SIX LOCKS IN ONE DAY!

Trip Start Nov 02, 2013
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14
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Trip End Ongoing


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Where I stayed
Aberdeen Marina
What I did
Town of Aberdeen

Flag of United States  , Mississippi
Sunday, November 17, 2013

Yesterday was a very long and busy day. The previous night, we had made plans to cruise the locks with our new friends, a big advantage for us since were newbees to the Tenn-Tom. We all wanted to go down as many locks and latitudes and as possible to find warmer weather, bluer skies and the great big ocean. With these lofty intentions in mind, very early in the day, Hewhogetsupatthecrackofdawn was joined by Shewhogotupatthecrackofdawn to head south with our companions in the lead.


It was not quite daylight when we departed and there was some fog due to warming temperatures (a balmy 50 degrees) as well as some drizzle. While we had hoped  for clear weather, we gladly settled for warmer temperatures.The first lock down went smoothly with no waiting. Our new friends were good about calling the lockmasters ahead of time to check on barge traffic and general conditions, something we intend to do in the future. At the next lock, we were not so lucky and had to wait as a barge locked through.The wait was long enough that we decided to drop anchor in the channel since the alternative was twirling round and round in small circles for an hour. Believe me, you do not want to go outside of the marked channel in the Tenn-Tom. It is shallow and filled with stumps and who knows what. Fortunately, the third lock was smooth sailing although we did pass that scamp of a barge that kept us from locking down the other day. He was reloading his barge at the pulp mill, no doubt preparing to monopolize the locks again. But, as one is reminded over and over, this is a commercial canal built for commercial barges and we recreational boaters are merely tolerated. The fourth, fifth and sixth lock downs went well enough but the wind was starting to pick up making it a challenge to tie off in the last lock. So, in spite of our hopes to make one more lock for the day, with the wind, rain, and darkness rapidly descending upon us, we wisely decided to call it quits and spend the night and possibly the next day at Aberdeen Marina. More inclement weather was being predicted, with thunderstorms, high winds and tornadoes mentioned as possibilities by NOAH and other weather stations.

So we headed to the marina. We were very grateful to have our new friends guide us. Even with them leading the way, it was a challenge to navigate the winding, stumpy channel.Our GPS was going crazy due to false readings generated by the water vegetation.  At one point, we hit bottom due to the shallow water this time of the year. You can bet Capt. Bart had white knuckles and a few choice words to say, especially when we churned up mud at the harbor. Shallow water and treacherous entrance aside, it turned out to be a cute marina, which is a good thing since we will be here until tomorrow. We can take showers, wash our clothes, buy supplies, visit our neighbors to swap boat tales and even walk across a parking lot to a conveniently located package store. What more can you ask for?

After tying up and settling in at the marina, another boat arrived. They had been following us all day, one lock behind. Capt. Bart helped them with their lines and we exchanged some boat tales. Then we joined our old new friends for cocktails and more boat tales. Afterwards, my Captain and I decided to take the marina courtesy car into town for some local cuisine. We were in Mississippi and by golly, we were craving catfish. The marina owners kindly directed us to a local eatery that specialized in this southern delicacy, even drawing a map for us on a paper bag. Because we were feeling adventurous we decided to follow their directions and leave our phones behind. Lucky us, the directions were excellent and although we had to travel a few miles in the boonies on a very dark night, we easily found The Friendship House on Coontail Road. And the food was delicious. With our bellies full, our sense of adventure satisfied, we returned to the Calliope and settled in for the night.

Today it is still windy and raining so we are waiting out the weather. Fortunately, it is warm if wet and it feels mighty fine not to have to wear long underwear, heavy coats and socks for a change. So far, no more news of tornadoes but still the possibility of storms.  As such, we will stay snug and dry in our little boat home at our cute marina. We might even explore and certainly we will visit with our new friends who will be traveling with us down the Tom-Bigbee. As I write, Capt. Bart is puttering around as usual. I intend to do laundry, read a book and then plot our course for tomorrow. Naturally, we are hoping for warm sunny skies, smooth cruising and not too many barges.
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Comments

Cindy on

UMMMM !!! I bet that catfish was delish!!! Meeting friends along the way and sharing stories must be so much fun. Sounds like you all are enjoying every moment.

Dean on

Sounds like the adventure you guys were hoping for. Fear not better tides lay ahaead. ARRRG ME MaTEs

Sandi on

Wow, what an adventure. I love that you've met friends to adventure with! Also, eating catfish at "The Friendship House" is a good omen. (More new friends to come)...Stay safe and give Captain Bart a thumbs up on his navigation skills...We've been in some really nasty storms today, travelling home from Chicago. Hugs and may you enjoy blue skies tomorrow.!!!

Ted on

It would be great to see more of Calliope in your photos!

Denise on

Goodmorning! Sounds like a very adventurous trip..Going to house today so I will give Ollie a big hug from you... CRUISE ON SAFE!!!!

Jan on

Loving the updates and love living vicariously through you and Bart! What a dream come true for you two!

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