Thursday, July 17, 2014

Cruising at a Snail's Pace

Captain's Log: 17 July, 2014; Hour: 0545

Did I tell you I was over this locking through business? Oh, yeah, it was real interesting the first couple of times and even tolerable when we were going through Florida because we were able to enter the lock immediately and lock through in about 10 minutes. Not so on the Tenn-Tom. We've been waiting a minimum of an hour to lock through. One was two hours the other day. That's because barges get preferential treatment. We had to wait for two of them to lock through even though we were there first.

We stayed in Columbus, MS last night, fueled up yesterday morning, then headed out around 0800. Twelve hours later and we had only made it to Fulton, MS. Heck, we could've walked it faster.

My brother-in-law, Art, and his son, Drew, met us in Columbus and took us to eat and to the grocery store. My son, Carr, also boarded for the remainder of the trip. Captain Bob and First Mate Alex will dispense their wisdom to him.

Midway Marina in Fulton, MS at dawn

Had dinner with my brother-in-law, Jim, last night in Fulton, and his son, Jimmy, met us later. They toured the boat then said their goodbyes and we turned in relatively early. We hope to get an early start this morning and make it to Pickwick.

We have the video done for days four through seven. We're just having trouble posting it. Since our Internet connection is patchy it's hard to tell when that will be up. We'll have it up as soon as we can.


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Uh I thought this blog was about Phil's trip. Go figure.

  3. Uncle Phil, you must write and complain to your Congressman about such offensive treatment at the hands of that grievous and callous lockmaster! Surely, he didn't know who you were... or It must be the big money towboat and barge industry lobby at work there... however, I'm glad to see you and your good boat and crew are making locks on the Tenn-Tom Waterway. How about posting some pics of your stopover in Columbus?

    1. That's exactly what it is. It's Big Tow!

    2. Uncle Phil, many moons ago I worked on the river waterways and intracoastal canal as a deckhand and oiler on a towboat. It was something that many young men were tempted to do where I grew up; on the banks of the Mississippi River.

      My memory might be foggy on this, but I seem to recall many pleasure craft and vessels often locking thru ahead of our tow and boat. We usually had to break our tow apart when "making" locks... and on occasion, the tow required two lockings and sometimes a third locking for the boat.

      The Tenn-Tom Waterway wasn't finished then, but I've seen the beautiful Tennessee River and the Ohio River... along with the Illinois (and the Chicago S&S Canal). Of course, the Lower Mississippi River too... add in the Intracoastal from Baton Rouge (Port Allen) and New Orleans all the way to Houston.

      Oilfield work in the Gulf of Mexico took me away from the slow paced life of working on the river and its towboats... but anytime I cross the wide Mississippi... or the Tenn-Tom Waterway... I'm looking over the siderails of the bridge hoping to see a boat.

  4. Add this, Uncle Phil...

    "Big Tow" = "American Waterways Operators".

    But you probably already knew that!