Monday, November 24, 2008

Demopolis, Al to Mobile via Bobby's Fish Camp and two anchorages

We called the lock from the marina at about 7:00 this morning and he said he had a tow coming up right then and there was a downbound tow in the area but he did not know when he would move. He said come on and he would get us down as soon as possible. Just as we approached the lock the down bound tow called the lock and said he was starting down so we had to wait. It was 10:00 am before we got through the lock. We had planned a 71 mile day to one of the only anchorages for miles on the river. After we got below the lock we estimated that if we made good time we could get to the anchorage just at dark. The Bashi Creek anchorage is at mile 145. There is an anchorage which can be used in emergencies just below a highway bridge at mile 164. We decided we would make the final decision on which anchorage to use when we got to mile 164. At about mile 170 Blue Max got something caught it their prop which was causing severe vibrations. He tried to reverse it off which reduced the vibration but was still experiencing heavy vibrations. We decided he could limp along to the anchorage at the bridge and once there Guy from Southern Comfort would get into his SCUBA gear and investigate. We rafted up just below the bridge and along the river’s edge. The cruising guides say that if you use one of these anchorages in the river to call the first tow which comes along and tell him you are on the side for the night and ask him to tell any tows he encounters.
When Guy got under Blue Max it was impossible to see much because of the color of the river water. He could tell there was something near the prop so he grabbed it and shook it and it came off easily. He surfaced with it in his hand and a big smile on his face. It was a huge jumble of nylon rope which the tows use to tie to the bank and to tie up the boat. This piece had probably been about 18 inches long and two inches in diameter but now it was just a wad of small strands all jumbled together. Rarely does something like this come off so easily. Often it takes a lot of cutting with a sharp knife to get it off. We decided that Bill was unlucky that he picked it up but very luck that it came off so easily.
The weather today was much more like we would have expected for this time of year. It was cool this morning but with the flybridge closed up we were in tee shirts this afternoon. It was just cool this evening. We all ate together on Blue Max to celebrate our good fortune to have gotten the thing off so easily without damage to Blue Max and that we had any place close to anchor. Thank goodness for Guy’s SCUBA gear and ability. We will get started about 8:00 in the morning and go about 48 miles to Bobby’s Fish Camp. This is not a marina, just a fuel stop and a place to tie-up for the night without having to anchor, no electricity or other facilities.
We left the radio on channel 16 all night just in case a tow tried to contact us. We were amazed at the amount of chatter between tows all night. We heard a couple of tows talking about being aground on sand bars and struggling to free themselves. We were both awake at 2:30 am due to the turbulence from two tows passing us. In the morning Bill said he was up and watched them. They were traveling in opposite directions and passed just up stream of the bridge we were below. No wander there was so much turbulence.
In the morning when I took Carlie ashore I noticed Southern Comfort’s stern anchor was not there. I worried that it had come loose and lost. But Guy said he had already pulled it. When we broke up the raft-up I was unable to pull in the rope portion of our rode by hand so we untied from the other two boats. I was then able to get the rode in easily but the other two boats drifted back and swung into the bank. They were able to apply power and get away from the bank without their props getting anything. We had not tested Blue Max’s vibration last night so we were all relieved when Bill reported that everything was performing well without vibration. We had a fairly uneventful cruise today to Bobby’s Fish Camp. We are now tied to the small floating dock in the side of the river. This can not be much better than were we anchored last night when tows pass. We plan to eat catfish here tonight for dinner just because we are here and will never be back here. We plan to run about 60 miles and one lock tomorrow and then we can probably make Mobile the next day.
This was the coldest night yet, 22 degrees outside and 47 degrees in the boat. It only takes a few minutes for the heat to warm the boat back to 72 degrees inside. The windows on the fly bridge were covered with heavy frost, as were the decks and the docks. We were getting ready to get under way when Peggy came to the boat and said Guy had a problem and needed help. He had broken a bolt which holds the coolant tank on top the engine. By the time we had evaluated the rate of leaking and determined he could run with it by keeping a check on it and refilling as required we called the lock and the lockmaster told us it would be past noon before he could get us in the lock. Decision time again. We decided to that there were no anchorages we would be able to reach before dark if we did not get into the lock before noon. We decided to stay put at Bobby’s Fish Camp and leave as early in the morning as possible. This will be determined by the traffic at the lock and the fog on the river. We can still make Mobile by Monday evening. This will be fine. We plan to rent a car and drive to Laurel, Ms. Where we lived 30 years ago and have Thanksgiving with old friends there. Guy and Peggy plan to drive to Jackson, Ms. To have Thanksgiving with Peggy’s son. Bill and Eileen from Blue Max will be left on their boat and we hate that but I guess it is what it is.
