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Day 25

Location: Midway Marina, Fulton, Mississippi, Mile 394 of the Tenn-Tom

Distance Travelled Today: 49 Nautical Miles

Total Trip Distance: 1,024 Nautical Miles

So, it is Wednesday night and I just managed to get last night’s update posted through the marina’s wireless service which works quite well about 1/2 mile from the boat. We have given up on Verizon until perhaps Columbus, Mississippi, Demopolis or Mobile. We are truly in the middle of nowhere. I’ll try to get this one posted tonight or tomorrow before we leave.

Hardheaded George has completed his duties and heads home tomorrow. It is a good thing. He bumped his head hard again today on his cabin door and I’m afraid he’s doomed to repeating this daily until we get him off the boat. After he went to bed tonight, I lined the top of his doorway with blue tape and hung little streamers down to remind him to duck. But he is hardheaded.

Today, we left Aqua Harbor and cruised over to Spry Marine nearby where they had promised to help us raise our mast. It would have been easy with their boat lift but it still had a boat in it so they just got four guys to come and help us lift it up by brute force. They charged me $20 for the effort and now we have radar, better GPS, better VHF radio, etc. We went through all the jokes about how I haven’t been able to get my mast up for four weeks, etc. but anyway, it’s done.

The lovely Laura Lee and the charming Gail are driving over tomorrow morning from Birmingham and bringing the inimitable Uncle Randy to replace Hardheaded George as my first mate. They promise to bring homemade meatloaf, two good steaks, a baguette from Continental Bakary, and maybe a vacuum cleaner. I’ll be off buying groceries early tomorrow while Hardheaded George does some laundry. I had planned on relaxing tomorrow and leaving here Friday but now the effort to reach Coffeeville Lock, 277 miles away, before it closes on Tuesday, requires us to depart around noon tomorrow as soon as the inimitable Uncle Randy is on board. We are on a mission.

I have been complaining about the weather but today we finally got the perfect day. It was clear and sunny and the temperature rose to close to 70 this afternoon. We also seem to have finally caught up with the brightest fall colors and we saw spectacular red yellows and oranges all day long.

We traversed three locks, all in pretty good time, and reached our target at Midway Marina just at sunset. When you’re heading down the Tenn-Tom with a group of pleasure boats, the lockmasters all talk to each other and pass you through as a group. Thus, no matter how fast you get to the next lock, no one passes through until the slowest boat arrives. While I’m normally the slowest boat cruising at the high speed of over eight miles per hour, today we had to wait at each lock for a sailboat in our group who cruised at about five miles oer hour. I felt like sabotaging his boat tonight so he would not be with us but he is leaving early tomorrow while I leave at noon, so perhaps we will not have to deal with him any more.

I’ll post this when I have some kind of service. And we’ll keep you posted as the inimitable Uncle Randy and I race against the lock closing schedule.


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