|Civil War monument in Columbus
Columbus Marina provided us with a nice place to rest and relax a bit before our final stretch of the Tenn-Tom. We took advantage of the courtesy vehicles a few times to re-supply, and to go get jerry cans of gas for the boat at the nearest gas station. The marina was having technical issues and none of their fuel pumps were operational. I'm glad we only needed nine "five gallons" to top up our fuel.
We had held back our departure by two days due to really bad weather being forecasted. We are glad we did! We had tornado warnings early morning on the day we left, it would have been extremely stressful to be at anchor during the heavy rains and winds. By the time we left, the sky was still grey and the winds were light, but it was still a good day to travel.
A couple who were at the marina at the same time as us where told not to go to close to shore with their paddle boards - there are (apparently) alligators there! We did not see any, much to Papi's disappointment, because they hibernate when the water turns cold. (...in the mud, along the shore!). One of the dock hands was telling us that "the second biggest alligator in the state, was caught near there two years ago". Yikes!
We stopped at the Tom Bevill Lock and Dam visitor center located just before the entrance to the lock. We were lucky that we were able to tie up and stay overnight. The lockmaster gave us permission, probably because we were not in the high tourist season. We were very happy to visit the site which had an Mansion replica and a 1929 "snag boat".
We were planning on stopping above the Howell Heflin Lock and Dam the next day, however, none of us (three boats were traveling together that day) thought it was "that great", so the Lockmaster was contacted to see if they thought the anchorage just below the lock would be acceptable (they control the water flow thru that area). That was a great call by our fellow loopers! We descended the lock and anchored in a really nice and quiet area. Our last night anchored out for 2018 was a cold and chilly one, but so nice and quiet (except for the noise of our generator - to keep warm).
Our last travel day to Demopolis was awesome. It started off foggy because of the cold, but once the sun came out and warmed the boat, we were very comfortable. We were on the lookout for alligators, but alas... we didn't see any.
|Typical bollard we tie up to in the inland rivers
|You only secure mid-ship - unlike the Park Canada locks, which we secure front and back of the boat.
We are now at our last port of call for 2018. We will be leaving the boat here while we travel back home for some family time and the holidays. We don't have our flights yet, we need to wait till tomorrow to talk with the service department. Once we know what the plan for the boat is, we will finalize ours.
I still find it hard to believe we have made it this far. We have learned so much along the way, seen so many interesting places and met so many great people. We're kinda sad to "pause" our trip, but at the same time we are really looking forward to going home.
Tina & Papi