Muriel made a cake for Shelly’s birthday which is tomorrow but we hope to be at anchor and it may be awkward for us to get together so we will celebrate her birthday to night on our boat with the crews from Southern Comfort and Blue Max. Actually we kind of enjoyed the day spent here. We went for a walk out to the highway which is probably about a mile on a dirt road. We saw a man working on a bulldozer near the highway and asked where we were and what was close. He said we were in the middle of now where and there was no town close. The weather was cool but nice for a walk, Carlie enjoyed the opportunity to run free in the woods. Two brothers came in late today on a 62 foot sport fishing boat. They are on the way from Knoxville to Key West. This is their tenth time to stop here at Bobby’s. The rest of the boats we have traveled with lately made it to Mobile today. We got to see several tows we had met and passed along the trip down the river pass here today.
On Sunday, November 23, 2008, it is Shelly’s 35th birthday. We got up before 6:00 and began trying to contact the lock, two miles down stream. We could not get a response on the radio or the cell phone so as soon as I walked Carlie we got underway and headed to the lock. It was open with a tow just leaving so we went right in and locked down our last lock! It was not as cold as the past couple of mornings but it was overcast so it felt quite cold. We got to witness something we had not seen before. Two tows were headed downstream in front of us and the front tow kept going aground, he has been struggling since we left Demopolis, so he offered to let the rear tow pass in some very tight bends in the river. We had already idled along behind them for a while so as the rear tow passed we followed him. They were coming into another bend and the passing tow could not make the bend without shoving his rear starboard corner against the side of the other tow. This shoved the tow being passed into the bank. He was backing off as we went on past. The river has become a southern looking river, with swampy looking banks and Spanish Moss hanging in the trees. Tomorrow will probably be even more swampy and then become quite industrial as we enter Mobile. We anchored rafted with the other two boats tonight because the small stream we pulled off into is quite narrow so we would have had to set bow and stern anchors so it was easier to raft and let one boat set it’s bow anchor behind us so we cannot swing. We have rain in the forecast for tonight and tomorrow, at least we do not have any locks to contend with in the rain.
The morning dawned overcast but pleasantly warmer than previous mornings and very pretty in the anchorage. The weather forecast called for “rain likely in the afternoon with increasing winds reaching 30 to 40 mph near rain storms.” As we motored down the river each time we got into a portion of the river which ran due south we encountered strong southerly winds and white caps. This made us concerned over the conditions we might encounter in Mobile Bay. We saw several of the tow boats we had seen repeatedly coming down the river when we got to Mobile. The river was very industrial, with a lot of cargo shipping and a surprising amount of ship building and repairs. When we headed out onto the bay the water could not have been better but there were rain storms starting to move out onto the bay from the west. We hoped we could beat them to Fair Hope but it looked doubtful. We started to get into light rain about a mile out from Fair Hope. The marina, Eastern Shore Marina, is quite small and very tight. We arrived and got into a slip just before heavy rains began. We have arranged a rental car for tomorrow and we will drive to Laurel, Ms. on Wednesday to spend Thanksgiving with Bill Wallace and his wife Ginger.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Columbus to Demopolis via Pirate's Cove and anchorage

The first photo shows some of the white stone bluffs along the Tombigbee River upstream of Demopolis. The second photo is the visitor center at the Tom Bevill Lock. The third photo is looking down the stairway from the widow's walk inside the visitor center. The fourth photo is the snag boat we toured at the center. The last photo is Captain Bill at Pirate's Cove, what a hamm.

On Sunday we relaxed in the morning and ate a leisurely breakfast of sausage, eggs, biscuits and grits, prepared by Muriel. Afterward we enjoyed a brief visit with Peggy’s son and daughter-in-law and grandchildren. Then we took the courtesy van to town to get a dessert at a cafĂ© famous for its desserts. To our surprise we missed them by a few minutes so we rode to a cemetery which had about 3,000 civil war graves. It was quite sobering to see so many graves marked “Unknown”. Afterward we made the usual WalMart stop. We enjoyed drinks on Blue Max with them and Southern Comfort. It was so cold that we all sat inside the salon. It think that is a first. For dinner we enjoyed a great bean soup, or white chili, which Muriel had prepared.
