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Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway (aka:Tenn-Tom)

Lock along the Ten-Tom Waterway

We have finally arrived at the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway, also known as the Tenn-Tom. We are now going to be going with the current, so our fuel burn rate is going to improve! The Tenn-Tom is 450 miles and 12 locks and dams away from Mobile, Alabama where we will come out to the Golf of Mexico.

We have been spending more nights in marinas than we were initially going to, because there are many places that there was just no safe place to anchor. The inland rivers and waterways see a lot of commercial traffic with barges and tows, even though the Tennessee and now the Ten-Tom have a lot more pleasure crafts (personal boats) we still have to be weary of them. A second advantage of staying in marinas (other than safety from the barges and current) is that most local points of interest are easily accessible by walking, biking or courtesy car. It would have been a shame to miss some of the places we've seen (places we had no idea existed) because we skipped by a highly recommended marina.

Goat Island, our first anchorage on the Ten-Tom was recommended by a fellow boater. So glad we listened to the recommendation. We were really surprised to see that there really where goats on the island, three of them. We had fun dinghying close to shore to take pictures of them.

Our next stop was Bay Springs Marina, where we got a slip for two days. Laundry, resupply and playing tourist in Tupelo, MS. On our way to town, we stoped at the Natchez Trace Parkway Welcome centre. We just added a new bucket list item on our ever growing list. We will be coming back to drive this route someday. The Tupelo Automobile Museum is also a must see! There is a separate post just for that place! And apparently, you cannot go to Tupelo and not go to Elvis Presley's birth home, or in our case just a quick drive by to take a picture.

On our way to Smithville Marina, we had to go down four locks, and I have to say, this was probably on the smoothest series of locks we have done to date (since we left the Parks Canada Historic Canals). The doors were open when we arrived at each lock and the lock masters where very nice and courteous. If it wasn't for the cold and rain, it would have been an ideal day!

Rain jacket, rain pants, gloves and hat - it was cold and rainy!

But when you have cookies waiting - it's all good 😃
A good picture of our boat, and the water was still going down.

We had another smooth day to get to Columbus, Mississippi. We'll be staying here for a couple of days because we need to start planning for our return home to Canada. We'll be finalizing the details for the flights and boat storage (which we hope we can do in Demopolis, Alabama.)

Hard to believe that once we leave here, we'll be doing the last stretch of the Ten-Tom. We're going to have to anchor out two or three nights, and we'll have another three locks to go through, but once in Demopolis, we're done with boating for 2018. We'll still have lots to do preparing the boat for haul out and for our absence once we are there. So I'll still have lots to share with you before we catch our flights home.
It's almost time to go home - I need a haircut!! 😉

Tina & Papi

"In life, it's not where you go, it's who you travel with" 

– Charles Schultz


  1. You should have no problem having the boat pulled and stored at Kingfisher in Demopolis. That is where my wife and I made it down to earlier this Summer and where are boat is currently stored. Nice folks there and plenty of room for storage on the hard.
    When will you return to the boat for another leg of your trip? We will be back to our boat late May next Spring and plan to make it down to South Fla by late June/early July.

    1. We will be back in mid-January 2019 to resume our Loop. That way, we have until mid-June to to explore and get back to Canada by boat. Thank you for the info reference Kingfisher - we've heard good things about them.


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