Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Tensaw River Inlet – LAST anchor day on the Inland Rivers!!

Day 194 … Tues, Oct 31, 2017 … 40.71 miles; 4:30 hours

Sunflower to Tensaw (aka Tensas) River Inlet, Alabama

Tensas Oct31 (9)Tensas Oct31 (11)The last day traveling only in the inland rivers; before we can go, the fog needs to clear enough to see. At least taking the dog to shore is easy. A second boat came in to anchor by us late yesterday. They too have a dog (actually 2 dogs) to take to shore.Tensas Oct31 (15)

We headed off after shore dooty, right behind the other boat … which quickly left us as they sped on down the river.

Some of the last scenes from the inland rivers …


Surprised at all the tows we passed; 5 in all today. None as large as on the larger rivers, but still something to work around.

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We passed a boat ramp and potential landing spot for Cally. We hope to get her to shore, but reports of the river banks here from fellow Loopers say it is quite muddy.

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AND … the banks are too muddy; deep, sink to your calves and lose your shoes muddy! We tried once, but Cally sank in 6+” of mud when she jumped out of the dinghy. Another couple feet in and it was hard and dry. SO?? Off to the boat ramp, 1.6+ miles upriver from the boat and on the opposite shore we will go. Actually, all went well at the boat ramp. lots of grass area to walk Cally, no mud and only 15 mins round trip (not counting shore time) in the dinghy. Well worth the time to get here & not deal with all the mud; which takes more than 15 mins to clean up.

One trip we met 2 guys putting their boat in the water. It was 5:30pm and seemingly late to go fishing. Rip noticed a bucket of fish carcasses in the boat and asked what they were fishing for … they were going hunting! For feral hogs and coons. Hmm, glad we didn’t go to shore where ever they there going hunting.

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Anchored in the Tensaw River Inlet; out of the path of moving tows!!

Quiet spot at first …

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Then, 5 additional Loopers came in and anchored behind us. 1 took dogs to shore; all were quiet & left before us the next morning.

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Nice couple out fishing stopped by the boat to chat. They had been down to their hunting lodge and cooked dinner out over the firepit. We were invited to use their land to take Cally to run and play, but it still involved a muddy river bank to cross. We thanked them, but returned to the boat ramp for Cally.

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Nice evening and beautiful sunset tonight.

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Tomorrow the last of the rivers and back into salt water!!

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Monday, October 30, 2017

Our LAST Lock … until next year

Day 193 … Mon, Oct 30, 2017 … 41 miles, 5 hours, 1 Lock

Bobby’s Fish Camp to Sunflower East Anchorage

DCIM\100GOPRO\GOPR1940.JPGLeft the dock with 4 sailboats in a rush. The fog lifted earlier than thought and the lock we needed to transit was open on our side. It was either GO or wait for an hour or two for tows coming north to lock in front of us.

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Two birds in the pic below would pick up fish to eat as the water lowered and left them on the horizontal beams. When they ate all those, they jumped to the next uncovered beam to munch again.

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Off we went; all boats secured to the pins quickly. And, down we went; our last lock until we cross Florida, sometime early next year. As locking goes the 12 on the TennTom and Mobile River have been consistently arranged (making things easier to anticipate & plan for) with pleasant lock staff. With our planned anchorages located right by the lock, timing has not been bad either … no awful waiting around for hours on end. Waiting at anchor is much easier than floating out by the lock & dams.

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We were the fast boat in this group … heading off to Sunflower Anchorage East.


Passed several tows and a working dredge. Otherwise the scenery was quite like the last few days.


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Some of the tugs are smaller; their Pilot House raises and lowers to adjust to the height needed to see over their barges.


We are right on the river again, but off to the side in a notch out of the way of the tows (or, so we hope).

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One passing tow confirmed we were out of the way and good here.