We planned to be prepared to leave the marina about 8:oo am after a call to the lock, which is just below the marina, to make sure he could lock us through. At 5:00 am the mega yacht parked right behind us began to load supplies and started its engines. There was no sleep after that so we got up and showered and were ready to leave. Several other boats had planned to leave early so we waited until they and gotten in the lock then called. We were out of the marina and into the lock by 7:30. It was tricky getting the power lines stowed and the dock lines off and stowed because the decks were covered with frost which was quite slick. When we got out into the river channel we only waited a few minutes before the lock opened to lock us down. This was our only lock for today. The rest of today’s run was easy cruising down the river under clear skies which allowed the sun to warm us enough to be in short sleeves by the time we arrived at Pirate’s Cove Marina. This is a very small marina tucked back into a small cove just above Tom Bevill Lock. The docks are not in the best condition of any we have seen and they are very low to the water but there are several barge loads of new galvanized truss type docks parked around the outside of the cove. They are about to begin a major renovation of the marina. By next year this should be a very nice facility.
Soon after we arrived Muriel prepared a lunch of hot dogs and then we got the marina manager to take us about a mile and a half down the road to visit the visitor center and the snag boat Montgomery. She took us because the courtesy van was tied-up taking a 72 year old woman to the emergency room. She is single handing her 44 foot trawler down to Florida for the winter and she got her fingers mashed between the boat and the lock while securing the boat in the lock.
The visitor center was amazing to us. The Corps of Engineers built it to resemble the style of the Waverly Mansion we visited in Columbus and two other plantation mansions in the area. Everything in the center is authentic, the moldings, the balconies, the winding staircase with beautiful railings, and heart pine flooring. Even the brick walkways and gardens around the house fit the style. There were video tapes describing the history of the snag boat Montgomery and the development of the Tennessee Tombigee Waterway. There were also exhibits of stuffed animals representing the wildlife of the area and rocks and fossils from the area. Shelly did not go with us and we hated that she missed this part of the museum. She would have loved it. We climbed to the top of the widow’s walk and were able to go outside onto the walk around the outside of the peak. The view of the river and the Bevill lock was great.
We were able to tour the snag boat on our own. A snag boat is a large boat with a crane on the front 1;was the last steam powered paddle wheel boat in the service. It was built in 1926 and decommissioned in 1985. The Corps got it placed on the national register and restored it be on display here in 1989. We were able to walk through most of the areas on the boat.
After dinner Muriel and I put up the Christmas lights Ron and Connie brought to us at Joe Wheeler. We hung them around the back of the sun deck roof. They look good. Thanks Ron and Connie.
We got away as planned at 7:30 on Tuesday morning. The lock was ready for us shortly after we got out into the river channel. There was a priority tow coming but he was far enough back that the lock master took us in first. It was a cold morning, temperatures just above freezing, but the sun was out and quickly warmed the fly bridge to comfortable temperatures. We saw two deer swim across the river just in front of our boat and leave the river on the other side. We passed a downbound tow a few miles above the Heflin Lock and thought the lock master might make us wait on him before we could lock down. We were just far enough ahead that he took us on down before the tow got there, We entered an old channel of the river just below the lock to anchor for the night. It was only 1:00 pm but there were no more good anchorages along the river for too far for daylight today. As soon as we got anchored Muriel and I got the dingy down and took Carlie ashore. We went ashore at a boat ramp on the COE land near the lock and walked over to the lock, they will not let you near the locks since 911. On the way there we say three deer in one group and another larger deer feeding separately. Tomorrow we plan to get underway about 7:30 and get to Demopolis, Al which will be our last place to do laundry and get provisions for about the next week until we make it down to Mobile, Al. They saw not to expect any cell service along that stretch either. I hope to get this on the blog at Demopolis and the next chance will be Mobile.
