This week was a week of accomplishments. We finished the Inland Rivers, and are sitting in Mobile, Alabama. We finished our last lock in the US. That means we have travelled through 117 locks. Note the smile on MB’s face for the last one. We have seen birds, turtles, fish, river otter, ducks, deer, some unidentified animals, we anchored at a place called Rattlesnake bend, and at mile 24.5 on the Mobile River, and we saw a ten foot long alligator sunning himself. When we turned to get a close up picture he slowly slid into the water. We did get a picture of his back and tail before he went under. Swimming will be nonexistent here for sure.
We have not seen a marina since Demopolis, although we did stop at Bobby’s Fish Camp for a bag of ice. Actually, we just wanted to stop and see it, as the guide books call it a “Must Stop”. It was just a couple of docks on the river, would be an uncomfortable stop at night with the wakes from all the tows, but they have hydro for all those big boats with air conditioners that need to plug in, and they have fuel. Really nice folks there, the restaurant was closed, so we didn’t get to test the local eatery.
At one anchorage, the entrance was small enough that to stay out of the way of other boats, instead of dropping two anchors, we tied to a tree (of course, I did not tell MB that snakes in Alabama climb trees until after we left).
The old bridge in the picture is a picture of the old Rooster Bridge. In 1979, the tugboat Cahaba was pulled under the bridge and turned on her side and went under. She went under the bridge and came back out, righted herself, and continued on her way. The boat is still in service to this day. Pictures are available on the internet, Google “Cahaba, Tombigbee, Rooster”.
We arrived in Mobile on Wednesday, have to pick up some supplies, do a couple repairs on the boat, put up our mast (yahoo, we’ll be a sailboat again), and we have rented a car, and booked a room in the French Quarter, New Orleans for the weekend.
In Demopolis, we toured an antebellum house, what the Smithsonian Guide to Historic America calls, “One of the three or four most interesting houses in America”. This home (one of the few Plantation homes in the Deep South left) was designed and built by Nathan Bryan Whitfield over a period of 18 years, was absolutely fascinating. Here’s a question for you, in a home where hot water had to be carried up a back winding staircase, and everyone shared bathwater once a week, who bathed first?
The property is called Gaineswood, if interested, do a Google search, there is way too much info to speak of here, but this home will be one of the highlights of our trip that we will not forget.
The air smells right (salt in the air again, it has been a long time), the boat sits a little higher, and we are finally in the Gulf of Mexico. Not sure I believe it yet, but it’s true!
We have rented a car, booked a slip at the marina for a week, and we will be off to New Orleans on Friday for the weekend. Jazz music, nightlife, and a big bed! What more could we ask for. We’ve booked a B & B in the French Quarter, so it should be a lot of fun.
Oh yea, I forgot our 33rd anniversary this week, so the few days in the French Quarter is my belated gift.
Love to everyone,
Joe & Mary Beth Amelia
S/V “Pot ‘O’ Gold”