Sunday, July 26, 2009

The Last Two Hundred Miles of the Tenn-Tom

After doing a final load of laundry, filling the water and fuel tanks ($2.43 gallon), pumping out the holding tanks, and cleaning up for our Friday night dates, Everett and I got underway about 11:00 a.m. On the way up the river, on a beautiful afternoon, Everett finished polishing the stainless steel…what a guy! It took us seven hours to reach Sumter Recreation Area, a cruise of 50 miles that included locking up through Heflin Lock & Dam.

Everett hard at work finishing up the stainless steel.

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The white cliffs of Epes, AL
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Everett finds his namesake on the river charts, Hayes Creek.

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On the way to Sumter we called the wives to check on their progress and they informed us that they would arrive at our anchorage around 7:00 that evening. We dropped the hook in Sumter at 6:00, lowered the dinghy, and decided we would take a cooler of beer to shore while we waited for the ladies. Within five minutes of landing on shore the ladies arrived and all was well with the world once again!

Together again! The ladies arrive at Sumter Recreation Area as the sun is setting on “Life’s2Short” and another beautiful day on the water.

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After loading and transferring people and supplies from the shore to L2S it was time to catch up on what had been going on in each others lives since we last were together. It was also time to enjoy wine, lots and lots of wine! On the way to meet us the ladies had stopped at a liquor store in Sherman, MS and Nila proceeded to stock up on some wonderful and tasty grape juice! After plenty of wine and laughs we all finally hit the hay around 11:00 p.m.

We all eased into Saturday morning, some of us feeling more foggy than others. The plan for the day was to enjoy the cool but sunny weather that had been in the area for the last few days. We started off by having some of the tasty pastries Nila had brought with her from Panera Bread. It was also decided that we needed Nila to experience what it is like to “lock-through.” Since Sumter is only three miles north of the Heflin Lock and Dam we radioed and asked if it would be okay if we brought L2S back to the lock to give our guest an “up & down” ride through the lock. Heflin informed us that there was no traffic in the area and to come on down.

Everett gives Nila last minute instructions on locking through. Actually we figured out that this was the first time that Everett had “locked-down”…does this mean that Everett should be in “lock-down”??
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Going down!”
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Almost to the bottom of the lock. It was also a great experience for the Captain and Admiral as we didn’t have to do anything but watch since our “crew” did all the work!!
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Saturday evening the Hayes’ treated the Lannings to filet mignon which Everett had picked up in Demopolis earlier in the week. We cooked the filets on the grill and complemented the steak with fresh salad and baked potatoes…YUMMY! After dinner we retired to the bow to, you guessed it, drink more grape juice and watch the stars come out. Rumor has it that there were even some satellites spotted, but by this time this writer had gone to bed because every time he looked up it appeared that all the stars looked like satellites! And with that, the Captain is turning the blog writing duties back over to the Admiral – for now anyway!

Star gazing at Sumter Landing.
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Nila & Everett took off Sunday morning, July 19th, just before 9:00 a.m. and we had a quiet few hours aboard “Life’s2Short” before Rick & Peggy arrived from Demopolis about 2:00 p.m. We dinghied over to the primitive camping area and spent a very pleasant three hours chatting and catching up. Thanks for making the trip to come spend the afternoon with us, guys, we really enjoyed it!

The Honeycutt’s come for a visit, thanks for bringing the bread and bacon!

Ain’t she a beaut!

After an extremely quiet weekend at Sumter Landing with almost no boat or barge traffic, we were joined in the anchorage Sunday evening by another trawler named “Just Rosie” from Spring, TX. We then saw three more trawlers go by Monday morning just before 9:00 a.m. Who opened the flood gates anyway?!!! At any rate, we decided to haul anchor and get in behind them to catch the next lock, about 37 miles north. “Just Rosie” had left an hour earlier and was planning to travel at around 10 knots so we knew we couldn’t match her pace!

