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Bruce & Beverly's Blog

Entering the Tombigbee River
By Beverly Kness
Posted on 11/07/2017 10:43 AM

We awoke to overcast skies and a light mist of rain. 
It was nice that by the time we pulled our lines, the rain had stopped.
Our days agenda was to pass through two locks and travel 65 miles to our anchorage for the night. 

Our first lock, the Columbus Lock, was very close to the marina so it worked out well to find out when
would be a good time to get to the lock.  If there was a tow and barge in the lock, we may as well wait
at the marina.  It worked out great, we left the marina at 6:00 AM and drove right into the lock and got
locked through.  We had seven boats in the lock, Ned Pepper, Loofah III, Traveler, State of Bliss,
Ocean Star, Sweet Liberty
and Seaquest.  The 6:00 AM is not a typo! 

The skies cleared as we traveled and by the time we got to Sumter Recreation Area it was a
beautiful evening.   It was a small anchorage with 3 boats already anchored there when we arrived. 

We found a place to anchor in about 8 foot of water and dropped the hook.  The anchor set on the
first try and we then proceeded to get a stern line from the back of the boat to a tree on shore. 
This was our first time to use the Mediterranean style of anchoring, which would eliminate any
swinging of the boat. 
Lucky for us, two captains of the anchored boats, were in their dinghies and they came over
to give us a hand in getting our stern line tied around a tree on shore.  They took our line to shore,
wrapped it around a tree and brought it back to our boat where we tied it off.  By doing it this way,
the next morning we didn't have to go to shore, to get the line loose from the tree. 

The photo below shows how the stern of the boat is tied to the tree.

After everyone was anchored Art (one of the guys that helped us) and Sue invited everyone over
to their boat to visit.  We had lots to talk about, including the days travel and a departure time for the 
following day.  Because we were close to the next lock, it makes sense for all of us to arrive at the lock
at the same time.  Art and Sue on Loofah III are from Des Moines, IA.
We enjoyed a perfectly peaceful night at the anchorage.  

For the past few nights, fog had settled in on us, but usually cleared shortly after sunrise. 
Today was no different, we left the anchorage at 7:00 AM to get to the lock at a good time
for locking through.  We were thankful the fog didn't stop us.

The photo above shows one of the several north bound barges and tows that we met after we
were out of the lock. We were glad that we were through the lock and on our way to Demopolis. 

We arrived at the Demopolis Yacht Basin and found several other looper boats there.  Demopolis
(Greek for "city of people")  was founded in 1817 by a group of Napoleon's officers who feared
for their lives in France after Napoleon was sent into exile.

It was raining yet as we went through the lock.


We needed to provision at Demopolis because leaving there we would travel through the 230-mile stretch
with next to nothing available. The marina had a courtesy car which we used to get to a grocery store. 
Going south, there are only marginal anchorages available, shallow, small and not well protected,
according to our guidebooks.  A lot of the conversation with other boaters is "where do you plan to stop next?"  

The Demopolis Marina had a shuttle that took us to the Red Barn Restaurant for dinner that evening. 

There were 18 of us loopers! 


You never know what you are going to see!   Pictured below is an old tractor that was in front of the
restaurant. The last two lines on the sign says: "Who lost his Tail and has no where to turn."


It was a cool sunny day and we enjoyed the scenery of the winding river. The sun was shining bright
without a cloud in the sky so the flybridge warmed up nicely.  At one point the river had so many
switchbacks that we traveled six miles along the water to move one mile closer to our destination.
While the trees did not have much color, there were some that were dripping with Spanish moss.  

We passed  several white bluffs but for the most part we just saw a lot of trees and water .

All the boats had to hold up at one sharp bend to allow a tow and a barge to get around us safely.


With a helpful outgoing tidal current, we made it all the way to Bobby's Fish Camp

Bobby's has a small restaurant that is only open a few nights during the week. 
We were lucky to be there on a Thursday when it was open. We sat with Mike
and Tammi from Ned Pepper and Dirk and Pat from Morning Star. 
Dirk and Pat are from Massachusetts.

Bobby's Fish Camp is not a cute name for a resort, it is a fish camp owned by a man named Bobby. 
It has a hundred foot face dock along the RDB (right descending bank) of the river with only a few
electric hook ups.  It is the same price for dockage whether you have electricity or not. 
It is typical that boats need to raft on to each other since the dock is short.  Our stay there was no different.
We were in the second row of three that were docked at Bobby's. To get to the dock, we had to walk across
the neighboring boats. All eight boats departed from Bobby's the next morning at 6:00 AM to go through the
Coffeville Lock.  The Coffeville Lock was our final lock before we get to the Gulf!  After the lock we were 
subject once again to ocean tides, salt water, Alligators and Dolphins. 

With a helpful outgoing tidal current, we made seventy-six miles that day, anchoring about a mile up the
Tensaw River for the night along with three other looper boats.

We had a peaceful night at the anchorage.  The morning greeted us with clear skies and river fog.


Our next destination:  Dog River Marina on Mobile Bay, Alabama!     


Dog River Marina
Winter Harbor
St. Clair Boat Harbor