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Monday, November 14, 2016

Friday, November 11, 2016

Sorry for the delay in posting this update.
We left the marina in Demopolis along with 5 other boats about 6:00am. By 6:30 we were in the lock, and after being joined by one more boat, the gates were closed and we decended down to Coffeeville Lake and headed South.

Genesis was the slowest boat in the pack, but we never got too far behind the other trawlers and the catamaran that we'd locked through with.

About an hour south of the dam, we spotted our first bald eagle, as he circled over the river ahead of us. After a couple of loops he landed in a tree on our port (left) side, and promply turned his back toward us! Just as the boat passed him he turned around and posed for a good picture.

Shortly after that, we noticed the steering didn't feel right, and discovered a leak in the rudder steering actuator. Not good. We added fluid, but a couple of hours later we had to face the fact that we might have to return to Demopolis and call the trip off short.



We continued on to mile 146, the sight of Pickens Landing, an anchorage where two other boats in our group were already anchored. As we approached we were called on the radio by the Captain of "Lifes Tra-Vails", who invited us to raft up alongside the other boats for the night. Both the other boats were crewed by couples who were doing the "Great Loop".

The rest of the evening was bitter-sweet, as we got to visit with 4 other boaters who started out as strangers and ended the night as friends. The bitter part was the decision that in the morning, we would head back to Demopolis while the other two boats would continue south.

On Friday morning we untied from our new friend's boats and headed north after waiting an hour or so for a thick fog to lift. I had pulled the dinghy up close to the boat and tied her off, and as soon as we started moving, it flipped and filled with water. Not good again. 15 minutes of bailing with a 5 gallon bucket got us moving again.

On the way back to Demopolis, the weather was great as we saw another eagle, several groups of wild hogs, deer, and osprey.





We arrived at the Demopolis lock just before dark, and had to wait for a northbound towboat to lock up and exit the lock. The lockmaster then emptied the chamber and we entered the lower lates for our ride up. It was dark-thirty when we left the lock and the 30 minute ride to the marina was not fun in the dark. We did make safely back into our slip though.

After making some repairs, we hope to set out again for Gulf Shores - maybe in a couple of weeks.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016


This morning my brother Joe drove us to Demopolis and after a Walmart run we started the final prep to get the boat ready leave tomorrow.

We filled the water tanks, got ice, tied the dinghy to the back of the boat and did some temporary wiring of a new radio that has a built-in AIS reciever.

The dinghy is an 11' "Spinthrift" model rowboat thay I bought from a man in Georgia. It's a little big to store on deck, so we will pull it behind Genesis. I had good intentions of repainting it and renaming it Exodus (it comes right after Genesis), but that's another project that will have to wait.

The AIS reciever on the new radio is a neat safety feature. All the big commercial boats and many cruising boats have AIS transmitters, which send digital data messages several times a minute. The data typically includes the vessel's name, direction, speed, etc, and can be revieved from several miles away. So instead of meeting a huge towboat pushing barges in the middle of a bend with no warning, my AIS receiver will alert me to his position, speed and direction  while he is still miles away.

I still didn't get the new radio wired correctly to communicate with my chartplotter, but that can wait for another day.

We met this afternoonwith several other boaters who are heading south in the morning. There should be 5 or 6 of us, and we'll all go through the Demopolis lock together, hopefully around 6:00 am. It was really great to get to meet the other boaters and get to know them. Everybody has a story, and it's amazing how frequently God blesses us by letting us cross paths with people who stregthen our faith.

We will try to post at the end of the day tomorrow - if we can get internet sevice.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

November 8, 2016

At last, Glenda and I are about to leave on another boat trip!

Since we brought Genesis (she was Dusty Weather then) up from Ft. Pierce, FL in June of last year, we have been working on several projects such as hull repair (blisters), bottom paint, new propeller shaft and bearing, new through-hull fittings, air conditioning, converting lights to LEDs, re-flooring the cockpit, replacing the forward hatch, repairing rot, painting, wiring new fans, lights, etc.

During this work we sandwiched in several day trips with the kids, grandkids, and occasionally with friends or other family members. The day trips were fun, but there is something special about untying and going on a trip that is measured in days instead of hours. We have missed the "adventure" of river travel at 7 mph.

So........ on Thursday we will untie from slip B-6 at Kingfisher Bay Marina and head South - destination Orange Beach, AL.

I'll try to post to updates here every night that we have an internet connection.

Genesis spent last Fall and Winter "on the hard". She was not happy, but her bottom looked much better after some repair and fresh paint!

Genesis, on a day trip this Summer.