We were stuck in Demopolis for 10ish days and were so glad to get out of there when the river cleared up.
Daybreak on a beautiful day to get heading south.
Our armada of 13 boats begin leaving the marina. There was a concern that we would not all fit in the lock so a few of waited for the next opening. Most of the boats were headed for an anchorage 90 miles downstream called Okapukka, a narrow creek that I was not sure we would all fit in. As it turned out Whisky Business was one of the 3 fast boats and my concern was we would get in the back of the anchorage and then have to wait for the rest of the boats to depart in the morning before we could leave. The next day was a 75 mile day. Across the river from the creek is another anchorage called the Okapukka Alternate which is alongside the river. If we anchored there, no worries getting out at first light. Sure seemed like a good idea at the time. With a 3 MPH current and a 10 mph cross wind this 40,000 beast got a way from us.
See if you can guess what’s wrong with this picture. Anyone? WTH! Yep, lost the anchor and all 200 feet of chain. Debbie and I have anchored in some pretty swift currents but the crosswind was something we had not experienced before. At this point I need to be a bit more specific. When we anchor, Debbie is at the helm driving the boat. I am at the bow pulpit letting out or retrieving the chain. Using our wireless headset communicators I give her instructions on which transmission to engage. For instance I will say “Port forward” and she will engage the left transmission lever for a count of “one thousand” and then disengage. WB’s large propellers move the boat quite a bit even in a time span of one second. She is extremely competent at this manuevering. Problem is, I was not so competent in the instructions I was giving, hence no anchor or chain.
Albeit an expensive and embarrasing error we were not helpless. On board we still have the original anchor that came with WB and 200 feet of heavy braided rope with 25 feet of chain for just such an emergency. Always be prepared. Instead of deployinig this setup we went in the creek and rafted up with One Eye Dog for that night and the following night on the Tensas River. When we got to our current marina I called Bobby’s Fish Camp which was near the mishap area. Asked if theey new any fishermen who would search for the anchor and chain for a $500 reward.
Fortunately we have the GPS coordinates for the mishap.
Also a photo of the part of the river where our anchor and chain currently lie at rest. We have one of our MFD’s (multi function display) set to lay “tracks”, the dotted line so we can seee where we have been.
As you can guess, we were pretty depressed that night. How to lift our spirits? YEAH BABY! We watched the video of the 2013 National Championship! Oh yeah, 2 bottles of Taittinger helped relieve the sting a bit too. Funny, the next day when we got up and were chatting with April and Larry on One Eye Dog they were complaining about the noise coming from shore durinng the night. Uhhh, don’t think it was coming from shore.
Our anchorage on the Tensas River, rafted up to One Eye Dog.
Our final lock for a very long time. Twelve boats.
We did get a bit of good news yesterday. While we were back in Louisville last week, I dropped off oil samples from our 3 diesel engines to Whayne Supply, a Caterpillar dealer. They have a lab that examines thse samples.
The lab looks for metals in the oil that could foretell problems down the road. We are all good.
This was pretty much the view of the rivers all the way from Louisville until we got close to Mobile. Once we got close to Mobile Bay, a major shipping center, the landscape changed a bit.
See the buildings in the center of the photo? Mobile, Alabama.
Last year when we entered New York Harbor near the Statue of Liberty, all of the tour boats and ferries made it a target rich environment. Nothing like Mobile Bay though. At the bottom of Mobile Bay we finally entered the Intra Coastal Waterway (ICW) and made our way to the Wharf Marina.
Those blue roofs are actually tarps until the roofers show up. The results of multiple hurricanes in the area. Wonder if I can get a deal on an anchor and chain off one of those boats…
Sunset from our slip…at 5:30.
Beautiful Sport Fisherman moored in front of us. Maybe $4,000,000 when new? After a grueling 3 days covering over 250 miles we were ready to get off the boat. Very nice area around the marina.
Went to the Villagio restaurant for dinner. The fella who took care of us was full of ….interesting information. Morgan enlightened us with these gems, a bunch of vultures flying overhead is called a “congregation” while a group of vultures feeding on the ground is called a “wake”. Why the hell does he know this???
Never seen this on a menu before. A “convenience fee”? I kinda get it. American Express takes 3.5% of a charge from the merchant where VISA and MasterCard charges the merchant 2.5% of the bill. After dinner we strolled around the area and found this place.
Nick from Eastern Kentucky showing his wares. Got back to the boat by 7 PM and fell asleep by 8:30.