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Sunday, June 14, 2015

Day 17 Bringing Dusty Weather home June 13

We woke this morning and got the news that our beautiful new grand-daughter had made her appearance while we slept. When she grows up, I'll make up a wild tale about how her grandma and I were "out to sea" when she was born, and had to sail through the eye of a hurricane to get back to see her.

We had planned for a relatively short day, knowing that a stop for lunch and having to go through a lock were both potential delay points. We arrived at the Coffeeville lock just after a Southbound tow and 8 barges had left, and the lock tender had started filling the chamber for a second Southbound tow, which was waiting on the upper lake. So we hung around, watching the local fishermen, until our turn. This was the first lock of this type that we'd been in with Dusty Weather, although we've done about 30 similar lock-throughs in KnotSoFast. On the Okeechobee Waterway, the locks had ropes hanging down every 10 feet or so, and you looped one around a cleat on your boat, bow and stern, taking up or letting out rope as you went up or down. The locks on the Tenn-Tom have bollards built into the wall that rise and fall with the water. With anything shorter than a barge and tow, you can only reach one bollard, so you loop a line around it and secure it to a center cleat on your boat. You have to be ready to adjust the line instantly as the bollards can sometimes stick in their slots in the wall. 

Glenda was a little nervous, but the lock through went off like clockwork. Well, like a very slow clock. I've learned it's easier to maneuver the boat if you stop it and then start again, rather than just slowing down and trying to make it go where you want it. It's always moving faster that you think, and it takes longer to stop it than you think. Anyway, we nuzzled up to the wall and stopped, I stepped out the pilothouse door and looped the rope over the bollard. Piece of cake. Then we just held in place while we rose 28', then idled out onto Coffeeville Pool.

We haven't seen many eagles on this trip, but the swallow-tailed kites have made up for it. 

For about 25 minutes this afternoon the rain came down so hard that visibility was cut to a hundred yards or so. The danger is that you could meet a tow pushing a hundred yards of barges coming around the next curve. So I slowed to just fast enough to maintain steerage, and stayed to the inside bank until the rained eased up.

We anchored about 5:45 tonight along the river again, in a wide, straight section outside the navigation channel, at river mile 147. So far, we've travelled 975 miles, and we have just 69 more to go!

We have no internet service as I write this, so we'll probably be gone before its posted but our coordinates are: N 31 58.744   W 088 04.349

Glenda says:
Well we had our 10th grandchild last night. 

 I'm really proud of all my children.  They have helped each other out a lot while we have been gone.  Not to mention all the things they have done for us so we could do this with fewer worries.  God has truly blessed us!  We left our anchorage around 7:30 today.  We had a nice quiet morning.  I sat out on deck ( trying to get Daisy to pee) and watched the antics of some small swallow type birds as they dived toward the boat and then veered off.  I couldn't tell if they were messing with me or just doing what they do they do naturally.  The scenery changed from sandy beaches to rising bluffs on and off today.  

I saw this beautiful wild magnolia growing up on one of the bluffs.
We watched more swallow tail kites as they sailed through the sky looking for lunch. 
The Coffeeville lock was our next event.  We had to wait about 45 minutes as the lock master locked down a tow before we could enter.  Not long after we successfully went through the lock we caught sight of another relatively large alligator.  You have to understand any alligator that is not fenced in is big to me.

We made a stop a the famous Bobby's Fish Camp.  It was great to get off the boat ( though Daisy had already used the galley floor again).  We were the first at the restuarant which does not seem to have regular hours but the lady behind the counter said that even though she was not the cook she would heat up the oil and start of some catfish.  She said with a smile " I'm not the cook but I know how to cook."  Another couple came on behind us and we enjoyed boat conversation with them.  They were from the Jackson area.  

Within 30 minutes of leaving Bobby's the sun disappeared and the afternoon storms rolled in.
Once again it cooled the air.  It rained hard enough that we had to slow down.  We are anchored in a very rural area right on the river and have no internet service, so this will be late getting posted.  

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