Black Warrior-Tombigbee

We left Demopolis, Alabama Wednesday morning at 6:30 along with 14 other boats.  This was our beautiful sunrise as we waited for the lock.  If I have to get up this early I am sure glad I have something this beautiful to look at.

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We all locked through at the same time.  They had eight on the lock walls and the rest had to raft.  Rafting is a lot easier than being on the lock bollards.  They try to put the boats that want to travel faster in the front of the lock.  So they don’t have to pass everybody after we leave the lock.

This is the view as you get out of the lock on your starboard (right) side.  You see water plunging over the long spill way then spreading out and cascading over rock ledges.  A note on April 19, 1979 the Tombigbee reached the lofty height of 72.4 feet or 59.4 feet above the normal pool of 13 feet.  Until recently this lift bridge accommodated both a railroad track and Alabama 114.  A new bridge has been built for the highway.

Here are some beautiful pictures of the what the river looks like as we are traveling.

There is a section on the port side (left) were the bank has been stabilized with rip-rap consisting of old tires tied together with cables.  The nitty-gritty book said such rip-rap is very expensive because of the labor involved.  So many of bluffs are being eaten away due to high water.

Tuesday was a very long hot day of traveling almost 100 miles.  There are not any good anchorages on this stretch the water is so low.  The only place to stop is at Bobby’s Fish Camp.  The dock is only long enough for four boats.  The rest have to raft off of them.  You don’t get a discount because you have to raft with another boat and no power.  We were on the end of four deep first row.  There were a total of 12 boats with four on the dock and the rest were rafting off them.

Bobby’s Fish Camp is a must see place if you like very rustic.  I would not recommend eating at the restaurant our meal was not very good and expensive.  But if that is the only bad place we get I can’t complain.  There are several rooms all filled with antiques and places to eat.  They even have a bottle tree out front.

When you look at this porch in front of the restaurant can you see men sitting in these chairs smoking a corn cob pipe.

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The lower end of the Waterway is known for its hairpin turns.  Although the Waterway is a scant thousand feet through the trees at starboard, you must travel almost three miles by water to get there.  You don’t want to meet a barge going around the corner.  Kent is glad he has AIS to see the commercial barges ahead of us.  We saw our first alligator swimming towards shore.  I guess my swimming days are done for a while. When we went past this sand bar it reminded me of home and the tip of nine mile.

Thursday November third was our 43 Wedding Anniversary and we spent it anchored in Alabama River cut off next to Anchor Down.  It was narrow and long there were a total of eight of us anchored in their.

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Liz and Johnny from Anchor Down joined us for dinner and wine on our boat to help us celebrate.  The night was perfect good food and great friends and doing this great loop with someone you love.

When we left Friday morning we only had 54 miles to Mobile Bay and the unknown.  We had a flock of seagulls following our boat.  I was waiting for one of them to fly in our boat.  It reminded me of the movie “The Birds” the way they were flying around us. Anchor Down was following us and wanted to know if we were feeding them.

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This is the I-65 bridge the first highway bridge we have seen in 71 miles and reminding us we’re emerging from the wildness.  The locals call this the “Dolly Parton” bridge.  It’s up to you to figure out why.

img_2859This is called the 14 mile bridge.  That means only 14 more miles on the Tombigbee River and all its beauty.

img_2871 The foliage on the shore line has started to change.  It looks more like you would see in Florida.  This means we are getting closer to Mobile Bay.  I don’t know if I am getting more excited or nervous about entering the Bay.   The air is starting to smell different and it’s not getting any colder.

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