I managed to connect to a weak Wi-Fi signal at the marina and hope to be able to use it to post this to our blog site. If you’re reading this, it must have worked! We have now been in Demopolis twelve days and are waiting for our replacement transmission to arrive from New York. We are hoping it will be here by mid-week and installed by next weekend, but that remains to be seen.
Todd has been fishing some each morning in the dinghy, doing all kinds of Mr. Fix-It projects around the boat and reading to pass the time. I have been doing some cooking and reading and helping out with boat projects on occasion. However, the record-breaking heat we have experienced since we got here keeps us inside much of the time.
We have borrowed the courtesy car several times to make trips to Wal-Mart, run errands and go by the library to check out and return movies for our nightly entertainment. The selection is limited, but the only television channel available in Demopolis without cable is Alabama Public Television and I just can’t handle that! In fact, about every other day we go over to the marina restaurant at 5:00 p.m. to watch "Who Wants to be a Millionaire" with some of the locals. It’s one of the most entertaining things we’ve found to do here!
Fred, the manager of the Demopolis Yacht Basin, encouraged us to get off the boat and go use the swimming pool at his house, so we took him up on the offer last Tuesday and enjoyed a few hours poolside. He even let us take his truck since the courtesy car has a two-hour limit. Fred has a nice home a few miles out of town with a really neat Japanese garden in his backyard complete with a bamboo forest, huge boulders and lots of other flowers and greenery that he has obviously invested a lot of time and money into. It was nice to get away, and the water in the pool felt great in the heat of the day.
The people who work at the marina and restaurant have all been really great. We have also met some nice people at the dock. Some are just passing through and some are staying here for a while. A few days ago, a 34-foot Chris Craft pulled in next to us with four men on it. One of the men (Ray) had just bought the boat in Columbus, MS (about 100 miles north of Demopolis) and they were taking the boat back home to Gulfport, MS (about 250 miles south of Demopolis).
Ray was accompanied by his brother-in-law, Dave, Captain John who was captaining the boat for Ray, and another gentlemen, Jack, who was just along for the ride. We started chatting with Ray and Dave Friday afternoon (John and Jack were otherwise occupied), and Ray very generously treated us to dinner that evening at the marina’s restaurant. We stayed there until they closed - Todd even vacuumed the floors! - and then one of the waitresses at the restaurant (Amanda) was kind enough to give us a ride to a local establishment where Amanda, Ray, Dave and Todd played pool and I entertained myself with a trivia video game.
They ran us out at closing time (around 2:15 a.m.), so we came back to the boat to get some sleep. Unfortunately, Ray and Dave were scheduled to leave with John and Jack at 4:00 a.m., so I doubt they got much sleep at all. We tried to call Ray yesterday to see how he survived what must have been the longest day of his life, but the call went to voice mail and we haven’t heard back from him yet. They were planning to make the entire 250-mile trip to Gulfport in one day, which is quite an undertaking - especially under the circumstances!
There were storms in the vicinity Friday evening that finally cooled things down a bit, and then it stormed here early yesterday afternoon. We got a decent amount of rain and lots of wind, and I was glad we were safely tied up in a slip. It would not have been fun being out on the water during the storm, but they desperately need the rain and we welcomed some relief from the 100-degree heat.
It is warming up again today, but it’s not as hot as it has been. Buddy has had his ups and downs over the past few weeks, but he seems to be doing okay at the moment. He still won’t hardly touch his food but we’re afraid to feed him anything else after the diarrhea episode, so we have been forcing softened pieces of it down his throat to keep his energy up and keep him from starving. Occasionally he will eat a few pieces on his own, but that is the exception rather than the rule. It will be hard when we lose him, but I’m afraid his time is limited.
We met Chuck Bigelow, the owner of the Columbus, MS marina, earlier this week as he was passing through Demopolis on a boat headed to Columbus. He told us they have a great 4th of July fireworks show at his marina, so we hope to make it there by then. Our original plan was to be at Grand Harbor on Pickwick Lake for the 4th of July, but now that is not going to be possible. We’ve heard good things about the Columbus marina, though, and are looking forward to visiting it. Of course, at this point we’re just looking forward to leaving Demopolis (no offense to the great people we’ve met here)!