We picked up Milton and Julie on Thursday at Pickwick State Park, just a stones throw from where we were docked at Aqua Yacht Marina in Iuka, MS. A short drive to Shiloh National Park for a very informative tour by Milton. An early battle in the Civil War which left 24,000 dead in 2 days of fighting. An interesting footnote to the Civil War, more soldiers died from toothaches becoming septic than gunshot wounds.
The 2 photo’s above were inscribed on 2 sides of the above statue with notes written by Privates in the Confederate Army. Moving words.
We got underway around noon on Friday after our brief driving tour of Shiloh Park. The first 30 miles were in a straight, rock lined ditch. Not terribly scenic.
Our first Lock was the Whitten Lock and Dam with a 84 foot drop.
Our view just after entering the lock and tying up to the side.
Our view as the lockmaster opens the doors from the same location in the chamber albeit 84 feet lower.
Tennessee boasts a large timber industry from furniture production to wood pulp for paper manufacture. These great piles of ground up pine will be loaded onto barges bound for paper mills. There is so much furniture and wood scraps from these operations that the Jack Daniel’s distillery uses wood scraps to generate the heat needed to run their stills in lieu of burning fossil fuels. A few years ago we took a tour of Jack Daniel’s with our friends, Bev and Glenn Glaser and at one point we thought they had taken us to a sawmill. There were huge piles of scrap wood and wood pulp, all being moved on to a conveyor by front end loaders. We were surprised to learn it was the power plant for the distillery.
As I stated earlier, the first 30 miles on the Tombigbee is pretty much a straight line along a rock lined ditch. Julie spent the time spanking Milton in Cribbage.
This is a spreadsheet I had prepared on our first/last Loop showing mile marker info on the left of the page and marina’s, anchorages and locks along with their phone numbers. On a river where there is a lot of barge traffic it is wise to phone the lock for instructions instead of using the VHF radio. Often the lockmaster will give info not intended for the ears of the tow arrays. Also noted on the apreadsheet on the far right is whether or not the listed marina has a courtesy car. A great feature for those traveling by boat, courtesy cars are available to the transient boater to make runs for groceries or going out to lunch or dinner. Some ar in better shape than others. At Clifton Marina their courtesy car is a 90’s vintage Buick. The filler tube for the gas tank is intact but the support for the tube behind the filler door is long since rusted away. Just like it was 2 years ago when we stopped here. The marina is under new ownership we were told. We were also told they have the same courtesy car. I asked if it had the same shock absorbers as 2 years ago they were long since dead. Bob Shircliff, you will be glad to know Glen Lineberry is alive and well albeit retired and only visits the marina a few times a week.
We always keep a weather eye out for fishermen as the wake from Whisky Business could/would overwelm a fishing boat. Especially when the guy doing the fishing is standing up in his boat. If you do wake one of these guys a couple of things can happen. They will shoot at ya or they will be waiting for you at the next lock with the Po Po charging you with damaging their boat. Boaters are responsible for damage caused by their wakes.
We traversed 3 locks on Friday and 4 on Saturday. A shot of the dam at the top of one othe locks.
Sunset from our anchorage Friday night. No moon and the stars were blazing. Could see the Milky Way. Fog was beginning to form on the water and with a slight breeze blowing there would be wisps of fog that would blow over the flybridge of WB. Quite eerie.
Just in front of the fuel dock is the entry channel to the marina. You can see the small green channel markers. The water is pretty skinny here. We found the bottom. Killed an engine. Thank God it’s silty, soft mud. Not looking forward to our departure.
This beautiful custom built yacht ($3M+) has been tied up to this dock for 8 years. Probably sitled in place by now. Owner pays the dock fees annually so here she stays. Pretty sad. Not sure if it’s health issues but this gal needs a new captain.
Allow me to introduce you to David Lee Sanders, a college buddy of Milton’s who practices law in Columbus, Mississippi. David spent his whole Sunday giving us a guided tour of the antebellum town of Columbus. There are some beautiful antebellum (pre-Civil War) homes in this lovely little town.
President Andrew Jackson once gave a speech from the balcony of this home.
Just can’t imagine what it would cost to maintain one of these beautiful homes.
David took us down the Three Legged Road where there was quite a stand of Cypress trees. The pointed growth are called “knees”. They grow up from the roots of the big cypress tree in the center of the photo. Ever heard of a cypress knee before? Neither have I.
