Saturday, September 14, 2013


Sep. 8, 2013---Thought it might be good to make a final note. Believe it or not we got all the packing done and Dream Manor secure. It was about noon when the 4mcgees said their goodbyes and went separate ways leaving Demopolis in the rear view mirrors. Allen and Carol enroute to Youngsville, Louisina. Keith and Maryann on road trip to Montana and then home to Las Vegas. Will resume the blog when we return to the boat. Hope it will not be too long before we are back on the water.
Thanks to the readers who shared comments. It is always great to hear from those of you who are following the blog. Thanks again for riding along with the 4mcgees.

Saturday, September 7, 2013


Sep. 5, 2013---Spent all morning just taking it easy and winding down from the 967 mile boat trip. May not be far in a vehicle, but it is quite a trip on a boat. Afternoon was a trip to the laundry. Got caught up on washing clothes.

Sep. 6, 2013---Keith and Allen drove to Meridian, Mississippi to donate blood at United Blood Services. Maryann and Carol are selecting items to be taken home.

Sep. 7, 2013---Started packing things to the vehicles that are do not need to be left on the boat.
 Covered seats on the boat. Stored some of the outside items in main cabin. Not much too write about, but a busy day just sorting and packing.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013


Sep. 4, 2013---Raised anchor at 6:30 a.m. Eased out of the shallow embayment and headed down the Tombigbee waterway at mile 287.4, continued to Heflin Lock at mile 266. Lockmaster had the gate open for our arrival. Just does not get any better. Water was so smooth the days journey was incredible.  Watched a deer swim across the river. Arrived Demopolis at 2:30 p.m. Took on fuel and returned to assigned slip called home, in Kingfisher Bay Marina at mile 216.7
Not a bad 8 hour day covering 71 miles.
Near top of photo at edge of darker shadow is head of deer swimming.

Lighting not so great. Look close in center of photo just below lighter
colored part of tree and see the deer getting out of the water. 

Seems a must to take pictures of the white cliffs. Railroad near
town of Epes, Alabama. These cliffs are named Jones Bluff.

Co-Captain Keith seems happy with his turn at the wheel.
Perhaps feeling good about nearing Demopolis, AL
ending 967 successful miles.

Crew riding in comfort watching TV.

Taking on fuel at Demopolis.


Sep. 3, 2013---Took on 254 gallons of diesel. Left Columbus Marina at 10:00 a.m. after a visit with "T" and Jimmie. Immediately down from Columbus is the Stennis Lock. Followed a single tow into the lock and went down together. Lockmaster requested we leave lock ahead of the tow, since we would be traveling faster. Continued down river 27.9 miles to Bevill Lock. Apparently getting prepared for closure on September 5th some work was already in progress. A large Coast Guard crane was working in the lock. Had a 3 1/2 hour wait before getting down through the lock. Out of the lock at 5:00 p.m. the sun was getting lower in the west. Water was smooth as glass and the evening run was very pleasant. Reached Cochrane Cut-Off at mile 287.4. Slowed down to a snail's pace and attempted to enter the embayment. Ran aground. Had to reposition about 70 feet farther downriver. Much of the opening has a sandbar built up that is just out of sight below surface. Picked the right spot with 6 feet of depth and entered the embayment. Went in until the depth was about 5 feet. Set anchor at 7:00 p.m. and called it a day. Only traveled 47.6 miles today, but it took 9 hours.
Tow followed out of Stennis lock.
Coast Guard working on Bevill Lock.
Loading metal from barge into trucks.
Picking up metal fragments from barge.

Red day markers reflecting on the water in evening sun.
Anchored in Cochrine-Cut Off.

Monday, September 2, 2013


Sep. 2, 2013---Another big 10 hour day. Awakened by hard rain at 4:00 a.m. thinking this is not good. Lucky the rain quit about 5:30 a.m. Started engines, disconnected from shore power and made final preparations for departure from Bay Springs. With aid of flashlights and searchlight we untied from the T-dock and moved out on the dark water at 5:50 a.m. Occasional lightning helped to illuminate the channel markers. Made way to the main channel and entered the Whitten lock. Having called ahead the gate was open. All day the lockmasters were very helpful and opened the gates as we approached each lock. Went through 7 locks in 77 miles in 10 hours. Just below Amory lock about mile 369.5 there were 3 barges floating unattended in middle of channel. Attempted to slowly pass on the right descending bank. Nearly got in trouble as the water depth went to 2 feet and props were digging in the mud even though it was still about 30 feet to the bank. Lucky to get back in channel and go around the barges on left descending bank. Stayed very close to barges and got past in water depth of 12 feet. West side is sanded in because of work area on east side of river where tugs push barges up against the bank. Prop wash from tugs has narrowed the channel. What a workout today! Arrived Columbus Marina at 4:00 p.m. Glad to be tied up for the night.

Whitten Lock

Columbus Marina office

Before sunset



Sep. 1, 2013---Visiting with other boaters last night we learned 3 locks (Aberdeen, Stennis, Bevill) will be closing September 5th at 6:00 a.m. They will reopen Sept. 14th at 6:00 p.m. This caused quite a change in plans. In order to reach Demopolis, AL by evening of the 4th before the closures it wil be necessary to put in a couple of long days. Departed Clifton at 6:10 a.m. Went up the Tennessee River to Pickwick lock at mile 206.7  and was lifted up 55 feet to Lake Pickwick. Continued to mile 215.2 and crossed three corner spot where Tennessee, Alabama and Mississippi meet. Turned starboard and started down the Tombigbee Waterway at mile 450.7  Will be counting down. Reached Bay Springs Marina at mile 412.2 at 4:10 p.m. after a busy 10 hour day. There were so many boaters on the water it was a challenge to keep track and avoid swamping small boats with the wake created by Dream Manor.