We soon caught up with “Daphne,” “Moonstruck” and “ThatsMe” and learned they were from Gautier, MS, travelling north to do some fishing and sightseeing on the rivers. We all locked through the Tom Bevil lock together and then proceeded to make our way another twelve miles to an anchorage at the Harriston Bend Cut-off with “ThatsMe.” “Just Rosie” was already anchored there and the other two boats elected to anchor just past the Alabama 86 (Brooksville) bridge just a few miles north of the lock.

The Trawler-Train headed up the Tenn-Tom.

Tuesday morning the four of us fell in line again about 9:00 a.m. and made our way toward Stennis lock (28 miles). “Just Rosie” had once again left almost an hour prior and was travelling faster than the rest of us. The other three boats stopped to drop anchor just north of Columbus Marina, but we wanted to get through the lock at Aberdeen, another 23 miles, and spend a couple of days at Blue Bluff Landing so we kept going.

The Captain is pretty sure this was an undercover moonshine operation camouflaged as a barge!

Removing scrap metal from a barge and loading it onto trucks.


As we continued north, we learned that “Just Rosie” was still waiting to be locked through at Aberdeen. Apparently a tow was headed south and the lockmaster was holding “Just Rosie” until the tow arrived. We were probably close to two hours behind “Just Rosie” but they were still sitting below the lock waiting for a lift when we got there! The tow had finally arrived and was being locked down, but the lockmaster could easily have taken “Just Rosie” up (several times) by the time the tow arrived.

After we locked up, we made our way in to the public dock at Blue Bluff, tied up and then helped “Just Rosie” get tied up. Don & Rosie were originally planning to continue north another nine miles or so to another anchorage at the Canal Section Cut-off but decided to give Blue Bluff a try. Once we were settled we got out some chairs and spent the next few hours sitting on the dock chatting about boats and boating life, as boater’s often do!

Rain moved in overnight and even though it didn’t really storm, it definitely rained! By Wednesday morning the rain had pretty much moved out, but the Captain had several inches of water to bail out of his dinghy. About noon we took a ride over to Aberdeen Marina to get some dinghy fuel and then went to the small dock at the base of Blue Bluff (which isn’t blue, by the way) where we climbed the steps to the top even though a tree had fallen on the stairs about half way up!

Headed into Aberdeen Marina to get some dinghy fuel.

The view from the top of the Blue Bluff docks looking toward the Blue Bluff Recreation Area.

Looking south from the top of Blue Bluff, that’s the Aberdeen Lock and Dam in the background.

By late afternoon “Daphne,” “Moonstruck” and “ThatsMe” came in to anchor at Blue Bluff while the Captain was out fishing in his dinghy. Todd and John, the owner of “That'sMe,” had gone out fishing together at the Harriston Bend anchorage and decided to go out again early Thursday morning.

Relaxing with Don and Rosie off “Just Rosie” on the Blue Bluff dock.

Todd got up about 5:30 a.m. Thursday and was killing time on the dock waiting for John to pick him up when he saw the remains of a loaf of bread on the dock by our boat. He also noticed that the port screen in the galley had been knocked over on its side, from the outside, and was lying on top of our dinner dishes that had been washed and stacked to dry just below the window.

He then came back inside to check out the galley and, sure enough, some animal (we’re assuming it was a raccoon) snuck in through the port window sometime during the night and carried off our brand new loaf of bread that was sitting on the dinette table! And it ate all but about eight slices of it. That critter must have been hungry - and stealthy since we didn’t hear a thing! I still don’t know how a raccoon could have walked across the top of those dishes without knocking at least a few of them over but it apparently did.

When Todd got back from fishing with John about 8:00 a.m. he made a quick dinghy trip to Aberdeen Marina to get us another loaf of bread and then loaded the dingy, pulled away from the dock and headed north. We had three locks and about 33 miles to cover to reach our anchorage just above Fulton Lock. All five boats travelled together and all three locks were ready for us when we arrived, so we made reasonably good time and were anchored by 2:30 p.m., less than six hours later.

This looks more like a lock in October when all the “Loopers” are headed south.

