Nov 11/12th Days 47/48 Sayin’ Goodbye to River Life and Headin’ out to Sea

A couple of quotes from my current book that rang true:

 “There’s a secret to living here,” she said. “Compartmentalize, compartmentalize, and then compartmentalize some more. If someone else tells you that the Muslims are plotting to destroy America, or Obama is the Antichrist, you just seal that away in its own separate compartment, and carry on till you find their good side.  There’s no sense in arguing with them. Folks around here are stubborn as they come.”

“I thought Republicans were supposed to be stingy and mean-spirited. No liberal has ever given me the keys to their car, or a whole bunch of furniture.”   Dispatches from Pluto: Lost and Found in the Mississippi Delta by Richard Grant

Squishing 2 days into one post again. Things begin to run together in this muddled brain… but I’m going to blame it on the muddy river.

At dawn, we left Bobby’s Fish Camp. That was the earliest we’ve ever weighed anchor. Not by plan (certainly not, as we have definetly gotten used to taking the mornings slowly  PLUS as you saw in the last post it’s kinda cold out!)  But we were razzed along under the threat and news that the lockmaster was going to close down the lock for the day after the first pleasure crafts locked through to make repairs. And since these crazy boaters who only go 8 mph have to get up early to get anywhere had already made there way IN THE DARK, there was no negotiating when the “first pleasure crafts would lock through.”

Since we were forced to skip our usual breakfast routine, we anchored for a bit for a picnic breakfast.  Fun!
It remained chilly so “we” took the helm below. B and Z got some snuggle, reading and nap time in while N remained vigilant.

2016-11-12-boat-aground-bestWe came across this boat (big white one on the left) that had TOTALLY missed keeping the channel marker on his starboard side!  (can channel marker is the far dot on the right…i.e. to the right of the branched log that is in the middle!). The Tow BoatUS (little boat second from left)  rescue mission couldn’t get him (yes, a father and some sons) off the mud even w/ our sister-boat churning up some wake to add some extra water.  A big barge later came along and helped yank….

We saw them at the next gas stop a day later. Here’s what happens when you run a 48′ er with pod drives hard aground! Pretty cool actually. The drives are designed to shear off from the hull without damaging props, drives or anything else. Of course they don’t get re-installed with a crescent wrench and $100, but imagine running a dual prop shaft drive aground at 22 knots! The owner waded (remember it was shallow) about 10 yards behind the boat and recovered both pods.

That early morning lock was our last lock (for 2016).  You are spared yet another lock pic because we forgot to take one. Regardless, no picture would convey the feeling of thinking about that “last” nor that we were approaching the end of our River Leg ( well, technically there will be another river leg down from Chicago….but that’s a long way away and will have a different feel).

We were already feeling nostalgic for our river time so instead of easily making it into Mobile, we stopped 20 miles short for one more anchorage.  See feature photo above: we were in a very deep, nice cut about half a mile from that bridge—the Dolly Parton Bridge….you can guess why it’s called that! It may have been half a mile from “civilization” but tucked away in that anchorage felt like it was pre-human-existence-eons ago. Here are a few pix of the anchorage from the shore…

Orb Weaver Spider- just it’s body was as big a the palm of my hand (no exaggeration) adding it’s legs it was probably 12 inches long…I don’t care how not-poisonous this allegedly is…I just don’t want it touching me.  Its spider web is the second strongest of all spiders….something I can attest to:  As I came ashore from the dinghy, I ran straight into it and was almost furled back into the water…I looked around for Spiderman.
Tupelo Swamp tree grove.  Very eerie.  Very still. Felt like that place where the wicked witch’s monkeys snatched Dorothy, et al.  But HAD to go ashore for Ziggy’s “shore-leave” but even she was weirded out and had little interest in “using the facilities.”

2016-11-12-forest-trio-rescue N, who wisely chose NOT to take shore leave,  to the rescue

Back to shore again in the morning tho (she’s a dog not a camel) and still eerie.  The anchor lifted without a problem despite fears to the contrary with all the submerged dead logs.

The Delta really opened up for the last 20 miles:



We knew, the day before, that we were getting close to the sea when we saw seagulls and pelicans—even the air seemed to have changed.  Aside from N’s nifty charting, the hints of the sea were confirmed when we were greeted by a porpoise at the mouth of the river! (no pic tho!)


And then we were in Mobile Bay:

Dry docked mega ship, cute little shrimper, high speed troop carrier  stealth ship
Still barge traffic out in the Bay…birds catching a ride (or adding guano?)
We’ve been on rivers so long that this expansiveness is a bit overwhelming! Despite this expansiveness, you MUST go through channel markers or you’ll be radioing TowBoat US too. Even in those channels it is only about 12 feet deep! This Mobile Bay is 413 sq miles– for comparison ALL of Puget Sound is about 1000 sq miles….but average depth is 450 ft!

We made our way over to Eastern Shores Marina (yes, on the eastern shore of Mobile Bay)

If you haven’t noticed yet, the flora in the South is different too:

Spanish Moss is dry and dangling everywhere.  (Mobile Bay in background.)


Popcorn tree. Hard to see the little white berries…but I liked the name of the tree!



Mast Grass (!)

Walked around nearby Fairhope town (top rated Alabama town) for a nice dinner, window shopping and to catch the sunset.

What’s with plastic bobble heads in Alabama?! Here’s another storefront display. Despite the fossil fuel used in producing the plastic figures, in a nod to recognizing global warming, they are at least solar powered!


One thought on “Nov 11/12th Days 47/48 Sayin’ Goodbye to River Life and Headin’ out to Sea”

  1. Hi Nick and Barb, this is the second time I’ve typed this because I miss placed my !!!! password again and WordPress lost my reply. OK not that I have vented I can get back to your great post. I love the fact that you stopped for a night before you left the river, there is something about spending weeks on a boat, it becomes a special home and your lifeline unlike your “home home”, hard to describe but I know it well. You are right on Politics, I try to use love and compassion and meditation helps bring me back to that. With all the noise in the media you can’t find the truth and trust what they are telling you. Enjoy your time on the boat and keep away from the news it will all be waiting for you when you return.



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