The overnight low was 24 degrees. We woke up to a cool cabin, 52 degrees, but after starting the generator and the heat it takes only a few minutes to bring the cabin back to 70 degrees. Carlie and I had a cold but quick dingy ride to shore for her walk this morning and then we had to get the motor up and the dingy up before we could go onto the frosty decks to get the anchor up. We ended up getting under way about 7:50 but that was about the time the fog was cleared to allow us to go. We had an easy cruise down river to Demopolis. A beaver swam across the anchorage this morning and a flock of wild turkeys flew across the river right in front of our boat. I did not realize they were turkeys until they landed on the beach. A couple of miles upstream of Demopolis we came around a bend and an Alabama Marine Patrol boat was coming the other way with red and blue lights flashing. I stopped but could not imagine why they would be stopping us. They just wanted to let us know that they had reports of boats being swamped by large wakes and asked us to be courteous and slow down if we encounter other boats.
We plan to run 71 miles tomorrow to an anchorage. This will be about the only safe anchorage choice for the run. We hope to make Mobile in about five days. We will not have cell service nor wifi until we get to Mobile.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Midway, Ms to Columbus, Ms via Aberdeen

The first photo is the Waverly mansion from the front gate. The center observation area is 65 feet tall. The second photo is coming out of the small channel from Aberdeen. The third photo shows the baots around the deck at the fuel dock where we all gathered while boats were fueling. The fourth photo shows some of the narrow, winding channel leading into Aberdeen Marina. The fifth photo is two tows passing in a bend of the river while we waited behind the downbound tow before passing him.

It did rain more on Wednesday so we stayed put rather than lock through three locks in the cold rain. We spent the day doing laundry and a few boat chores and then one last trip to the local WalMart. Southern Comfort arrived just before dark. It was good to have them back with us. We all went to dinner at a local restaurant called the Fire House. This was a Mississippi restaurant. We ordered various meals, most of us ordered catfish, and the menu listed salad or slaw and potatoes with the meal. Soon after we ordered they brought out a bowl of pinto beans for each person and corn bread. The corn bread and beans with a salad would have been a fine meal for me. The next morning, Thursday, we left Midway soon after the fog cleared enough to be out on the river. We made good time through the first lock but the second lock was down for maintenance. They told us it would be at least a couple of hours before we could get into the lock so we all anchored and settled in for the wait. When the repair crew took a break they called us into the lock but they left the work barge and the tow boat, a tug, in the lock. This was in the space where we normally tie up with this large group of boats so the lock master radioed us to tie up along side the tug. As we maneuvered into position along side, someone radioed and said they did not want us to tie to the tug. Another boat had rafted to one of the boats in front of us so we had to back away from the tug and back into the lock wall along side the barge. We got this done and the rest of the day was easy going.
We arrived at Aberdeen just after 2:00. They are known on the river for their fried chicken but they stop serving at 2:00 so one of the boats call in an order for all nine boats and they agreed to keep it until we arrived. The channel leading to the marina was very narrow and winding through cypress stumps and trees. The marina did not have space for all of us so it took quite a while for all of us to get secured. This marina has the best fuel prices on the river so we all took on fuel. Since there was not enough space for us each time one boat left the fuel dock it would rotate into another boat’s position as that boat moved to the fuel dock. The process of fueling all the boats lasted well past dark but the people at the marina were very nice about it all. We all enjoyed visiting on the large deck between the store and the fuel dock. The owner also owns the liquor store next door and we heard he is also the mayor of Aberdeen. Some of the boats got to talking to him and requested some shine which he easily produced to share with all. Then Peggy showed up with her bottle of Maker’s Mark and it was so good I had to walk over to the liquor store and get a bottle for us.
The store has breakfast also so we all had breakfast in the morning while waiting for the fog to lift. You could not see across the channel let alone try to navigate it out to the river. We had an easy day with only one lock and about 20 miles to get to Columbus, Ms. We arrived at about noon and again the marina did not have enough space for us so it took a while to get situated. There were two large, over 100 foot, boats along the wall which were supposed to have been gone before we arrived. We ended up with several boats rafted to other boats and Southern Comfort tied up at the fuel dock. We are rafted to Blue Max whom we have not seen for a couple of weeks. Peggy’s son and his family are coming to visit them on the boat over the weekend so we will stay here and leave on Monday morning. This will break-up some of the large group of boats.