“Just Rosie” dropped anchor near us and the other three boats anchored to our north, closer to Midway Marina, since they were planning to dinghy to the on-site restaurant for dinner that evening. Todd and I stayed on the boat and spent a quiet afternoon and evening just reading, napping and hanging out, enjoying the mild temperatures and low humidity we’ve been fortunate enough to have for the past week.

Sunset above Fulton Lock & Dam.

Friday morning we headed for our first lock about 9:15 a.m. “Just Rosie” had pulled anchor shortly before us and was going to Midway Marina to spend a couple of nights. “Daphne” also went to Midway Marina, and “ThatsMe” and “Moonstruck” left for Bay Springs Lake at first light. So we were travelling alone for the first time since we left Sumter Landing. However, Todd talked to “ThatsMe” earlier that morning as they were getting ready to enter their first lock and learned that all three of the boats that had anchored about a mile north of us had been inundated by an overnight Mayfly hatch and their boats were literally covered with Mayflies. Glad we didn’t anchor with them!

The first two locks were ready and waiting for us, but we were held up for about an hour waiting for a tow to be locked down at Whitten Lock, the last lock on the Tenn-Tom and, at 84 feet, “the ninth highest single lift lock in the Nation,” according to Fred Myers’ The Tenn-Tom Nitty-Gritty Cruise Guide. We entered Whitten Lock about 1:30 p.m. and were motoring into the nice clean water of Bay Springs Lake 20 minutes later.

Whitten Lock – looks like an 84-foot cement coffin!

We made our way to Five Fingers to meet up with Mo & Joe aboard “MOTU” and were anchored with our stern tied to a tree on shore before 2:30 p.m. We promptly took our chairs and settled on the sandy beach with a cold beverage while Mo’s dog, Honey, dug trenches in the sand around us! That evening Mo fixed a wonderful dinner of grilled chicken with potatoes and onions wrapped in foil and grilled. Everything was cooked perfectly – thanks for a great dinner, Mo!

Our beach on Bay Springs Lake.

Hanging with Joe & Mo.

The Captain went out fishing bright and early Saturday morning but didn’t come back with any fresh fish for dinner. He then spent some time replacing the zinc in the bow thruster, scraping the rudders, checking the bottom of the boat (which looks great!), doing a little dinghy maintenance and cleaning, etc.

The Captain slaving away on the dinghy.

About 2:00 p.m. Terri Pruitt, a good friend from Pickwick, came down in her Tahoe with her sister and brother-in-law, Marcia & Gerald, a yummy taco dip and homemade chocolate oatmeal cookies. We sat and visited on the beach for a while and then Gerald, Terri and Todd went skiing in the Tahoe. It has been several years since the Captain has been on a ski but according to Terri, he hasn’t lost his touch!

The Captain visiting with Terri, Marcia & Gerald.

The view of “MOTU” and “Life’s2Short” from Terri’s Tahoe.

Nice form, Terri!
View Terri Skiing
The old man still has it!


Back at the beach after skiing.

Shortly after Terri, Marcia & Gerald headed back to Pickwick, John (“ThatsMe”) came over and he and Todd went fishing for a few hours. They came back around 8:00 p.m. with a mess of fresh fish so the Captain kept and cleaned enough for a fried fish dinner Sunday evening with Joe & Mo.

Sunday morning was cloudy with a few sprinkles off and on but that didn’t keep Todd and John from going fishing again. They were at it bright and early, returning about 9:30 a.m., and have already made plans to go out again this evening. In the meantime we are enjoying a pleasantly cool morning on a beautiful lake.

We plan to leave Bay Springs early next week, probably on Tuesday, to cover the final 35 miles to Pickwick Lake where we will make a brief stop at Aqua Yacht Harbor to get a zipper replaced on a piece of flybridge canvas and then we will head to one of our favorite boating stops, Waterfall Cove!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Guys Trip - 2nd Leg

We got the blog posted Wednesday morning and headed out of Destin around 10:00 a.m. Destination today was Pensacola Beach or what the locals call Little Sabine Bay. Along the way to Little Sabine I wanted to check the shaft zincs so we pulled into Mary Esther, dropped the anchor, found that the zincs were still fine and we were on our way within a half-hour.

