Winds picked up overnight at our Sumpter rec area anchorage as predicted and by 4:45am we were awake and noticed Claude checking lines and his anchor using a flashlight. He expressed concern about his anchor dragging and it was holding all 3 boats. Greg thought his chain just straightened out a bit with the wind and we weren’t really dragging at all. By 6:05am we had pulled anchor with enough light to see and took the lead leaving the anchorage. At first we thought the tug wasn’t joining us and then they came into sight as we were getting secured in the Heflin lock. The lockmaster of course waited for him and all 5 of us locked thru and were heading to Kingfisher Bay marina. The river was very swollen now that we were below the Heflin lock and the amount of debris, big stuff, was significant but for the most part could be avoided. We hit a few things we couldn’t see to avoid, but with no apparent impact (no vibrations).
We arrived at Demopolis just before noon after traveling 53 miles and 1 lock. We decided to pay for a full week to give plenty of time for the water levels to return to normal and for the mass numbers of boats to leave here and get thru the debris and anchorages and leave room for us. We signed up for the 5pm shuttle to town for dinner and Walmart grocery shopping. Jacklyn and her kids came to visit shortly before we had to leave to catch the shuttle. We got word that Wendy, Bob and their 4 kids were about to enter the marina (they topped off with fuel before coming into the marina)…but we had to catch the shuttle so didn’t get to welcome them. We joined several others on the shuttle and had dinner together with 7 of them at the Red Barn restaurant before getting groceries. We got back to the boat with a load of groceries and checked FB to discover Lauren and Jim from Oar Knot (a 34 Mainship) and Al and JoAnn Barr were here in the Demopolis marina too. We met Lauren and Jim on the C&D Canal, then they followed us to Cape May NJ, and we met once again at the Trent Port Marina in Ontario Canada. We met Al and JoAnn in January and February 2010 thru Jim and Cyndi McKay at the Orange Beach Marina when were were in the process of buying our 39 Mainship!
Day 21 – November 14th, 2018: Remained at Demopolis AL Kingfisher Bay Marina
Slept in and then made a huge pot of chili. Jim McKay called us to advise his son-in-law Joel Jenkins was asked to dispatch a Tow BoatUS to assist a stranded trawler above the Heflin lock and wondered if we happened to know them or see them when we were in route. We assumed it was the Skolmate and gave name and contact info to Jim to pass on. Jim called back to us know it was a different boat named Meridian Star. We hadn’t seen it. We let the Chili simmer and went to visit Lauren and Jim after leaving a voice message and boat card for Al & JoAnn. Lauren and Jim have already been here a full week and were going to wait a while before leaving. They thought the same way we did about the large numbers of boats trying to get into the same small anchorages or pile up at Bobby’s fish camp dock. Neither of us wanted anything to do with that shit show.
We got a text/email from the Nimble Nomad, Sutters Ann, stating they arrived safely at Bobby’s fish camp (we joined them for dinner at the Red Barn restaurant last night).
We were invited aboard Compass Rose around 4 and told them we would be there but couldn’t stay long because we were meeting Al and JoAnn at 5 on their boat on C dock. Margaret and Claude Fuller were leaving early in the morning so we enjoyed seeing their Mainship and chatted over a beer in their boat. We then visited with Al and JoAnn Barr on their 44 DeFever for a couple hours and said we would see them again before we leave.
Day 22 – November 15th, 2018: Wilsons texted to say they were among 4 boats that left early this morning and they would arrive at Bobby’s Fish camp by 2pm. Debris was visible but not terrible. Fullers texted to say they were doing 10.5 mph and then texted later to say they were anchored in Okatuppa and there was no where near as much debris as the day we left Sumter in route to Demopolis.
We left the transient dock and out of the bay around the corner to the fuel dock and topped off with 110 gallons of diesel fuel. Greg had coordinated with Anna Marie and she told us we could relocate into Slip B16, so we were able to pump out right at the dock (no pump out available on the transient face dock across from the huge docks with slips ranging from 40 to 70′. We are backed in to a 50′ slip (they only charge by the size of the boat, not the size of the slip).
Laundry day – got it all caught up while Greg took the golf cart over to the boat works side of the marina complex. He checked on Phil and how his boat repairs were coming (Fire Spray II) and asked if there were any plow style anchors and chain available for sale…nope.
We were invited by Al and JoAnn to join them on Friday night for dinner at the Red Barn…looking forward to it.
Day 23 – November 16th, 2018: We took the marina courtesy car to Walmart once again for a few more items before we depart tomorrow. Anna Marie processed our refund for 3 nights since we previously paid for a full week. Phil got his boat launched and are just a few slips away from us now.