Dash to Demopolis!

Dash to Demopolis!

October 15, 2018 Monday     Columbus Marina, Columbus, MS Tenn-Tom Waterway mile 335   to  Sumter Recreation Area, Aliceville, AL  Tenn-Tom Waterway mile 269.9    58.6 nautical miles

32°52’22.8″N 88°11’00.2″W
32.872995, -88.183385
Elevation: 109 feet (2 locks dropped 52 feet)

While people are still trying to figure out the impact of Hurricane Michael to Loop travelers everyone is bolting for Demopolis, AL. A lot of insurance policies prohibit passage south of Demopolis, AL on the Tenn-Tom Waterway until November 1 when ‘hurricane season’ ends. Our insurance policy will permit us to continue on.

We had planned on staying in Columbus, MS for another day to explore the areas and see the antebellum homes it is known for.  However, at the moment we are near the front of the Looper pack and there are approximately 8-10 slips still available at this time. We are on the list at Demopolis Marina list with fingers crossed.  There is ~120 miles and 3 locks between Columbus, MS to Demopolis, MS which means we need at least 1 overnight anchorage.

OK, why the still the rush if our insurance will let us travel further south? The Looper convention is over Thursday. This will let about 100 Looper boats through the locks like one giant flush all flowing the same direction. The thing is, Hurricane Michael’s impact on the Gulf passage for Looper’s has not yet been figured. We, like all the other Looper boats need a Plan B, Demopolis, is a good place to hole up and figure it out.

Along the Way on Tenn-Tom Waterway River Section

This part of “The Ditch” River Section is definitely river-like. The Tombigbee River has been widened and straightened to accommodate barge traffic. Dikes are used intermittently.

Tenn-Tom Waterway River Section – Carved, straightened and dredged
Tenn-Tom Waterway River Section MS – Ox bow closed off by dike
Tenn-Tom Waterway River Section MS – Never seen a barge like this before. The tow boat also has a flying bridge on his flying bridge.
Tenn-Tom Waterway River Section MS – Barge work. Check out the scrap metal.
Tenn-Tom Waterway River Section MS – Barge work
Tenn-Tom Waterway River Section MS- Really nice set-up
Tenn-Tom Waterway River Section MS mile 329.4 – Right turn ahead on Chart Plotter
Tenn-Tom Waterway River Section MS –  Looper boat THIRD WISH at the mile 329.4 – Right turn.

Welcome to Alabama.  Alabama/Mississippi State Line – first time at mile 313.5.  HA. We zig-zagged between Alabama and Mississippi for the next 3 miles before entering Alabama for good at mile 310.8.

Tenn-Tom Waterway River Section – Income disparity. Alabama/Mississippi State Line is right around here. Mile 313.5 AL
Tenn-Tom Waterway River Section AL mile 311.5 – The infamous Telephone booth.
Tenn-Tom Waterway River Section AL mile ~309 – Water volley ball court. There are a lot of nice cabins/houses and a nice campground. 
Tenn-Tom Waterway River Section AL – No longer the beautiful red bluffs we saw in Mississippi.
Tenn-Tom Waterway River Section AL – There were several beautiful camp grounds along the way along the way.Would be a good place to camp for a month or so.
Tenn-Tom Waterway River Section AL – Passed on the two whistles. Boat in route to Mobile, AL for delivery
Tenn-Tom Waterway River Section AL – Peddle kayaks headed to Mobile, AL. Mary told the guys to smile as they were going to be in the family album.

Two Today (Locks)

John Stennis Lock mile 334.7, MS

John Stennis Lock mile 334.7 – I don’t think I’ve mentioned it before, but the locks are all built by the Army Corp of Engineers. The lock master collected vessel information here: Homeport, destination, registration numbers, etc.
John Stennis Lock mile 334.7, MS – Leaving the Lock. Two barges waiting to greet us. There were two barges were waiting to enter as we departed the lock. Whew! We got through the lock before them.
John Stennis Lock mile 334.7, MS – Looking back

Tom Bevill Lock and Dam mile 306.8, AL

Looper boat COSTAL KARMA joined us at Tom Bevill Lock.  Locks have a way of bunching Loopers together.  We cruised right into the lock but unfortunately COSTAL KARMA had about a 30 minute wait in the lock for us to get there.

Tom Bevill Lock and Dam mile 306.8 – Entrance. Off to the right is the US Snagboat Montgomery, the last steam-powered sternwheeler to ply the inland waterways of the south. For nearly six decades, the Montgomery labored to keep seven of the South’s major rivers navigable. Built in 1926 in Charleston, SC, the Montgomery is 108′ long and represents the culmination of steam engine technology. Retired in 1982, she is on display at the Tom Bevill Visitor Center.

Anchorage

Sumter Recreation Area, Aliceville, AL Tenn-Tom Waterway mile 269.9 – Anchorage.  Looking at Looper boat THIRD WISH.  COASTAL KARMA came to anchor right at sundown
Sumter Recreation Area, Aliceville, AL Tenn-Tom Waterway mile 269.9 – Anchorage
Sumter Recreation Area, Aliceville, AL Tenn-Tom Waterway mile 269.9 – Anchorage setting sun on the tree tops

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