A slow moving trawler’s worst nightmare. A flotilla of angry jet skiers coming into the Destin channel.


The Captain takes a quick dive to check the zincs, props, and shafts.


We had a rain-free day but we did buck the tide and 20 mph head winds all the way through Santa Rosa Sound. We arrived in Little Sabine Bay about 4:30 and tried twice to get our anchor to set in the S.E. corner of the bay, however the mud was to soft so we moved around to the west end of the bay and found good holding there on the first try.

I had called a good friend of ours, Dave Henderson, a few days ago and asked if he would mind picking me up a case of engine oil. We actually met Dave in Demopolis, AL the first summer we lived on board and have stayed in contact ever since. At the time we met Dave he and some friends were moving a boat from MS to FL and happened to be in Demopolis the same time we were. Dave lives in Pensacola, FL and was more than happy to pick up the oil and deliver it to us over at our anchorage. Everett and I put down the dinghy after our arrival and met up with Dave and the three of us went to dinner. We dined at Flounder’s which was the same place Brenda and I had seen him a few years earlier when we came through the area during the winter of 2007. It was great catching up with Dave and we look forward to seeing him again this next December. Thanks again for the oil Dave, you are a gentlemen and a scholar!

Dave “Oil-Man” Henderson joins us for dinner at Flounder’s.


Unlike the previous night of oysters & sashimi we didn’t stay up late and were asleep by 9:00, it was a warm night so we ran the generator so we could have A.C…what a treat!

Thursday the 9th we headed out of Little Sabine about 9:15 a.m., destination Ingram Bayou, one of our favorite anchorages on the Florida Panhandle…actually it’s just inside the FL/AL border. We had smooth waters across Pensacola Bay and unlike a few years ago we missed seeing the Blue Angels practice in the skies overhead. It was going to be a short 4-hour day and our plan was to put down the dinghy after we arrived and do some exploring in Ingram Bayou.

The Coast Guard ship "Cypress" heads out Pensacola Pass.


The beautiful white sand beaches off Pensacola Pass.


After our time exploring and happy hour on the beach we grilled some of our Exumas Mahi-mahi, took swim deck showers and spent the rest of the evening reading and relaxing.

Our dinghy trip into the back of Ingram Bayou.





The Captain finds an abandoned beach chair to enjoy happy hour from.


We were back underway Friday the 10th of July (Happy 51st Birthday Todd!) about 8:45, headed through Mobile Bay and points north up the Mobile River. The morning started off with Everett presenting me with a birthday card from he and his bride, and a phone call from my Admiral wishing she was there to celebrate my b-day with us.

Friday morning rush hour along the Alabama Canal.


Lulu’s Bar & Grille, Lulu happens to be Jimmy Buffett’s sister.


Around noon it started to rain and the wind picked up, something that’s not wanted on such a big shallow body of water like Mobile Bay. Just about the time the rain started Everett looked up and noticed a large, uncharted (30”) protrusion sticking up out of the water about 6”. It was right in our path and had the tide not been low we would have struck it and done some serious damage to the boat!! After we passed the obstacle I turned L2S around so I could get the coordinates and call it into the Coast Guard so they could deal with whatever it was that was out in the open bay.

By 12:30 the south wind had picked up to around 15 knots in Mobile Bay and the swells were really starting to push the boat around from the rear. We finally made downtown Mobile about 1:30 and got out of those uncomfortable swells.

Your Columbian tax dollars at work??


