May 9, 2009---Performing the morning tasks of checking engine fluids we noticed the other two boats were already gone. Leaving our safe place at 7:00 a.m. and turning into the main channel showed nothing had changed. There was still plenty of debris floating down the river. We caught up with the two Trawlers at the Tom Bevill lock (mile 306.8). When the gate opened to let us out there was lots of debris. We had to slide over some of it. The props caught. It took a few bumps forward and reverse to work the beast out from under the boat. I pulled the tree trunk out from under the swim platform by hand. The blasted thing was about 4" in dia and 8' long. As Keith eased forward and increased the rpm's there was no vibration. Whew!--Lucked out.
We again passed the two trawlers. Almost friends, we have come to know the boats by their names: "Gold Watch" and "Pharm a Sea". They were left well behind by the time we reached the next lock. The gate was open at the Columbus/Stennis lock, mile 334.7. Several bass boats passed us by and rushed into the lock. When I entered the lock one of the boats finally moved to allow room. It took me a few trys then to get our boat over against the wall on the starboard side. The anxious fishermen began making remarks about my driving skills and then cheered when the boat was close enough for Keith to secure the line on the floating bollard. When the gate closed behind us there were 24 bass boats in the lock.
A couple of them held onto our boat. They said there was only an hour left before weigh-in is the reason everyone is so anxious. Looking over at the dam side the rushing water could be seen coming thru the control gates. Back to the lock as the gate opened the bass boats rushed out. They seemed glad that we were the last out. Really we were not in a hurry because of weather concerns the decision to pull into the Columbus Marina and spend the night had already been made. It was a short traveling day as we tied up at 1:00 p.m. The Dream Manor looked good from the balcony above the fuel dock. The Gold Watch and Pharm a Sea must have also been concerned as they too decided to stay in Columbus. As I am writing this blog the weather front of concern arrived with a vengence. The wind blows hard and rocks the boats as the rain pours down from the heavens. Looking out the windows into the night there is very black as there are only a few lights visibal at the marina. This is our first night back in Mississippi as we remind each other we were here last November 19th 2008.