Double Dam-It

September 19

Left the Grand Harbor Marina at 8am sharp. Our neighbor on Sun Spot who is doing the Loop as well gave us a tip this morning for pest (bugs, not me) control on the boat.

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First thing after starting the coffee I am on spider patrol before my brides feet hit the deck. She bloody damn well hates those things. Not sure she wouldn’t jump ship if she came across one that was large.

Just a few miles after leaving the marina, we came across this cove with a waterfall. There is so much natural beauty along this river.

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A few days ago I had installed a new VHF radio on the flybridge. There is a special number the FCC gives you to program into your VHF radio. The MMSI (Maritime Mobile Service Identity) identifies your boats exact location on the planet in case of an emergency. On the side of the mike is a red cover over the “O SHIT’ button. Flip this cover, push the button and the cavalry shows up.

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This tall piling marks the left side if the channel and it has become a home and fishing spot for an enterprising bird. Usually you would see ospreys making their nests on top of the pilings but that was no osprey.

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Yesterday we heard this loud noise, somewhere between a loud pop and a bang. Searched the boat hi and low and could find nothing. Figured we must have hit a submerged log. Today in preparation for our first lock through, Debbie gets out our PFD’s (personal flotation devices). We have these really cool ones that are very slim and only inflate when submerged. They offer a lot of movement compared to those big orange vests. Well, she goes to pull them out from under the upper helm and one of them had deployed, hence the bang.

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Above is the Natchez Trace Parkway Bridge. It served as a landmark for over 8,000 years. Buffalo and other wildlife came first, then later American Indians, trappers, traders and eventually boatmen who would float their flatboats to New Orleans, then walk the Trace back. Of course they did not have this bridge then but the river was much narrower and mostly shallower before the dams were built. The Natchez Trace had many hazards such as bandits, Indians and wild animals.

While on the subject of native Americans, while using a courtesy car from one of the marinas we recently stayed we came across a number of historical markers stating the “Trail of Tears”. I won’t bore you with a history lesson, but you might want to check out this link to Wikipedia regarding this awful piece of American history. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trail_of_Tears

Just can’t express the beauty of  this river. Came across Larry and Marney Brunner’s next lake house.

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Saw this place on a shear cliff. Those are stairs to the water. I think I would/could make that climb, hmmm ONCE.

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We titled todays installment Double Dam-It because we had to lock through the Wilson and Joe Wheeler dams. The Wilson was an astounding 94′ vertical lift! Biggest we have experienced so far. Prior to damming there must have been some kind of waterfall or rapids here. These are photo’s of the lock chamber once we entered. Once we rose to the upper level the water just rose over the top of the lock door! We shared the lock with a sailboat on this huge lift.

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The Joe Wheeler locks were “just” a 54′ lift. These are photo’s of the front and rear of the chamber.

Got to Joe Wheeler State Park Marina and had some issues with the power pedestal. Once we returned from dinner at full dark (8pm) we were informed we had to move to a different slip as they were having problems with the pedestals on our part of the dock. Hope they get the gremlins out soon cuz in less than a month about 100 Looper boats (including us) are going to descend on this place.

Some amazing views of this incredible river:

IMG_3173Uhhhh, damn!

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