Went to a pretty cool restaurant for lunch and abouot 200 yards behind the restaurant was a tree with an active eagle nest. That nest had been there for over 20 years. I was told that eagles will use a single nest their entire lives.
What David calls a “dive bar”. He and his friends meet daily at 4:30 for adult beverages.
Wonder why this sign says “at Louisville in Kentucky”?
Local vodka distiller.
Great group of fellows. Fella in the PING hat was funny as hell. This group is comprised of a former CFO, CPA’s, an attorney, all very successful guys.
Columbus, MS is the home of our current Memorial Day. In 1866 four local women decided to lay flowers on the graves of unknown Confederate AND Union soldiers buried in the local cemetary. The Atlantic Monthly magazine picked up on this story and the first Decoration Day was founded which went on to be known as Memorial Day.
Way too many of these Unknown soldier graves.
In the early 1800’s there was a beloved Baptist Preacher from Columbus by the name of Teasdale. Upon his passing the community erected the above monument “the grieving angel” in his honor. After our tour of historic Columbus, MS., we stopped at David’s house for dinner. Did I say “House”? The house was built by David’s father in 1915 and the home and yard make up the entire block. First outdoor swimming pool in Mississippi. David and his bride Mona were such gracious hosts. Check out this back yard-
Due to the name of our vessel and my past, David told us about a former Mississippi legislator, who in 1952 gave a memorable speech on the floor of the Mississippi legislature regarding the 1952 decision to keep Mississippi dry. Noah S. “Soggy” Sweat Jr. was one of David’s law proffessors at Mississippi State. I have reprinted it here without permission. “My friends, I had not intended to discuss this controversial subject at this particular time. However, I want you to know that I do not shun controversy. On the contrary, I will take a stand on any issue at any time, regardless of how fraught with controversy it might be. You have asked me how I feel about whiskey. All right, this is how I feel about whiskey: If when you say whiskey you mean the devil’s brew, the poison scourge, the bloody monster, that defiles innocence, dethrones reason, destroys the home, creates misery and poverty, yea, literally takes the bread from the mouths of little children; if you mean the evil drink that topples the Christian man and woman from the pinnacle of righteous, gracious living into the bottomless pit of degradation, and despair, and shame and helplessness, and hopelessness, then certainly I am against it. But, if when you say whiskey you mean the oil of conversation, the philosophic wine, the ale that is consumed when good fellows get together, that puts a song in their hearts and laughter on their lips, and the warm glow of contentment in their eyes; if you mean Christmas cheer; if you mean the stimulating drink that puts the spring in the old gentleman’s step on a frosty, crispy morning; if you mean the drink which enables a man to magnify his joy, and his happiness, and to forget, if only for a little while, life’s great tragedies, and heartaches, and sorrows; if you mean that drink, the sale of which pours into our treasuries untold millions of dollars, which are used to provide tender care for our little crippled children, our blind, our deaf, our dumb, our pitiful aged and infirm; to build highways and hospitals and schools, then certainly I am for it. This is my stand. I will not retreat from it. I will not compromise.” I am not smart enough to make this stuff up.
Underway Monday morning and we see this old steam ship moored in front of a “new” antebellum home. This old ship was used to remove trees from the waterway.
Great shot of Julie (or Jewelry as Milton refers to her) wearing her famous “Mama’s drinkin’ liquor agin” top enjoying the beautiful weather on the bow of WB. Our anchorage Monday eventing.
While underway Tuesday Milton told us about the incredible Colonial pipeline that runs from Houston, Texas to New York. Comprised of a 36” and a 40” pipe, this pipeline carries 1.5million barrels (55 gallons) per day of gasoline, diesel fuel and jet fuel.
This is the innocous siet of the Colonial pipeline where it crosses the Tombigbee. Underway on Tuesday we saw these really cool chalk cliffs, kinda like the white cliffs of Dover in England. In case you were wondering, the white cliffs of Dover are comprised of Kimmeridgean clay that runs under the English Channel, surfacing in the village of Chablis in Burgundy and also the Champagne region. This clay is responsible for the unique character of Chablis and Champagne. Just in case you had an interest.
We made it to Demopolis, Alabama today. The marina there is comprised of 2 parts. This area is from the fuel dock but is completely silted in, hence unusable. We saw less than 2 feet of water under WB heading to the fuel dock. OK, it’s time for dinner, see ya!