Our plan was to anchor in Bayou Canot, which is 10 miles north of Mobile. We arrived there by 3:00 and anchored for the evening. Right after we arrived a big Hatteras called Reflections also joined us in the anchorage. After a dinner of chilled shrimp and cheese & crackers we once again retired to our bunks to read before turning in around 9:00…all in all a wonderful birthday on the water…the only thing missing was the Admiral. :-(

Now that we were back in fresh water and headed to Demopolis, AL we had decided that we would take 4 days to cruise the 200 miles to get there. Or that was what we thought on Friday evening before we experienced the July heat and lack of breeze on the Tombigbee River the next day.

Saturday morning dawned foggy and damp but we were back on the river by 7:45. Today we planned to cruise to 3-Rivers Lake which would have put us 50 miles further north on the river. Shortly after leaving Bayou Canot you encounter the 14-mile railroad bridge which happened to have just closed to allow a train to pass by. After waiting for 15 minutes, along comes one engine car pulling an old diesel yard-engine, just the two railroad cars were what we had to wait for? Here we were expecting a train and all we got was a laugh out of it!

A nice fixer-upper along the Mobile River, any takers?


As we continued to head further north we saw more and more bass boats on the water, we finally realized that there was a tournament going on and all the Bubbas were out burning up the water. We also spent the morning dodging numerous snags and stick-ups that were in the river, that’s the last thing a boater wants to do is hit one of them and ruin a prop.

The “Dolly Parton” bridge at mile 21, wonder why the locals call it that?


A new steel mill is being built at mile 48. We counted 16 cranes working the site.


By noon the weather had really started heating up and it felt like it was going to be another night of running the generator so we could have A.C. We also realized that we would arrive at our anchorage, 3-Rivers Lake, by 3:00 and the last thing we wanted to do was anchor and sit in the hot, muggy, still air. Even a jump in the river wouldn’t do us any good as the water temps this time of year are 90+ degrees! We both agreed that at least while we were underway we had a breeze so the decision was made to head north another few hours and anchor at Sunflower Bend Cutoff. The river traffic, other than the Bubbas, had been very quite as we only passed one tow & barge and saw only one other cruiser headed downstream.

We got anchored by 5:00, had a few adult libations, and then grilled some hotdogs on the Bar-B. Because the temps had not cooled off we turned on the A.C. and ended up running it until 3:00 a.m. the next morning. That evening before dark we had a tow & barge anchor just downriver from us and also experienced a few other tows & barges heading up the river after dark, a job I certainly would not want.

Sunday morning we were up early and out of the anchorage by 6:45. Since we only had 130 miles to go to Demopolis and the daytime temps were not supposed to be any cooler, we decided to go ahead and do two more long days and get into Demopolis a day earlier than planned. Today we didn’t have the Bubbas but we did have our share of commercial river traffic. We passed one tow & barge and met three others headed downstream.

Goats in the morning mist as we pull out of Sunflower Cutoff.


The riverbanks here are about twelve feet tall. Imagine the amount of river flooding that had to run through here to put that 200 pound channel marker that far up on the bank!


Today was also going to be the first lock & dam L2S had been through in over 19 months, hard to believe we’ve been away from this area that long. So the Captain spent some time Sunday morning getting out his big white balls, pumping them up and getting them hung overboard, and then rigging the marriage-saver to the starboard side of the boat. Sounds kind of kinky if you ask me! ;-) We arrived at the lock & dam around noon and they had the chamber all ready for us to drive right in, tie off, and lift us the thirty-five feet to Coffeeville Lake.

Everett was very excited to be headed into the Coffeeville Lock once again!


About 2:30 the skies got black, the lightning & thunder started, and we were treated to some much appreciated cooler air. The temps on the flybridge dropped from 96 to 82 and all we had was just a few sprinkles of rain. The cooler temps stayed with us throughout the rest of the afternoon and evening, what a nice feeling!

Thanks again for the misters, Cathy, they have been wonderful during this hot weather!


We arrived at Bashi Creek around 4:00 and anchored across the river from the launch ramp at a beautiful little sandbar. After anchoring the Captain swam a stern line to shore to help keep the boat in position so it wouldn’t swing out into the river or onto the bank. After getting situated Everett & I put a cooler of beer and snacks together and swam our happy hour to the beach. We wished we had someone to take a photo of us from the boat because we must have looked like a couple of scruffy bums sitting on the riverbank enjoying the afternoon……..wait I guess we were those bums!

