Oct 30 Day 34 Gettin’ Dinghy with it

SURPRISE….we haven’t sunk! There’s been a bit of delay in these postings because we hit a section of poor internet coverage compounded by a combination of email trouble and abject laziness. Hopefully we’re back an track and will catch up. Forgive the verb tenses…to lazy to fix. 

OK, so there’s not a lot to write about today so just some brief narrative here and some photos. We spent another day on the dock in Columbus. You can do that when there’s no real schedule and although we have a plane ticket home from Mobile on the 19th, we’re only about 350 miles away so no big deal. We rented a car with this hot Enterprise deal of $10/day with 100 miles free/day so we had chance to tour around and get to stores for provisioning. B REFUSES to cross Wal Mart’s threshold so it’s up to N to get fully briefed and then enter the “death star” and get out with all the great stuff we need!

No, catfish was not on the list, but wow…here was catfish for sale and for so much less than Copper River Salmon!


…but I digress. N had a chance to play golf again today


while B took a long walk along the river with Z. Columbus is a nice town with lots of walks and things to see.

Z goes off-leash in the wild!


In the afternoon we went together to the Waverly Mansion which is a historic plantation home built in the 1850’s and basically appears today as it did back then.

This old house is studied by architects today to understand how the interior structure provides a natural AC


Its grounds include the oldest Magnolia (State Flower) tree in the State of Mississippi.

OK, so it’s a bad shot, but the tree is back to the left of this walkway and accounts for most of the greenery you see.


The most amazing thing is the house has only ever been owned by two families and stood totally abandoned for 50 years from 1910 until 1962 while family #1 argued about who was going to get what. Believe it or not over that entire 50 year stretch nothing was vandalized. Gold framed mirrors, windows, marble mantles and fine wood details were left untouched despite the house being a hangout for frat initiations and affaires d’amore over the years. Can you imagine that happening today? The place would have been stripped in days. The current owners maintain it was a ghost that protected the house.

Only one of these wood spindles were taken while hose stood empty! Floors are original, the chandelier too and even big gold mirrors were untouched.


Way back in the 19th century the plantation included over 50,000 acres and had over 1,000 residents (I think the term resident is a euphemism as I’m not sure all were free to come and go as they chose if you know what I mean).

Of course we were free to go after paying our $10 entry fee!


It’s still a private home occupied by the second family to own it and family members give tours of and tell stories. The daughter of the current owner and resident took us on a bit of a tour and we could have listened to her tell stories for hours. She had a terrific honeyed southern accent and had all sorts of tales to tell.

We still had time in the day and decided to take a quick dinghy tour of the backwaters outside the marina.


We’d successfully grounded the big boat (not really, but close) and the dinghy was feeling a bit left out. Anyway, this time we did pretty much get into SUPER shallow waters. Let’s just say we could see bottom and these river waters are not particularly clear!

Had to break out the paddle and head to deeper waters after a resounding “THUNK”!


We finished the day holding our noses as we dropped our ballots in the mail (at least one of us did anyway!). Tomorrow we’re off downriver with plans to clear at least two locks and hopefully three before anchoring out for our first time. Not sure what our connectivity is going to be so we may be off-line for a while! ….how prescient was that comment of what is now a few days ago!?

4 thoughts on “Oct 30 Day 34 Gettin’ Dinghy with it”

  1. I believe you are close to the 250 miles mark without having a marina to be able to fuel. I am very interested to see how you are going to manage. I have a Carver 320 and my fuel tank in 160 gallons. As I am getting close to my retirement within 2 years, I want to do the Great Loop. I have been following your adventure from the south shore of Montreal, Quebec, Canada. You should be passing my marina if you go through Champlain Lake and heading for Montreal. I will be very happy if you do to have a drink together.
    Sorry for the spelling, french keyboard


  2. Happy to have you back online. Good writin’ and photos from Columbus. Thanks for sharing your adventures. Looks like a sunny day in Tacoma . . . for a change. Will get out on the mo-cy for sure.


  3. Hi Richard,
    Thank you for reading our blog and sending a comment. Not sure how you are reading the chart, but we are now at Demopolis Yacht Basin. That’s about 120 miles from Columbus Marina, so well within our “fast” cruising range (we get about 1.5 miles/gallon at 20 knots and have a 113-gallon tank). We are going to take a detour up the Black Warrior River for a few days, but once we get back on the loop our next stop will be Bobbie’s Fish Camp (where we can fuel) which is about 100 miles from Demopolis and then it’s about another 100 miles to Mobile, so we don’t anticipate any fuel issues.
    We will not confront our biggest fuel range challenge until the very end of our journey when we will travel from Alton to Green Turtle Bay to complete our loop which I believe will be something like 225 miles without fuel. That distance will require we do whatever we can to improve our range so we will empty our water tank, drive more slowly and carry extra fuel. Those measures should help us coax the range up. The only other dodgy stretch might be the Gulf crossing, but I believe we have the range to get that done.
    There are lots of Carvers on this trip of all shapes and sizes. At 32’ you’d be on the small side of average, but there are plenty of smaller boats (including us at 28’!). As the dock master calculated our dock fees today she said “oh, you’re one of the smart ones” observing our cost at the dock was a lot less than many others. We’ve also been told by many larger boat owners we’ll be able to go places they can’t in Florida.
    We’re learning as we go as we did not do a lot of planning before starting!
    thanks again..stay-tuned for more.


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