Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Days 86   Eastern Shore Marina,  Fairhope, AL
Friday, November 19, 2010

Yes, they have great gumbo.

Beautiful flowers of Fairhope

Fairhope is a beautiful city, and today we were able to explore its unique shops and restaurants.  The weather was also beautiful and the flowers on every street corner were in full fall color.  We first stopped with Chris and Bruce at the Gumbo Shop for a bowl of their signature soup.  Delicious!  This restaurant has been featured on the Food Channel.  Jim then found a hair salon where he could walk-in for a cut.  It turned out to be a good cut, but it took about an hour … must be the beard!  We then stopped with Chris and Bruce at Andres for a cheese, fruit, and French bread tray.   We were joined by fellow loopers Paula and Joan who had also enjoyed the day in town.  Of course none of us could pass up the $1 beer at The Pub.  We all went back to the marina, and Chris and I went Publix grocery store for a few supplies.  It was a quiet night on board.     

Total miles: 0       Total bridges:  0      Total locks:  0
 Day 85     Eastern Shore Marina,  Fairhope, AL
Thursday, November 18, 2010

Do you think that there are fish on this boat?

Just hanging out in Mobile Bay

Entering Eastern Shores Marina

Crossing Mobile Bay

Dream Catcher docked at Eastern Shores Marina, Fairhope, Alabama

Southern belles at the lighting of the trees in Fairhope, Alabama

Happy birthday, Gussie!  Hope you had a great day! 
It was a marathon day for Dream Catcher – a complete oil and filter change, and we’re ready to go again.  Bade Boomer thought that their generator would be fixed, but the replacement part turned out to be the wrong one, so they were still without a generator.  Together we crossed a calm Mobile Bay from Mobile to Fairhope and checked in to Eastern Shore Marina.  We immediately headed downtown in the courtesy car along with additional fellow loopers.  The main street was closed for pedestrian traffic only, Santa Claus was in town with his entourage, bands played, and at 6:00 all of the trees in the downtown area were illuminated with white Christmas lights.  The most interesting thing for us northerners was the fake snow machines which added to the holiday atmosphere.  No need for that at home!   

  Total miles: 10       Total bridges:  1      Total locks:  0
Day 84      Dog River Marina, Mobile, AL
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Bade Boomer getting her props changed at Dog River Marina

We waited all day for someone to check out Dream Catcher for an oil and filter change.  They finally showed up at 4:30 and agreed to start at 7:30 tomorrow morning.  Boomer waited all day for their props to be replaced.  They were finally pulled at 3:30, props changed, and dropped back in the water after dark.  We commiserated together with wine on Dream Catcher. 

Total miles: 0       Total bridges:  0      Total locks:  0
Day 83      Dog River Marina,  Mobile, AL
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Entering Mobile Bay with Bade Boomer in the lead

Mobile Bay

On Mobile Bay

Mobile Convention Center mile marker 0

Cargo ship on Mobile Bay

Jim, Brenda, Bruce, and Chris at Felix's 

It was an exciting day as we anticipated leaving the river and entering the salt water of Mobile Bay.  We crossed mile zero, completing the 450 miles of the Tenn-Tom waterway.   The bay seemed enormous after leaving the familiar river system, but we had no navigation problems.    It was impressive to see the huge ocean-going cargo ships at the docks.  The only problem was the huge amount of debris in the bay, and unfortunately a log found Bade Boomer’s props.  They hobbled into Dog River where they had planned to have their generator fixed anyway. 
We borrowed the courtesy car and enjoyed a fabulous dinner at Felix’s Restaurant – including oysters on the half-shell and oysters Rockefeller.   

Total miles: 51       Total bridges:  5      Total locks:  0

Day 82    Tensaw River,AL  MM 39.1  Tenn-Tom  
Monday, November 15, 2010
Rain.  Downpour.  “Celebration” – the boat being delivered by Bryson – left at first light, but returned with a small fuel problem.  We debated with Chris and Bruce on Bade Boomer about traveling in the rain, but by the time Bryson fixed his problem, we decided to follow him for the day since he had a great deal of experience in this part of the river.  We went through Coffeeville Lock which is the last one in the river system (Yippee!) and followed “Celebration” to an anchorage at the Tensaw River.  We anchored bow to stern with Bade Boomer and enjoyed a peaceful night with a gentle rain.   Again we supplied electric power to Bade Boomer and nicknamed our stern outlet “The Bade Outlet”.

