Saturday, November 29, 2008


11/28/08---The weather did not look good for boating. So we loaded up the vehicle with enough things to last about a week. Left the foggy marina and drove to Youngsville, LA. It rained off and on throughout the day. A side trip through Mandeville and Madisonville Louisiana extended the travel time from 6 hrs to 8 1/2 hrs. We looked at marinas on the north shore of Lake Ponchartrain. Some of the area still looks rather rough from the hurricane beatings that have occurred in the past tree years. Damaged docks and sunken boats do not create a pleasant environment. Keith and Maryann are in their home and I am home with Carol. We all plan to be visiting in the Youngsville area for about 10 days. As a result of our departure from the boat, the blog will not be done daily. I will provide an occasional update and then let you know when we return to Demopolis, AL. Hope you all enjoyed Thanksgiving and continue to have a good time throughout Holiday Season.

Thursday, November 27, 2008


11/27/08---Thanksgiving by the water. About 20 of the boaters living at the Demopolis Marina, or just passing thru, contributed to make a very nice table of food. Each family had prepared a favorite dish. We gathered outside the boaters lounge as final preparations took place. Many fun boating stories were told. The outside area is commonly referred to as "The Wall". Inside there is a small kitchen and separate dining area that was just right for the group. After giving thanks, a very good dinner was enjoyed by all.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


11/26/08---There are numerous historic sites throughout Demopolis. Demopolis, Alabama is located approximately 200 miles North of Mobile Bay on the Tombigbee River. Located south of Tuscaloosa about 75 miles there are many college football fans in this area. Tuscaloosa is the home of the Crimson Tide at the University of Alabama. Their team is presently ranked #1 in the nation. Back to Demopolis history. Demopolis means "City of the People". There seems to be a lot of pride and spirit in the community as many activities are planned for the Christmas season. This is quite an old city as many are that grew up along the banks of the rivers. On March 3, 1817, Congress passed an Act which paved the way for the settling of Demopolis by a group of political exiles who had been banished from France by King Louis XVIII following the abdication of Napoleon Bonaparte. About 150 people started the community two years before Alabama became a state in 1819. The Rooster hall is where the town council presently holds their meetings. Roosters were sold to raise funds for construction of the Rooster Bridge. An alligator in the window of the library is showing the Christmas spirit.


11/25/08---Laid back today. There was plenty of fog as the sun began to shine. After the fog lifted a tug was seen pulling into the fuel dock. This seems to be a popular place for tugs as we have seen several since our arrival. View of Keith and Maryann taken from the balcony of the marina restaurant. Moving around about like the turtles that were enjoying the sunshine. There is a picture of the church where Maryann attented services last Sunday.

Monday, November 24, 2008


11/23-24/08--- Maryann thought brother & I were a total waste on Sunday as we watched football games all day.
On Monday we did a little better in her eyes. We cleaned the water strainers and air intake filters on the three heat/air conditioner units. Cleaned the screens on the two shower sumps and vacuumed what we call the basement. That is the crawl space where we access the various pumps and equipment that need service. Between showers we filled the fresh water tank and cycled the water softner. The day was windy with overcast skys. Generally just a rather dismal day. Should be nicer on Tuesday.

Those of you who recall the stories I have done on Ashly Ruf, who drives the boat for Little John's Motor Sports, may be interested in her progress. Click on "Little John" part way down on the right of this blog to go to his web site. Click on the line about Phenoix for his info. Ashly is now one of the two female PRO race boat drivers in the world qualified to run up to 180 MPH. Good luck to her next season!

Saturday, November 22, 2008


11/22/08---Did a few things inside the boat and decided to go uptown for lunch. Found the battery totally dead in Keith's van. After several attempts to get it jumped from other vehicles had to change tatics. Were not able to get enough power off another car's battery. Used the marina courtesy car and drove to Walmart for a new battery. Had lunch at El Ranchero Loco. The mexicans served some good vitals. Back to the marina with the courtesy car as a lady was looking for it to take her turn to the grocery store. We were allowed two hours and just got back in time to keep from causing a stir. Installed the new battery and what a difference! The van actually started. At 3:00 p.m. we gathered with a dozen of local boaters for an evening cook out. I call them locals because some of them have been in this marina for a long time. The rest of us are considered transients. Every one brought something for the meal. The hot dogs and hamburgers were cooked on an outdoor grill and everyone ate plenty. We sure needed it after the recent lunch! The main thing was we had a great visit with the folks. It is always fun as everyone has a boating story or two to tell. Also got some recomendations for more of our journey. Some of the travelers are planning to leave next week. There are some pictures of the work in progress where the marina is going to expand by adding 400 additional boat slips. There are many boaters who like to winter here and preparations are being made to handle a lot more of those boaters.

Friday, November 21, 2008


11/21/08---After a restless night we pulled anchor at daylight and started out at 6:15 a.m. The view along the river was interesting with Alabama waterfront homes and lovely beaches. Rounding a turn at mile 249 were the white cliffs of Epes. The white is certainly a contrast to any other terrain along the way. The marks on the cliffs showed that a lot of blasting had to be done to open this area for the Tenn-Tom river project. There were also many vultures circling just downstream from the cliffs. Several were on the ground. I told Maryann they were looking for a body. She kind of smiled but I am not sure she thought it was humorous. I was thinking about old west movies. There was a small tug pushing a large tow. At mile 225 we passed the half-way point between the Tennesse River and Downtown Mobile. Just a mile before turning into the Demopolis Marina we passed the mouth of the Black Warrior River at mile 217.0 as shown on the red and green day marker. At this point we left the Tennessee Tombigbee Waterway and enter the Black Warrior-Tombigbee Waterway which continues to Mobile Bay. The entire 450 mile system is commonly referred to as the Tenn-Tom. We had traveled 50 miles today when we arrived at the Demopolis Marina at 1:30 p.m. The wind was gusting but we got docked okay.


11/20/08---Left Columbus Marina at 6:50 a.m. Got right into the Stennis Lock at 7:00 a.m. and out at 7:50, 27’ lower. This lock is located at mile 336.7. What timing, there was a tow about 2 miles above the lock going down stream , and two tows below the lock going up stream. We just avoided a long wait as commercial traffic has priority over pleasure craft. Pictures of a large shovel. There is always work taking place along the waterways. At 9:45 a.m. we crossed into Alabama at mile 313.5, I looked real close, but could not tell one state from the other! The river actually crosses back in and out of Mississippi a couple of times in a three mile stretch before continuing in Alabama. At mile 312.0 something caught our eye on the (RDB) right desending bank. Look at the picures and perhaps you can it is a telephone booth! There are some nice homes along the way. Arrived at the Bevill Lock 10:30 a.m. at mile 306.8. Had a 10 minute wait and went down 30’, out at 11:00. The Heflin Lock was the last one for the day. In at 3:35 p.m. and out at 4:00. It lowered 30’ for a total of 87’ today. That brings the total elevation change to 351’ so far. Immediately downstream of the lock we turned to starboard and entered part of the original Tombigbee River. After choosing what seemed like a good spot to spend the night, we set anchor. About 9:00 p.m. the wind got strong and we spent the entire night taking turns on anchor watch. Conditions got better after midnight but no one got much sleep.