Soon after we got secured we got the courtesy van and took off to visit the Waverly Mansion. This is a must see at this point. Bill and Eileen from Blue Max had already been there so they guided us out into the country side to find the mansion. The house was built in 1852 on a 50,000 acre plantation. In its heyday it was self sufficient, producing everything needed to sustain its 1,000 workers and ship many produced goods. The owner died in 1912 and the house stood empty until 1962 when the present owners purchased it. The woman who took us through the house still lives there with her father. She was seven years old when her parents purchased it and began to restore it. She repeatedly points out that the house stood empty and open for years and was frequented by local kids as a ghost house but nothing was stolen or vandalized. The very elaborate chandeliers were still in place as were mirrors on the walls and much ornamental work.
After visiting the house we drove into Columbus to drive through town to see many of the old homes but it was getting dark so we decided to try to see them on Saturday. We plan now to leave here on Monday so we have plenty of time. It rained and blew most of the night as predicted. Now it is forecast to be quite chilly for the next few days. It is cool and grey this morning.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Goose Pond to Midway via two anchorages

We plan to leave Goose Pond Marina about 7:30 and make one long day back to Riverwalk Marina at Decatur. It made a rather long day but we did go to Riverwalk Marina. We all took the same places in the marina we had occupied on the way up river. In the morning we made cinnamon rolls for everyone before we left for Joe Wheeler, two dozen rolls. We made good time with the RR bridge. It opened only a few minutes after we were all out in the river. The leaves were so much prettier than they were on the way up to Chattanooga! We all went back into our same slips when we arrived at Joe Wheeler. We arrived on Tuesday and we all ate in the restaurant together. On Wednesday we spent the day working on the boat. Muriel went to work cleaning on the flybridge and the sundeck. I changed oil in both engines and the generator. Then I opened the cooling system on the starboard engine. It has always run a little warmer than the port engine but recently it has started to heat up if I run the rpm up over 1800. I decided it was time to learn why.
I started by opening the heat exchanger for oil cooling because it is first downstream from the raw water pump. The inlet was full of rubber pieces of raw water impeller. More than one impeller. So I next opened the raw water pump and found the impeller with about half the vanes gone. When I got into replacing the impeller I decided to rebuild the pump and ordered parts from American Diesel for over night delivery. I went ahead and removed and dissembled both pumps and got them cleaned and ready to re-assemble as soon as I get the parts. On Thursday I started by installing the new stand for the radar so that it will see over the bimini top. This went fairly well except than one of the bolts I had intended to use was fine thread and the nut was coarse thread so I need to get one more bolt to complete that job. The next job was to wash the boat. I got most of this done before dinner on the dock with two other boats, Wandering L & M and C Life. The park usually receives FedEx shipments about six pm. My parts did not show up. If they do not get here until six pm tomorrow I may be here putting the pumps back together on Saturday when the other boats leave.
Well, the parts arrived Friday afternoon while we were in town. We managed to get a ride in a courtesy van from the Park so several of us, Muriel and I included, rode into town for one last hooray. Some, men and women, got hair cuts, Muriel and some others went to Fred’s Pharmacy, sort of a dollar store, and then went grocery shopping. I went to the hardware store and the auto parts store to pick-up some needed supplies. As soon as we returned to the Park our group of five boats gathered to discuss the possible stops and timing as we continue down the Ten-Tom Waterway. As soon as that was completed I got to work on reassembling the water pumps and getting them installed. Larry from Wanderin L&M helped and we got them done in quick order.
We were able to leave today with the rest of the group. We hated to leave Southern Comfort at Joe Wheeler. Hopefully they will catch up with us in the Ten-Tom. We got an early start to make 62 miles and two major locks today. All went very well, only minor waits at the locks. The second lock, the Wilson Lock, has a lift, or in our case today, a drop of 95 feet. It rises and falls very quickly compared to other locks and it is very impressive to be in the bottom of a lock which is 100 feet above you. The weather was sunny but cool and rather windy. We had winds to 35 miles per hour today but in the river it does not get too rough. We made the anchorage just in time to get anchored and get Carlie ashore loopers but also snow birds headed south for the winter. I hope the anchorages and the marinas are not too crowded on the way to Mobile.
