Friday, October 31, 2014

Sunday, October 26, we left Zippy Cove at 10 AM having waited for fog to clear.  This was our first full day on the Tenn-Tom this trip.  We always find this part of the trip interesting because of our proximity to the shore.  In this remote area we've seen some neat birds and animals.  

 "Do you think these feathers make me look fat?"

We traveled 37 miles, the last 8 being on Baysprings Lake.  Funny, but we'd never really appreciated how pretty this lake is, or how many great looking anchorages are available.  Probably because we never considered stopping on it before now.  

We had chosen an anchorage down near Wilkins Lock, called Baysprings, because of the recreation area and dock nearby.  We arrived at the anchorage around 2:45 and proceeded to set anchor in about 15 ft.  We'd no sooner started the process when the windlass stopped working.  It wasn't the breaker...and Wayne soon figured out that he could release the brake on the windlass and it would operate for short periods of time.  We decided we could rely on the same technique the next morning to retrieve the anchor.  Wayne looked in the windlass operation manual and we think he's identified the problem.  When we get to Columbus he will do some maintenance on the unit.

Meanwhile, it was a beautiful anchorage and the recreation area gave us an opportunity to walk a little.

Monday October 27, the windlass worked well with only one time needed for
Wayne to intervene.  We went through Whitten, Montgomery and Rankin, and Fulton locks...winding up at our anchorage for the night near Smithville Marina. We actually sounded our way into the little cove right next to the Wilkins Lock, but didn't feel comfortable with the shallow depth so went to the area in front of the marina. The anchorage worked out well, it was just a bit longer dinghy ride to the courtesy dock.

During the day we passed (and not easily, I might add, at their speed!) a canoe with the name WildRavenAdventure.Com. That evening, the canoe pulled into the Smithville Marina. For those friends of ours who think this is an, that, my friends, is an adventure!! ;-)

Tuesday, October 28 – The windlass was cantankerous this morning, so we will definitely have to spend some time at Columbus Marina solving the problem.

We went through Wilkins, Amory, and Aberdeen locks, pulling into Columbus Marina around 3:30 PM. By the end of the evening several other Looper boats had pulled in, most all seeking shelter for the evening's predicted storms.

Approaching Columbus, MS, by water we were “buzzed” several times by planes from the Columbus Air Force Base. “Shout out” to Ralph and Kay!!!

That afternoon as we traveled we touched base with our friends Pam and Jim Hemphill who live nearby. Fortunately, we were able to work out a rendezvous with them that evening before they headed out on consulting work. Ever the the most gracious and talented hosts, Pam and Jim came to the boat with a complete home-cooked supper of appetizers, smoked pork tenderloin, baked beans, coleslaw, bread, and dessert. YUM! For two people who've been eating “boat food” for three days, it was a most welcome respite!

Jim is the adventuresome soul who came down to Carrabelle, FL, seven years ago and went with Wayne and I on Segue as we made our first (and only, so far) overnight crossing of the Gulf. We all laugh (now!) at the plight Jim and Pam had with lack of cell phone coverage that night. Pam was sure they'd have to dredge the Gulf bottom to ever see Jim again!

Pam and Jim lived in Knoxville at the time and we met them at Choto Marina. We've kept up ever since...and had a wonderful time Tuesday evening sharing news and stories of the time between now and our last visit.

The storms came that night...lightning, thunder, rain, and wind. It was good to be tied to a dock.

Fall is definitely here!

Wednesday, October 29 – Wayne started early working on the windlass issue. After repeated calls to the Muir rep in the US and a most helpful technician, he determined the issue to likely be in the windlass armature. He decided to remove the windlass and take it into a shop in Columbus tomorrow.

I realized pretty early that morning that I had left at home a 6-month supply of a medication. I called our friend, Carol, and she went over that morning...found the medication, and shipped it off that afternoon. “A friend in need...” ;-) Thank you, Carol!!

Meanwhile, we signed up for the courtesy car that afternoon and went in to Columbus on some errands.

Thursday, October 30 – Wayne successfully got the windlass off and we took it in to the engine shop to see if they could repair it.  

Many Looper boats pulled out early this morning, eager to make their way down towards Demopolis. We are content to be here for a few more days...or longer, if need be. 

Friday, October 31 - Anxiously waiting for a call from the engine shop to know what our next move will be.  It's supposed to turn really cold tonight and be down in the lower 30's tomorrow morning.

And...guess who pulled in yesterday evening?  The couple and their dog!  This is a view of their camp from our slip.  Amazing that they can get all of that in the 20 ft canoe!  

They told an amazing story about the canoe and it's maker.  They ran onto something in a river upstream and tore a hole in the bottom.  They called the manufacturer, who declined to help out in any way by telling them what they might do to repair the tear.  The couple said they would be interested in buying a new canoe from them if they could get a discount (Wild Raven has been doing a blog and Facebook for 6 months on the water now)...and the manufacturer said, "no discount."  "Well, we'll have to buy a different brand," they said.  "You'll have a hard time finding one that will allow you to pack in all of the equipment you now have in THAT canoe," said the company!  So...when all this came out on Facebook and the blog, another canoe company stepped up and is building one for them, to their specifications, and they will pick it up in Tuscaloosa three days from now.  Pretty amazing story!  I failed to get the canoe company's name.  No matter.  They may soon be out of business due to this story!