May 8, 2009---We took on fuel and said our goodbyes to the great folks at the Demopolis Yacht Basin. Everyone there was very helpful and kept watch on the Dream Manor during times we did not live aboard the last 5 1/2 months. Everything done? Let's go boating.
As Keith maneuvered from the fuel dock into the channel at 9:00 a.m., the dodging of floating debris began immediately. An old rusty hot water tank floated into the marina. We took turns all day steering around as many of the floating old weathered tree branchs as possible. Still an occasional thump told us not all had been missed, and underwater demons were at work. Fred (owner of Demopolis Yacht Basin) refers to all the dislodged materials as "lift bait". When props are damaged he gets to use his lift to pick the boats out of the water to do repairs. (I seem to remember the experience we had last year.) Steering with watchful eye we are hoping to escape any damage.
70.7 miles up the Tombigbee Waterway at mile marker 287.4 we entered an open area out of the main channel near the Cochrane Cut-Off. The water averaged 11' deep compared to the 42' depth in the main channel. At 5:00 p.m. the anchor was dropped into the soft sandy/mud bottom. It proved to be a good spot. The plow anchor dug in and held the boat securely in the steady current. Two other boats chose to anchor in the same area. One we had passed just before the Heflin lock. We waited a short time for them to join us in the lock at mile 266. The lift was only 20' as the river is about 10' above normal pool. This means there is a lot of flood water which accounts for the floating debris. There were interesting sights along the way. The old abandoned trailer house was vacated for good reason! Notice how green the trees are compared to last fall.