Aqua Harbor to Midway Marina (Start of the Tenn-Tom) (Nov 9th.)

Pulled out of Aqua Harbor on a chilly, but beautiful day.  We will begin traversing the Tenn-Tom Waterway today.


It will take us all the way to Mobile, Alabama.     

Again, the wildlife was bountiful with seagulls and pelicans.


Ron was excited to get our performance and fuel economy back from the work done at Aqua Harbor.  We hit 41 MPH today – notice the speed on the map!  The Tenn-Tom is also known as “the ditch”, with one of the deepest locks in America.


Our first of three locks today was an 85 foot drop!  We also met up with three other “loopers” there.


We arrived at Midway Marina in Fulton, Mississippi to a different water-world and a beautiful sunset.



Tennessee Tombigbee Waterway to Columbus, Mississippi (Nov 10)

It was a long day of boating.  We had long waits at each of the four locks we went through while descending the Tenn-Tom.  These locks got us another 110 feet closer to sea-level as we moved toward the Gulf.  We traveled all day with three other looper boats.



We met new friends, Mark and Sherry on a beautiful 60 ft boat (look close at the first-mate at the door).  I think jaws was flirting with Santa.

We borrowed the courtesy car from Columbus Marina and headed to Huck’s for a great shrimp and grits dinner!  Met Daniel at the bar and swapped boating and triathlon stories before heading back to the marina.

Columbus, Mississippi to Demopolis Marina (Nov 11)


We were up at 4:00 a.m. and in the lock by 5:00!  It was more than a chilly morning (36 degrees, not counting the wind factor!)  All to prepare for a 120 mile day with three locks to Demopolis, Alabama.


We traveled with two “buddy boats” (faster) from Chicago and met new friends, Cindy and Albert on board Marianne.  With Mark and Sherry in the lead, we traveled through dense fog and cold winds.


We witnessed another beautiful sunrise on the river and the water looked like snow.


As the day opened up for us, the waterway changed from a canal to a scenic river.

We arrived at Demopolis with a host of loopers, probably a dozen at least, all enjoying docktails and an impromptu birthday for a five year old looper. (Karen got the cup cake!)

Demopolis to Bobby’s Fish Camp, Silas, Alabama (Nov 12)


We pulled out of Demopolis to hit the lock early.  We joined several looper boats and several loopers “looping” in sail boats.  To avoid long lock waits, we try to get together with as many loopers to lock through together as possible.  Sail boats travel the rivers with their masts “stepped” for bridges.  When they get to the gulf, they have the masts re-stepped (erected).


The Tennessee Titans played the Bengals today.  Although we were behind in the last few seconds, the Titans rallied with a last minute touch down and won the game.  We tailgated as we traveled down the Tenn-Tom in support of our team.  We had no wifi or cell service on the river to get the game so we got updates from friends and family.  GO TITANS!


After 98 river miles, we arrived at Bobby’s Fish Camp.  This is a must stop on the loop and also the last fuel stop before reaching Mobile Bay on the Gulf.  Bobby’s Fish Camp is not a marina, it is simply a long dock with fuel and the best fried catfish dinner!


Because of the limited dock space, boats have to raft together (tie up together).



We enjoyed the evening with looper friends Albert & Cindy on the beautiful “Marianne” (a vintage Chris Craft),  Jim, Bill and Jim (the three principals), and Doug and Glenda (from Canada).  All Looping!                                                           

Our evening entertainment was the drone documenting it all, and Cindy and Doug skeet shooting with the cracker shooter!




Bobby’s Fish Camp to Mobile, Alabama (Nov 13)

       Being Monday morning, I had to return to my corner office.  I always wanted a corner office with a window, and now what a view!       After the dam, we saw an alligator swimming in the Tombigbee.  The  Curves in the river…..we met ourselves coming and going. We went under the I-65 bridge today.  It is normally a 8 hour drive but took us 12 days by water!


As we approached Mobile Bay, the busy harbor had everything from Navy pirate chasers and large cruise ships.


We saw the tallest building in Alabama, and a very nice waterfront from Mobile Bay.  Notice the cruise ship looks larger than the city.

      Mobile is a large commercial port.  It was a slow-go through Mobile with all of the industrial traffic.


Along Mobile Bay we pulled in to Dog River Marina on Alligator Bayou to a beautiful rainbow and sunset.


We had scrumptious steamed crab claws at The Grand Mariner with good boating friends, Albert and Cindy and Dave with his crew.    

Another good end to another good day!

A fews days of R & R at Dog River (Nov 14-15)


We took a few days for maintenance and relaxation.  We also drained the racors and cleaned the strainers on Kara Mia.


Dog River Marina was a bit rustic but we enjoyed the sunrises and sunsets on Alligator Bayou.

Santa got into the wine so we had to borrow the courtesy van for a trip to Walmart for re-provisioning.  We thank our dirt home friends (back in Nashville) Skipper and Cindy and Billy-D and JuJu for providing many hours of enjoyable wines and cheese and crackers!



On West to New Orleans via Gulfport, Mississippi (Nov 16)

       We’re back out in Mobile Bay with another haunted water house and an ocean-going tanker from Hong Kong carrying a special orange life boat (more on the life boat at a later date!)


As we turn West to Gulfport we cruised by Dauphin Island and entered into the Mississippi Sound.  Here we saw dolphins and shrimp boats.


The towers you see around the Gulfport Marina house transformers twenty feet in the air to protect them from flooding waters during hurricanes. See the small print from the water level of hurricane Katrina.


As the Municipal Marina was setting up for their Christmas Harbor Lights Winter Festival, Karen took a peak into Santa’s mailbox!

      Santa enjoyed boating today and ended his day with a glass of wine (again….) and charting his future trip to the Keys.  He’s really getting excited about snorkeling.


As we walked to Shaggy’s for dinner, we captured another amazing sunset.



Gulfport to New Orleans, Louisiana (Nov 17)


After an early sunrise in Gulfport, Santa was on his way to New Orleans with visions of Bourbon Street.  “Woo Hoo, what a ride”!


Arrived early at Seabrook Harbor near the French Quarters in New Orleans.  Seabrook is not only a marina, but also a major marine service facility.  They facilitate the maintenance of life boats used on sea-going tankers.  These little orange pods hold as many as 30 sailors – when the alternative is not desirable (see below).


On adjacent property, Pontchartrain Landing accommodates motor homes and a small village of water condo rentals.


Upon arrival, we packed up the gloves and sweatshirts and throws.  We dug out the shorts and switched from heaters to A/C – we finally had warm weather!  We made fast friends with Jane and Bryce (loopers) on board “Beauty”, a sailing vessel that had come down the length of the Mississippi River.

     Later at dinner, Karen and Jane turned Mike and Sue (motor-homers from San Diego, CA) into “hopefully” future loopers!

Tourist Trip to the French Quarters and Weather Delay (Nov 18-19)

First day started out a planning day for navigating to Texas.


We took our first ever Uber ride to the French Quarters for lunch at New Orleans Creole Cookery.



We stopped in several bars along Bourbon and Royal streets, purely for the reason for Ron to check the football scores.  Really?


           The artist and entertainers were busy as hundreds of people looked on.

We rode the marina bus back to the boat where Bryce, Jane and Henry (another sail-boater) joined us until the cold front hit and started rocking the boats.  The wind off of lake Pontchartrain was brutal – see the wind apps below.

          The wind persisted through out the next day.  We hunkered down, put out extra ropes and fenders and rode out the weather.

We also packed back up the shorts, switched the A/C’s back to Heat, and brought back out the gloves and sweatshirts!