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Cally doesn’t have the biggest beach to go potty … but, enough to do business. She’ll have firm grass ground, again, in two days (assuming all goes as planned).  One down (south) bound tow, just after dark, slammed the green can (buoy) across the river from us.  We heard it hit and then drag under the barge until it popped out (and banged again).  The buoy was still there the next morning.

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Sunday, October 29, 2017

Bobby’s Fish Camp!!

Day 192 … Sun, Oct 29, 2017 … 48.9 miles; 5:15 hours, 0 Locks

Old Lock 2 Anchorage to Bobby’s Fish Camp

DCIM\100GOPRO\GOPR1932.JPGWe were off early with 3 sailboats leaving around us. With no locks today, it is easy to wait and have breakfast after we start moving; making for a earlier departure.


Not the straightest river section … lots of miles for not going far south today …

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Cally doesn’t care; she knows how to cruise in style …

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Busy day on the Tombigbee … we passed 5 tows today.

DCIM\100GOPRO\GOPR1937.JPGBobbysFishCamp Oct29 (11)We had been looking forward to Bobby’s Fish Camp … and it didn’t disappoint. Rustic, iconic, “one-of-a-kind” best describe the food and location, they are the reason to stop at Bobby’s. BobbysFishCamp2 Oct29 (6)The fried catfish is legendary at the restaurant; the location is the only marina in a 200 mile stretch of river. Many need this stop for fuel, we do not. We want it for shore dooty and FRIED CATFISH!!


Bobby’s was started in 1956 and is a spot on the river with boat ramp, restaurant plus RV pads and “cabins” to rent.BobbysFishCamp2 Oct29 (5)

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The dock only holds 3 Looper size boats. When more arrive they raft off the first row. We only had 5 boats and none rafted to us. Last night there were 9 boats; 3 boats docked and 2 rafted other boats. BobbysFishCamp2 Oct29 (10)Clearly we lucked out, though we offered twice for one of the sailboats to raft to us. Guess they prefer not rafting to a “motorboat”. Actually all 4 sailboats there with us were already knew each other.

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Looking back from the restaurant to Lab Parnters at the dock.

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Not fancy, but the food was very good!

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Oh, and Pecan Pie (me) and Lemon Meringue Pie (Rip) for dessert, too!!

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Anchored right on the River Tonight; Old Lock #2

Day 191 … Sat, Oct 28, 2017 … 45 miles; 5 hours & 1 Lock

Foscue Creek, Demopolis, AL to Old Lock #2, Black Warrior River, AL

The rain didn’t let up until close to 8:30 am to take Cally to shore. By then we knew, from fellow Loopers, 6 boats locked thru around 7:30-8:00 am. That meant 6 boats ahead of us for the slim pickins’ of places to anchor.

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A call to the lock master at 9; we were told it would be at least an hour wait. By 10am, he gave us the green light to come on over. We locked alone. We pulled up the anchor and moved over to the lock (just outside the creek we were on last night); we had the gates open and the green light to enter!!

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Not sure when the other 4 boats we know were moving in our direction are going thru.

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This part of the river isn’t exciting, it pretty much looks the same around every bend. We passed 3 tows today; 1 coming towards us and 2 going in our direction that we overtook.

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As we rounded the bend to the spot Rip picked for the night … we see 2 sailboats rafted together. There was still room for us!! A third sailboat joined the other 2 for the night.

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The anchorage is right on the river, but out of the way of river traffic and right across the river from a boat ramp and park for taking Cally to shore.

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The park is large with lots of nice green grass for Cally to run. And, a trash can for me!OldLock2 Anch Oct28 (22)

There isn’t anything exciting about this spot … it’s just a place to stop for the night. This stretch from Demopolis (last night; Fri) until Mobile Bay (probably Wed night) only has one “marina”, Bobby’s Fish Camp. And the word marina is a stretch. Well, that is where hope to be tomorrow night. We shall see. It isn’t a big place, holding 4-6 boats unless you raft off more); we may have to anchor out anyway, if it is full.  But, we;d like to try the Catfish!

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Good night from the Black Warrior Tombigbee River.