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Wednesday, May 23, 2018

May 23 2018–better late than never

Last night I posted that we would only have a short ride to Columbus Marina today. That was my thought when we took our time this morning and didn’t pull anchor until 9:30. When we got to the lock, I realized that I had looked at my charts wrong. We were at the Tom Beville lock, and the Columbus (Stennis) lock was another 30 miles away! 

At the Beville Lock, we arrived as the "Vincent W. Sapp" was entering the chamber to lock up. As soon as he was through and the chamber was emptied, the motor vessel "Let It Ride" and our Genesis locked through.

After some quick caculations, it appeared that we could still make it to Columbus before dark, IF we didn’t get delayed at the Stennis lock. The wild card was the tows and barges. We had been just behind the tow “Vincent W. Sapp” all morning, and had to wait about an hour at the Beville lock for him to be locked upstream ahead of us. We needed to up our speed and get far enough ahead of him, that the Stennis lockmaster would take us up ahead of him. I set the throttle at 2,000 rpm, which yielded about 7.5 mph. The Vincent W. Sapp was doing just over 5 mph, and we passed him when he stopped to let another tow get by in a tight bend in the river. 

When we were about 2 miles from Stennis, I called them by radio and requested a lock upstream. The  lockmaster said he had a northbound tow in the chamber, and would get us as soon as that one exited and he could empty the chamber. 

As we rounded the bend and the lock gates were in sight, I saw two familiar boats - the motor vessel “Let It Ride” that we locked through at Beville with, and the sailboat “Tessera” that left Demopolis just behind us Tuesday morning. Tessera had passed us this morning while we were still anchored. Both other boats had been waiting awhile at the lock, but after a few minutes the lower gates opened and we were given the OK to enter the chamber at about 5:40. As we were entering we heard the Vincent W. Sapp telling the lockmaster that he was approaching the lock. Whew! If they had taked him first, we would have been waiting another hour or more!

Genesis, Let It Ride, and Tessera were all planning to dock overnight at Columbus Marina. They normally close at 6:00 pm, but the manager said he would stay to guide us in and help us tie up. The channel leading to the marina is narrow and twisted, so he talked us through our arrival by radio. He did a good job at guiding us, and two of the three boat captains did a good job of following directions. The other captain (yes, me) missed a critical marker and grounded his boat. 

After about 20 minutes of futile attempts to unstick Genesis from her greasy mud bed, the marina manager went to get another boat to try and pull me out. As he left, I decided to give it one more try. SLOWLY I felt Genesis move a couple of inches. Little by little she slid backward through the mud to deeper water. I manouvered to the correct side of the marker I had missed earlier, and made it to the dock - minus a ton of pride, but otherwise unharmed.

Out of the mud and safely docked at Columbus.

He was just soooo cute!!

Glenda says:
I woke early this morning and made some instant coffee.  I will not fall for that “ convienience “ trap again.  That stuff is awful!  Tom slept in.  I did my quiet time up top and watched the fish jump.  I was hoping to see my groundhog friend again but he didn’t pop up.  We did not get out on the river till about 9:30.  There were more tows about today and that slowed us down a bit.  It was a nice day on the water.  I saw several does grazing on the bank and there were lots of fishermen and pontoons.  We arrived late at the marina and Daisy and I both were ready to get off the boat and walk a little.

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