Columbus to Demopolis: 118 miles.
The weather app showed rain for the day. It also showed a few periods with lightening. I decided to go for it (hoping for the best) and left around 7:00 a.m. The rain began as a sprinkle and lasted several hours. Later, the storm began to build and it rained heavily. The lowered visibility made it difficult to see drift wood in the waterway. I kept my speed at 28 mph and managed to get through it well. When I get on “bigger” water, I cannot chance it like that. I will need to be patient and wait for good weather days. Anyone who knows me knows that patience is not one of my virtues. Also, my time schedule is short and I need to get back home sooner than later.
The weather improved in the afternoon which allowed for some great sites. I’ll share a few below.
It was good to meet Lock-master Michael (pictured below). We visited about the ‘loop’ while locking through. He has experience of the Gulf of Mexico and didn’t like my idea of traveling across the Big Bend of Florida out in the Gulf. He suggested that I stop in the pan-handle of Florida and trailer the boat around the “big water” area. He said that the risks are too large: mechanical problems on the Gulf, big waves, bad weather, run out of gas, etc. It was out of genuine concern on his part that he shared it. And I appreciated his concern. It gave me some hesitation in following through with the plan.
He went on to say that some people may have “80 percent luck” but others (himself included) only have “20 percent.” I was sitting there thinking that my luck was in the 80 pct range. But even if it is 80%, that isn’t high enough to risk everything. So, I will keep his advice in mind and may change the plan. Changes could include using a different boat or doing sections at different times. For now, we’ll see what tomorrow brings.
Here is a picture of Michael.
As for sleep, I’m in a covered slip and sleeping on the boat. No tent, just a sleeping bag on the seat. It is very pleasant outside here in Demopolis. The calm breeze feels like A/C. Frogs and crickets are making peaceful background music. It would be perfect except for the mosquitos. My bug spray OFF is full but it won’t spray at all. I think it’s because it’s a 10 year old bottle. I need to invest in a new bottle. Ha!
Lastly, I’ve had the privilege of meeting several loopers today. Mr. Charlie Hefty and his wife are from Wisconsin. They’re traveling north on a beautiful Sea Ray called YOTS OF FUN. William Mayberry is on the trawler OPTIMYSTIQUE. He and his wife reside in eastern Tennessee in the summer and Bradenton, Florida in the winter. They have taken a sail boat down and up this route 5 times in the past. Now they are on a 40 foot trawler that they’ve owned for 3 years. In the next slip over from me are two great guys, Tom and Ryan (father, son). They are taking there new (to them) trawler “Kismet” south and may head toward New Orleans. Ryan lives in Chicago and Tom lives in Cincinnati. If I get that far, I will send them a note. All of these trawlers are beautiful and are definitely the way to go.
Good night. Thanks for following along. If I push it tomorrow, I could make it to Mobile or even close to Florida (completing the first leg of the trip). We’ll see!