We left the anchorage at the anchorage at 7:30 this morning and ran down the “ditch” part of the Ten-Tom. This is the part which the Corps of Engineers dug out to join the Tennessee River with the Tombigbee River. At one point it is 175 deep and 1300 feet wide. This is the cut through the ridge and not the water depth. The water is only 14 feet deep. This was the largest excavation project for a canal ever undertaken. They moved more dirt that was moved to create the Panama Canal. Along the way a bald eagle swooped around over us and then dived down to the water with talon extended as though to catch a fish but it never came all the way to the water. It was quite a show to see. We followed, not within sight, but a few miles ahead , a tow of barges and when we got to the downstream end of Bay Springs Lake he was waiting on the lock and the lock was down waiting on a “priority” tow to come up. We decided by the time all this got done it would be a push to run the narrow channel and two more locks below before dark so we pulled into a cove just above the dam at about noon and anchored to relax for the afternoon.
We got rafted up with the other four boats and got the dingy down to get Carlie ashore and do some exploring. There was a boat ramp and small park just to the north of us. We let Carlie have a run there and then went on to locate the Bay Springs Lock and Dam Visitor Center. We found it to the south of the cove where we were anchored. It is a beautiful facility which includes the administrative offices for this area of the Ten-Tom but it was closed on weekends. We felt like leaving a note questioning the wisdom of closing the center on weekends when most people have time to visit such a facility. Carlie enjoyed another good romp around the grounds at the center. In the morning when I got out to take Carlie ashore it was 32 degrees with frost on the dingy and the decks of the boat. When we got to going in the dingy Carlie sat on my lap and hid her face under my arm. She thought it was too cold to be out there.
We got underway shortly after 7:30 and our trip through the three locks went very smoothly. The locks were ready when we arrived and we went right through. We arrived at Midway Marina around noon and settled in. They have a courtesy van so several of us used it to run into town, Fulton, Ms., and get a hamburger for lunch. Later, after showers we drove into town again to the only restaurant open on Monday for Mexican food. On Tuesday one of the boats rented a 15 place van, which we will split among us, and we all went to Tupelo to visit the Auto Museum and the birthplace of Elvis. We had a large lunch and did our WalMart shopping then turned in the van.
It has started to rain and the forecast is for heavier rain tomorrow. If it rains as forecast we will probably stay put tomorrow. Guy and Peggy from Southern Comfort left Joe Wheeler the day after the rendezvous and drove home to Florida. They have returned to Southern Comfort and are now only a day behind us. It will be good to have them back. Blue Max is in the marina at Columbus, Ms., about two days ahead of us. They will wait there until we arrive.
Sorry there are no pictures with this post but our air card is so slow I will wait until we have wifi to get pictures on here.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Chattanooga to Goosepond via anchorage

The first photo is of the jack-o-lantern contest amont our boats. The second is the food outlay for the Holloween Party. The third photo is some of the boats rafted at anchor. Just moments before this photo you could not even see these boats. Moments later the fog was gone. The fourth photo shows the boat Annie, notice the callopie pipes on top the boat. The last photo shows some of the rowing shells gathering for their competition at Chattanooga just before we got away.

We got away from Chattanooga about 9:00 am after waiting for fog to burn off the and then get fuel. It was another pretty trip with the leaves becoming more colorful each day. We anchored Saturday night in the same cove where we anchored on the way up to Joe Wheeler. Shortly after we were all anchored Annie, the boat I mentioned in yesterday’s blog, came into the cove to anchor also. They entered the cove with the calliope playing Tennessee Waltz. It was an exhilarating feeling to have that boat come in with the calliope playing. We invited them to join our group for cocktails aboard C-Life. After dinner Muriel and I dingyed over to visit with them on their boat. We really enjoyed visiting with them and learning about their boat building experience.
In the morning when I took Carlie out for her morning walk just after daylight I heard a Tom turkey gobble twice just across the cove. I do not think I have ever heard a gobble in the wild. Right after we left in the cove we came to a lock and Annie locked through with us. They played the Battle Hymn Republic and one other tune while we were in the lock. There were seven other boats in the lock and we all cheered after each song. Annie ran with us all day and said they were going on to an anchorage when we turned into the channel to the marina. When we turned around they were entering the channel also. When they got to the dock they said they had so much fun with our group that they could anchor another night and enjoy the dock part with us tonight. It is just great to meet such neat people on the water. Tonight Ron and Carol from Annie got to meet the Stouts whom we have met at looper rendezvous. The Stouts have located in Huntsville so the two will be very close to each other and can do some boating together.
Tomorrow when we leave here there will be eleven boats traveling together. This is becoming quite a caravan.