Following The Herd

Demopolis, AL

Sitting in Demopolis, Alabama for a few days. We’ve been traveling hard for 2 weeks; eager to get to Mobile before Thanksgiving. Most Loopers will head home for the holidays. Not us, our home is rented. This is alligator country so we won’t be swimming each day and will need to keep a close eye on Inky when on land. Yikes!

 

In the lock at full pool, held fast to the pin in the chamber, see the 60 foot drop from the back of our boat after.

Grand Harbor Marina…10.26

Beautiful, full service marina on the Mississippi side of the Tennessee River.  Visited the Shiloh Memorial; very somber. This part of the trip has been lovely. Tall trees lining the banks of the meandering Tennessee River.

 

Grand Harbor Marina, Panacea and RioMarLago, Rocking Trollies

Bay Springs Marina…10.27

Too many lights. End of season neglect made for ugly conditions. Spider nests everywhere, dirty restrooms, dead leaves covering the ground and docks. Very nice people, but $1.25 a foot seemed wrong under those conditions. But, the water was clean and warm and we had a nice swim. The South is experiencing the hottest summer ever recorded. The ground is parched.

Tied to a coal barge in the lock.

Don learned of the death of his dear friend, Mike Bauer.

Smithville Marina…10.28

OMG. Deplorable conditions. Docks falling apart, ancient trashy liveaboard house boats, friendly but desperately poor people. In 2012 an EF5 tornado leveled the town above the marina, killing the current proprietor’s father and while he is trying to get the marina in better shape there isn’t enough money to create any charm. Cousin Eddy’s RV was parked in the lot above us. Met Larry and Cindy, sailors on Alaskan Dream and Kathy and Mike on Easy Pace with dog, Millie.  BTW, Noah was a Liveaboard.

20161028_090556

Notice the potty on the back of the last boat…Oh, My.

Columbus Marina…10.29

Big, nice place. No restaurant, only 2 shower/toilet combos, okay laundry.  It was 88 degrees today and the hot weather brings out the gators, small ones, but still need to be careful. No swimming now.

We came down river through 3 locks with 8 big boats (40-60 footers). They are slower than us, and we crammed into the locks together.   We went into the lock first and scurried out ahead of them. Looking over our shoulder they appeared as the 6th Fleet in pursuit.

We all piled into this marina where numerous other Loopers were moored. 15-20 boats and most very large. Internet connectivity is difficult with so many boats logged on and often we can’t even get email.

Met Pat and Lynn Lortie on Adamant I, a 36 foot sailboat Pat built himself! They act as Harbor Hosts in Midland, Ontario. Great people.

Visited the childhood home of Tennessee Williams.

His home, and the laurel wreath that adorned his head in his coffin.

Waverly Plantation…10.30

Magnificent antebellum mansion that survived the Civil War intact. Beautifully decorated with antique period furniture in every room. Miss Melanie was our tour guide. Her gracious southern narrative brings all the stories to life. Miss Melanie alone is worth the trip. She, her sister, brother and 91-year-old father live in the mansion to keep it from vandals and protect it from despair.  The original plantation sat on 50,000 and acted as a small village feeding, clothing, housing 1,000 souls while maintaining the property.

 Waverly Plantation
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