December 22, 2007 - Left Demopolis and traveled all the way down to Bobby’s Fish Camp. We had hoped to anchor out alongside the channel of the waterway at a recommended anchorage…but, again, too little water and too much wind. Bobby’s offered a dock that ran parallel to the channel, no electricity. $1/ft. But…the restaurant was open and we enjoyed carry out catfish dinners. We felt the barges coming along during the night but at least knew we were attached to the dock. Here's a picture of one of the prettier tow boats we saw on this trip.
December 23, 2007 – Sunday night found us anchoring successfully for the first time this trip. We made it down to MM 52.8 and the Alabama River Cutoff. Nice spot. Got “buzzed” by a number of fishing or hunting boats, but it was a good anchorage. We set both a bow and stern anchor. The photo below was taken the next morning...can't get enough of these water and sky shots....
December 24, 2007 – We traveled down to Daymark 12.2 anchorage at the Tensas River Cutoff. Great anchorage. We had wondered whether we could make it all the way down to Fairhope…but decided not to after seeing weather reports calling for some wind and rain. We've gone through lots of locks at this point, but only had to request passage under (or around, in this case) two railroad bridges. At around MM 14 we went through the Mile 14 railroad bridge as the bridge swiveled around to accommodate us.
Christmas Day, 2007 – After waiting at Daymark 12.2 until about noon, we left for Fairhope. It rained that morning and looked like it would not clear off, but as we approached Mobile going under the “Dolly Parton Bridge” (from a distance the bridge structure forms two large humps pointing skyward) you can see the clearing sky coming in from the West. We made it through the downtown Mobile area with all the big boats. Mostly quiet that day, thankfully.
We did see some tugboats working to move a large vessel...
Mobile’s new convention center in the foreground and Alabama's tallest building, the RSA Tower.
We've logged around 880 miles so far in this 5000 mile trip and made it down the TennTom. It has been a real adventure so far, to say the least. Working our way around each curve, straining to see if a towboat was coming...and difficulty in anchoring out the first couple of tries...were the main sources of stress. And, of course, we're still learning what we and the boat can do so we feel challenged. Speaking of towboats, our friend Harold Stanton caught this image from our web tracking site and sent to us with the label, "Beep, beep. Passing a doublewide on the TennTom."
Got into Fairhope around 3 PM after an uneventful trip across the Bay. The waters were maybe 1-2 ft. with only a few whitecaps showing. We stayed at Eastern Shore Marine, a few miles north of the center of town. Getting into the marina we had a stiff wind to fight getting lined up along the dock. Vicki and Bob Riggs saw us coming in as they were taking a walk and drove over to the marina to help us dock. They are from Memphis, TN, and moved to Fairhope about 8 years ago having traveled here and liking it. Fairhope has been dubbed an excellent place to retire. Vicki and Bob kindly offered to come back over during our stay to share their experience cruising the Florida Panhandle and Gulf Coast.
December 26 - 28, 2007 – Three days off in Fairhope. Took care of provisioning and laundry on the first day…and did some boat work. The 27th was our 39th wedding anniversary so we planned a light day. Our internet and telephone connections were intermittent at Fairhope so we set out on that Thursday to find a wi-fi somewhere in town. We ended up at the Grand Harbor Marriott Resort thinking they might have wi-fi in the lobby. Not so. Turns out we could get a strong signal in the middle of a shopping center parking lot nearby so we checked our email.
Thursday afternoon Vicki and Bob came back over and gave us some great information based on their having boated around here and the panhandle for years. They plan to begin their loop cruise this March.
Friday we had planned to head south to the ICW, but the weather looked windy and stormy so we decided to wait until Saturday, December 29. Our internet connection is working great today, though, so the blog posts I've been saving up will finally make the web!