Total miles: 79       Total bridges:  4      Total locks:  1

Day 81   Bobby’s Fish Camp  Silas, AL  
MM 119 Tenn-Tom  
Sunday, November 14, 2010
Meandering Tenn-Tom as seen on our chart plotter

Bobby's Fish Camp

Bobby's Fish Camp

Directions at Bobby's Fish Camp

The next “required” stop down the river:  Bobby’s Fish Camp.  The camp consists of one 160-foot long dock along the river’s right descending bank.  It is the last place to buy fuel for the next 135 miles.  Two other boats were already tied to the dock, so again Bade Boomer tied up and we rafted off of them.  The restaurant is usually open Thursday through Saturday, but since there were 8 of us (2 from each of the 4 boats) they agreed to open for supper.  It was fun to meet more boaters including Bryson who works at Dog River Marina in Mobile and was delivering a boat for the owners.  After supper Bade Boomer discovered that their generator was not working.  Bryson volunteered to look at it, but after a couple of hours he determined that it could not be repaired without a new part.    Since there is no power at the dock, we used an outlet and long extension code from Dream Cather to give power to Bade Boomer for the night.
Total miles: 97       Total bridges:  5      Total locks:  0

Day 80   Demopolis, AL MM 216.7  Tenn-Tom  
Saturday, November 13, 2010

If you're a looper, there's a rule that you have to take a picture of this phone booth in the middle of nowhere.

White cliffs at Epes 

White cliffs at Epes at mile marker 250 on the Tenn-Tom
Dream Catcher rafted off of Bade Boomer at the Demopolis fuel dock

Dream Catcher at Demopolis fuel dock

Marina restaurant at Demopolis, Alabama
Only 1 lock today – Gainesville/Heflin- and we pulled into Demopolis about 1:30.  Due to shallow water and such a large demand for slips this time of year, boats were only allowed to stay for one night.  They didn’t even have space on the dock for both of us, so Bade Boomer tied to the fuel dock and we rafted off of them.  We fueled up, did laundry, and ate supper at the marina restaurant with Bruce and Chris.
Total miles: 54       Total bridges:  5      Total locks:  1
Day 79     Sumter Landing, MM 270  Tenn-Tom  
Friday, November 12, 2010
After 2 locks - Stennis and Bevill – we arrived at Sumter Landing anchorage with Bade Boomer.   We anchored bow to stern so that each boat dropped its own anchor and by tying together, each boat also had a stern anchor.  There was absolutely no swing, and we enjoyed a very peaceful night.  Anchoring bow to stern was a first for us and we wondered why we had never done it before. 

Total miles: 65       Total bridges:  5      Total locks:  2
Day 78     Columbus, Mississippi,
MM 335 Tenn-Tom
Thursday, November 11, 2010
Jacob is the owner who restored Aurora

Beautiful bright work on Aurora

Handmade tables

                                          Handmade table on Aurora

A day to regroup, reprovision, and rest.  We borrowed the marina courtesy car, drove a couple of miles to Columbus, had the buffet lunch at Pizza Hut, and picked up a few supplies.
One of the boats in the harbor is a Trumpy Yacht which has been beautifully restored by the current owner.  Jacob generously offered guided tours with explanations of the amazing work that he had done to make his yacht a show piece.  It is truly a work of art and heart. 
Happy hour was celebrated on the picnic area under the marina office.   Along with “Bade Boomer” we decided to head to Sumter anchorage tomorrow.  It is about 65 miles and 2 locks.  Others decided to take a less aggressive route, but hopefully we’ll see them again soon.     
 Total miles: 0       Total bridges:  0      Total locks:  0

Day 77       Columbus, Mississippi,
MM 335 Tenn-Tom
Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Orion ahead of us in the lock

Moor $tuff in the lock

Bade Boomer in the lock

Bruce, Stanley and Skip

Debbie and Rob from Lady Royal

Dick and Pat Danly

Debbie, Rob, Bill, Charlotte and Chris on Next Endeavour

                                          Jim checks out the scootcoup

            Stanley securing his scootcoup to the upper deck of Next Endeavour

Four boats left Midway about 7:30:  “Orion” (Denise and Paul are not loopers, but heading south for the winter), “Bade Boomer”, “Moor $tuff”, and “Dream Catcher”.  We joined “North Star” (a 60-foot trawler, not a looper) in the first lock.  All 5 boats traveled together for the day and made it through 4 locks:  Fulton, Wilkins, Amory, and Aberdeen.   “Bade Boomer”, “Moor $tuff” and “Dream Catcher” pulled in at Columbus Marina about 3:30 while the other 2 boats continued down river. 
Columbus was  a  reunion with lots of other boaters from the rendezvous including “Gypsea”, “Precious Time”, “Quest” ,“Next Endeavour” and  “Lady Royal” (whom we met in Bay Springs). Eighteen of us enjoyed happy hour on “Next Endeavour”.  Thanks, Colleen and Stan for your generous hospitality once again.  
Total miles: 59       Total bridges:  9      Total locks:  4

Day 76      Midway Marina, Fulton, Mississippi,
MM 394 Tenn-Tom
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
It took over 3 years, but the owner of this houseboat built a small wooden boat on the top deck and had it lifted off the day we were at the marina. 

                             Homemade boat on its way to the trailer.

Good news:  parts for the generator arrived overnight, were installed and working by early afternoon.
More good news:  friends from the AGLCA rendezvous on “Bade Boomer” and “Moor $tuff” arrived at Midway.  We caught up on everyone’s adventures since the rendezvous at happy hour on “Moor $tuff”.
Total miles: 0       Total bridges:  0      Total locks:  0

1 comment:

  1. Hi Brenda and Jim,

    Are you coming home for Christmas?

    Brenda and Dan Konrardy