Today we learned…

Today we learned…

October 18, 2018 Thursday   Kingfisher Bay Marina, Demopolis, AL Black Warrior-Tombigbee Waterway mile 216.2     0 nautical miles

2°31’50.9″N 87°50’31.1″W
32.530812, -87.841964
Elevation: 86 feet

Figuring out all Options

Yes Dear holds 300 gallons of fuel. She gets about 1.5 miles per a gallon at 8 knots. General guide lines for planning fuel consumption: 1/3 to get there 1/3 to get back and 1/3 for buffer. Our ‘safe range’ for the big jump is ~300 miles at 8 kts in ideal weather.

Option1 – The jump from Carabelle, FL to Tarpon Springs, FL is approximately 180 miles, ~22 hours at 8 knots. The challenge is to getting a weather window to get to Carabelle and another weather window shortly after for the big jump to Tarpon Springs.

Option2 – The jump from Pensacola, FL to Tarpon Springs, FL is approximately 280 miles, ~35 hours at 8 knots. The first challenge is getting a 2-3 day weather window. The second challenge is someone being awake to pilot the boat for 35+ hours.  Don’t know about you all but Dale and I have driven through the night a couple of time.  The first couple of shifts aren’t so bad.  The later ones are.  Sometimes we’ve even had to pull into a parking lot and both of us snooze before we continue on.  Pulling into a parking lot is not an option crossing the Gulf.

Option3 – Some version of putting the boat on the hard for a period of time…..

Today we learned…

A lot of peoples’ livelihood is at stake with the waterways out of commission.  The marinas need and want and need the Loopers to come through.

Coast Guard closure of the ICW (Intercostal Waterway) between Panama City and Carrabelle is for commercial vessels; not pleasure crafts. Coast Guard has warned ATONs (aids to navigation) are missing and misplaced due to hurricane. There is also a lot of debris in the water.  Navigate with caution!

Panama City – Fuel docks are functional at one of the marinas. A couple have limited transient dockage available. Internet connection is still down, so all fuel sales must be in cash.

The Panama City News Herald reported yesterday that Gulf Power expects to have power restored to Panama City by October 24th.

Port St Joe Marina – Still assessing the damage there.  It is extensive, and they currently have no timeline for recovery.

Carrabelle, FL – Power had been restored to most of Carrabelle. This is the city from which most Loopers jump across the Gulf.  Docks were damaged at two of the marinas, but not extensive and both expect to be repaired soon.  The fuel docks are down at both marinas, but one expects to have their pumps back in operation as early as Tuesday.

Out and about – Downtown Demopolis

Downtown Demopolis is built around a city square encompassing one city block.

This square was the site of the Rooster Auction in 1919 raising money to build a bridge. It was a fantastical event from which people came from all over. There were three special trains to bring the thousands of guests, including the entire state legislature.  Around a centrally located fountain within the square, stadium-style seating for 10,000 was erected specifically for the event and disassembled afterward.  Half of the park was said to have been covered in chicken coops.

Demopolis, AL – City Park Fountain

Rooster Bridge

At the early part of the 20th century, the Dixie Overland Highway Association was looking to complete a major road from Savannah, Ga., to San Diego, Calif. The only spot along the route without a bridge was between Marengo and Sumter counties in Alabama. A ferry connected them.

Frank Derby, of York, came up with the idea for a rooster auction in 1919 to help the State Department in building a bridge across the Tombigbee River.  At that time cock fighting was both legal and popular.

Demopolis, AL. Calling on politicians and businessmen, and working with others in both counties, Derby organized the famous two-day Rooster Auction held in Demopolis. Each person had to pay $10.00 to enter a rooster in the sale.  The roosters were sent to Demopolis where a huge amphitheater was built in the park for the staging of the sale.  Roosters were donated by President Woodrow Wilson, Prime Minister Lloyd George of England, Premier Clemenceau of France, Premier Orlando of Italy, Gen. John J. Pershing and Hollywood personalities Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle, and Mary Pickford. Helen Keller sent a little blue hen. 88 donors appear on marker.

President Woodrow Wilson’s rooster sold for the astronomical price of $44,000.00 which was big money back then.  The Montgomery group that bid for President Wilson’s rooster never paid the pledge.  The attendance of President Wilson has been the only time that a president has visited Marengo County.  One account of the day says that Helen Keller’s “little blue hen” sold for $15,000.00. Over 900 roosters were sold.  $200,000+ was pledged, but most was not collected.

No one knows how much money was made by the birds because of the records not being kept very well and a great deal of the money was never paid after the bids had been made.  About $45,000.00 was turned over to the State Department after the heavy expenses of the sale.  The bridge was opened May 15, 1925.  It was 988 feet long and constructed by a firm out of New Orleans.

The bridge at first was named “Memorial Bridge,” although no one in the area ever called it that, said Chaney. Everyone always referred to it as the “Rooster Bridge.”

The old Rooster Bridge was demolished in 1980 after being replaced by a new bridge located a short distance up river.










Demopolis, AL Round about

Demopolis, AL – This little round about with Civil War cannons and flowers just off the town square corner has probably been hit by cars one to many times buy tourists as it has road blockages all the way around it.


Docktails were followed by a rousing round of cribbage at our boat with HERE’S AN IDEA Milton and Julie. Boys against Girls. Women spanked the men twice but the men came back in the third game to skunk the women.

Brain Clutter
The pegs for scoring in cribbage are also known as “spilikins.”


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