We have been holed up in Demopolis, Alabama going on 2 weeks now due to Hurricane Zeta. You may be surprised to learn, Demopolis is NOT the social hub of the great state of Alabama. We made a quick run to Louisville on Wednesday, getting in at 2AM on Thursday in order to vote and take care of a few things. Up at 6AM on Friday for a 7AM departure back south.
Prior to our departure we stripped the flybridge and aft deck of anything that could fly or be damaged by Zeta when it came through Weednesday night. rolled up the carpets from the flybridge and aft deck and stowed ‘em in the forward berth. Removed the electronc multi function displays, flags and especially my beloved wind finder that mounts on top of the radar arch.
This great gizmo tells us wind speed and more importantly for docking and tying up in lock chambers, where the wind is coming from. Found mostly on sailboats for obvious reasons they are not seen very often on power boats. Very interesting, when anchoring we have found that if there are opposing river current and wind direction, the wind usually wins. A lot more of the boat is out of the water than is in the water.
We didn’t worry too much about the faux rattan chairs on the aft deck moving around much during Zeta as our brazzillion pound props which are stowed under them holds ‘em pretty securely.
Upon our return we put everything back together again. Which brings me to today. Yesterday (Friday) I reached out to the lockmasters at the Demopolis and Coffeyville locks to ask about debris in the river. After weather events when the river is high (22 feet above normal pool in this case) there can be massive flows of flotsam and jetsam (trees and such) in the water. The lockmasters reported no debris. The Coffeyville lockmaster went on to say due to earlier flooding in the year, any thing that could wash down the river, already had. Good news! Our plan was for a pre-dawn departure for a 95 mile run to Bobby’s Fish Camp. Weeellll along came Ed Offshack by the boat last night to introduce himself. I had chatted online with Ed on the AGLCA (America’s Great Loop Cruisers Association) forum many times as he knows the previous owners of WB, back when she was known as Dustcutter. Debbie and I have never traveled after a hurricane and simply did not think of the channel markers and how they would be in the aftermath of a hurricane. Underwater is what Ed told us. All of the floating bouys could very well be under the surface of the water. If you found one of these with one of your propellers…I don’t even want to think about it. The river should crest today so our departure is now scheduled for dark and early Sunday morning.