Friday October 17th, 2014
Today marks our two month anniversary on this river trek to the heat. The time has flown by. Other than I miss my dog and my kids.
Tonight the coolest thing, a boat with Dad and two let’s call them daughters are circling Kelly’s Island bow hunting fish. They have bright head lamps on (cool on its own) remember our recent discussion about John Cusack and Sixteen candles… They are on their second circuit of the island and so far they have bagged three fish. I can only assume and hope that Robin Hood and his ‘daughters’ are bow fishing for Asian Carp…
As mentioned we are behind this 200 foot long 50 foot wide island anchored in 23 feet of water. The current continues to hold us straight. The island gives us protection from the channel and any tows that might come by during the night. On the subject of tows, we had a session with a few today. I tried to wait and let the Jill Harvey pass us by. She was doing 7 kts and we could only do 5 in the river current. Even I could do the guzzintas and knew the pass was inevitable and I would much rather be the author rather than the spectator. The captain however said ‘Y’all just get along it will be a while before I catch you and we’ll come up with something when we get there’. Ok?
Further, the captain said a down bound tow was just up ahead and I would have to deal with him to. JEEZUZ no pressure here. We are in a narrow twisty part of the Tennessee… They were plotting to make FRACAS the meat in their Tow sandwich. On top of that, he called his brother tow and mentioned that there was a ‘little FRACAS fellow ya know ahead of us there’
At this point I should point out what Mary Lynn read in one of the cruising guides. A description of what the typical tow boat captain thinks about pleasure craft and particularly sailboats;
One Captain on the Lower Tombigbee River confided to us that he always feels nervous whenever he sees any pleasure boat approaching. More often than not, he told us, it behaves like a scared chicken; he never knows which way it will bolt, and he is always afraid it might be across his bow. As for sailboats, “Waaal neow, them little fellers sceer the life right autta me the way they flits back ‘n forth flappin’ ‘n flutterin’ like shot birds.”
Excerpt from Tennessee River, Tenn Tom Waterway and the Lower Tombigbee Rivers.
Sister Mary Francis, that Captain should try to drive one of these flappin’ and flutterin’ boats in river current while being chased by 6 or 8 hundred feet of Tow and another one coming the other way. Both tows likely carrying benzene or pledge for that matter.
Notwithstanding the terror that tows create, we have to deal with “see ya on the one” or “catch ya on my two”…I’m just trying to keep from seeing the number 2 in my drawers… And then, the rivers guides speak about marinas or anchorages on the RDB or right descending bank. OK, the river flows from A to B. The right descending bank is the right side of the river if you are traveling with the water. But, it is also the RDB if you are going up the river? There is no RAB or right ascending bank… My goal is to just stay out of their way. Sometimes you can try too hard and trying to make it easier makes it worse. Once the down bound tow had passed the Harvey said how about you stay over there on the bank, and I’ll pass you on your port. Git er done…
Today we did 60 miles and tomorrow we will almost make it to the Pickwick lock. Hopefully we will be left with only a short jaunt on Sunday to clear the lock and get to the Grand Harbor marina and meet Pete and Judy.