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Monday, November 11, 2013

November 11, 2013

A special thanks to all our Veterans!

Glenda always complains that I take the pictures but I'm never in any, so here is one of me.

Glenda Says:
We had another pleasant night at Kingfisher Marina.  It was a little chilly but not uncomfortable.  I took Daisy for a quick walk this morning and had coffee while Tom showered. It was nice to exchange "good mornings" with other early risers before we got on the water.  We were fortunate and did not have to wait very long before we were able to lock down.  The sun warmed the day up nicely.  The bluffs of this part of the river are remarkable.  I am amazed at God's glory in his creation.  Streaks of red iron ore can be seen in the white bluffs.  Streams of water pour out of the rocks.  We saw a young eagle trying to make lunch of a turtle but we disturbed him and his lunch swam away.  While we were looking for the best place to go fossil hunting we caught sight of an almost red coyote just making himself to home on the shore.  I must admit it made me a little nervous about getting out of the boat there and I didn't let Daisy get out.  Tom found a place where he could just pull up to an outcropping of rock and let me step off.  It did cross my mind that he might just putter off and leave me there with the coyote.  But I guess he still wants my company, he stayed nearby and picked me up.   I found multiple fossilized sea shells.  We headed back up the river and ate ham sandwiches.  The bad news is I had been munching on snacks all morning.  With the arctic front coming in Tuesday morning we decided not to stay another night.  So I guess our last tug boat trip of 2013 is done.  Let me hear from you if you enjoy "going with us" on the trips.

From Tom:

About 9:15 this morning we were given the green light to enter Demopolis Lock, along with "Dream Catcher", a catamaran power boat, for the 40' drop. Glenda wanted to visit Moscow Landing again to search for fossils. Moscow landing is about 14 miles downstream from the Marina, so it makes a good day trip.

On the way down, I noticed a large bird in the water about 10 feet from shore. He appeared to be struggling as he flapped his wings wildly trying to get to shore. Once out of the water, I recognized the bird was a juvenile bald eagle, not old enough to have grown the distinctive white head and tail, and black body feathers. After a few minutes at the edge of the water, he flew off upriver. That's when we noticed the small turtle that he left at the waters edge. The turtle scurried back to the relative safety of the water. I'm sure the eagle could have carried off the little guy, but he probably was frightened by us and decided to leave without his catch.

Our next wildlife sighting was the coyote. He was walking along the bank, very near where a Blue Heron was wading. I don't know if the heron was on his menu or not, but when he turned and saw us, his attention turned to our boat. He walked slowly, keeping an eye on us the whole time. We were really surprised when he decided to lay down on a rock ledge for minute, still watching us closely. After several minutes, he got up and casually walked up the bank to the treeline, where he stopped, turned to look at us again, took a step or two and stopped again to look at us! He finally ducked out of sight.

The coyote didn't seem to be afraid of us at all. He did watch us closely though, turning to look several times as he leisurely walked into the treeline.

Just after leaving Moscow Landing, Glenda spotted a very large "leatherback snapping turtle" sunning himself on the rocks.

On the way back upstream we spotted 2 adult bald eagles, and one more juvenile! We got a picture of the juvenile, but the adults didn't stick around long enough for us to get a shot.

As we passed Hall Creek, which is 3 miles from the Demopolis Lock, I radioed the Lock to request lockage upstream. The lock tender said he'd have the gates open and waiting for me. You never know what kind of delays you might encounter at a lock, and this was as good as it gets! As we approached the lock 30 minutes later, the lock tender told us to proceed into the lock and tie up. We did, and about 30 minutes later we were 40' higher and exiting onto Lake Demopolis again!

We checked out of the marina, hooked up the trailer and pulled the boat out at the city boat ramp, ending our trip. The highlight of this trip, aside from the scenery and wildlife, was the opportunity to talk with the full-time residents at the marina. They were so friendly, and had such interesting boats and life experience stories to share. Glenda and I found this both entertaining and educational as we entertain the thought of spending more time (full-time?) on the boat.

All in all, it was a another great trip. God has blessed us in more ways than we can count!

Glenda was able to get off the boat at Moscow Landing, where she found lots of fossils.

We called these "Leatherback Snapping" turtles when I was a kid, but I don't know if that's their official name. This one looks like he may have lost part of his front leg (?)

The white bluffs were stained red in places, I assume from iron ore deposits.

We passed LOTS of towboats with barges during our trip. The Captains are always very cautious,  courteous, and friendly.

Sometimes I think all I need is little shack on the river, but this one would get small very quick if you had company.

This was the 2nd juvenile eagle we saw today.

These fishermen give some perspective to the 40' drop at the Demopolis Dam. The Lock is just to the right, out of the picture.

The scenery was "post card" perfect!

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