we spent a few hours at Shiloh National Military Park. This was fascinating. The park has memorialized - with various monuments and actual relic canons - the April 1862 Civil War battle that occurred there. We watched a short video, then took the driving tour throughout the actual battlegrounds. It was quite a moving experience to actually walk where the solders walked, fought and died.
After that experience, we needed a little lift - so we went to Hagy's Catfish Hotel - one of top 10 catfish restaurants in the USA. It did hold up to its reputation.
Later, we returned to the marina where we were taken on tour of the new 2004 Carvers, courtesy of Mr. Owens. We, of course, fell in love again with the 59 Marquis....oh boy.
Thursday, October 2 - Pickwick, TN to Columbus, MS
Now this was a record day. We did 113 miles, 7 locks and all in 9 hours on the water today! What a day! What a crew! (even the Cap said so!)
It was an incredibly beautiful day, so we just kept going - all the way to Columbus. We pulled in to our slip here (with perfect ease!) just a little before sunset, where we could enjoy a well-deserved happy hour on the deck! After dinner, we took a little ride around Columbus - but it was a little late, so not too much was going on.
Our plan is to tour some historic homes in Aberdeen before we head to our own home in GA on Friday.
*******We're parking again - leaving the boat here in Columbus for a week or so. Mom and Marty have to return to IL - we will miss them, they are "great crew"!!! And we're headed home... to take a "football" break!! Be back soon*********
Although we had planned to be away for a week or so, we unfortunately were met with some sad news when we arrived home. My Grandma Mina (Dad's Mom) had taken a turn for the worse, and she passed away on October 12th. So, the next week was spent with family in Chicago - and taking care of my nephews while my sister helped with the arrangements. Gram Mina was a great lady, and we will miss her dearly.
Monday, October 20 - Columbus, MS to Demopolis, MS
Since I had to stay a while longer at home to take care of some things, Cap Pete and Brother Gary came back on board to help Cap Tom continue to move the boat toward the Gulf of Mexico.
They had a scenic ride to Demopolis, MS where they saw several tugs and their cargo. Executed 3 locks during the ride today. Tied up at the gas dock of the Demopolis Yacht Basin and had dinner at the marina restaurant. Typical day on the water!
Tuesday, October 21 - Demopolis, MS to Silas, AL
Easy ride today to Bobbie's Fish Camp in Silas. Looks like Bobbie's hasn't changed much in the last 50 years....interesting place. Not much space here, so they had to raft our boat off of another boat to spend the night.
Wednesday, October 22 - Silas, AL to Satsuma, AL
Rough day today. Had to do a couple of locks today, but that was nothing compared to what was to come... Ran into some (unexpected) shallow water today - and that brought the boat to a screeching halt! No damage, thank goodness...but had to wait for help to pull us off our "perch" and that took 2 hours. The delay made the rest of the trip more challenging...
There was not enough time to make the planned destination of Mobile, so the guys were diverted to Winter's Marina in Satsuma. This marina was 4.5 miles "up a creek" (literally - as if they didn't have this feeling all day!!!). On the way, there were 2 railroad bridges - luckily, the Bridge Tenders were helpful and kept the bridges open late enough so the CrawDads could get through.
Cruising up the creek to Winter's was even more challenging having to use the search light to look for upcoming turns and avoid oncoming alligators (yep! they were in there!!!) Fortunately, water depth was OK to the marina. The ride to Winter's seemed so long, that Cap Tom called to see if they had gone wrong somewhere, but the dockmaster assured him that around the bend it would look like NYC! Sure enough, at the next turn they did see lights...a string of them - and the dockmaster out there with a lantern. Needless to say, CrawDads was the largest vessel at the dock - the boat was twice as large as the marina itself! But - after a day like today - it was a welcome sight!
Thursday, October 23 - Satsuma, AL to Mobile, AL
The ride along Mobile Bay was beautiful. Boats were everywhere - and the water was quite shallow.