The Captain ties off the stern to the riverbank trees.


Watching the tows & barges cruise by our anchorage at Bashi Creek.


After happy hour Everett fixed the Captain a light dinner of soup & salad and he fixed himself his favorite dish, peanut butter & bread. We hung out on the bow until dark chatting about this & that and enjoying the cool evening air. After we had both turned in a tow and its barges came around the corner so we both got back up and watched as its spotlight lit up the night while the tow Captain motored slowly past us, quite an amazing sight after dark!

Not a great photo of a tow & barge at night, but man do they look close when they go by!


Monday morning, July 13th, sounds like a great day to arrive in Demopolis! The Captain got up early and took a morning shower & shave on the swim deck, he was headed back into civilization and he wanted to look not quite so scruffy. After untying from shore and lifting the anchor we were headed north by 7:00. With any luck we would cruise the 71 miles in 9 hours if all went well at the Demopolis Lock & Dam. It was another cool & cloudy morning, perfect for cruising the Tombigbee.

Ezell’s Fish Camp along the bank of the river. We drove down here a few years ago with some of the gang from the Demopolis Yacht Basin and had a wonderful meal!


Our river navigation consists of paper charts and local guide books. As you can tell from the chart this river can be quite crooked, in this case you have to go three miles just to get within 100o feet of where you first started the curve.


About noon Rick called from Demopolis to let us know that it was raining there and that it was headed our way. We did experience some sprinkles about noon, just enough to keep the temps down. We only saw one tow & barge today and he was headed downstream to Mobile to deliver his load of coal. We arrived at the lock about 3:15, once again they had the doors open and awaiting our arrival. After locking through we cruised the last 3 miles and arrived at the Yacht Basin at 4:00 sharp.

The view looking upstream of the Demopolis Lock & Dam.


Dale (of the Dale & Joy fame) off “Putz” met us at our slip and helped us tie up, it was great to be “home” again after traveling over 600 miles in the last 13 days. Speaking of the last 13 days, I can’t thank my boat-mate Everett enough for taking the time to join me on this leg of the journey. Not only is he is a great friend he’s a hell of a boat Captain!

After getting the boat secured & plugged in we quickly turned on the A.C. and enjoyed a cool cerveza on the sundeck. After chilling out on the sundeck Everett went up to the showers, cleaned up, and then we headed to the New Orleans Bar & Grill for dinner. It was great seeing some of the old gang at the bar, and the diner was wonderful a usual. Since Tuesday was going to be “Clean Up The Boat Day” we called it an early evening back on L2S.

Both Tuesday and Wednesday were spent hard at work cleaning up L2S, we were wanting her pretty for the ladies visit on Friday. Our main jobs were to clean the entire flybridge & sundeck and then work to remove all the rust spots on the exterior stainless steel. The Captain also spent a few hours in the engine room changing the oil and working on a couple of fuel leaks. Tuesday was VERY hot so we worked until the noon hour and then called it a day. Tuesday afternoon was spent in the A.C. reading and napping. That evening we cooked a couple of small frozen pizzas and after dinner we crashed after our hard day of scrubbing.

Wednesday, in addition to more cleaning projects, we did 3 loads of laundry and painted new distance markers on the anchor chain. Wednesday evening our good friends Rick & Peggy invited Everett & I over to their beautiful new home for dinner. When we arrived Rick had the Corona chilled and Peggy was hard at work frying mushrooms, green tomatoes, and crab cakes…and that was just the appetizers!

Peggy getting ready to dazzle us with her Crisco cuisine!

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Everett and Rick waiting on Peggy’s “Crisco Magic”! What a great view of the Black Warrior out their windows!

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For dinner Rick grilled some monster T-bones to go with our salad & baked potatoes, needless to say we were beyond stuffed. After dinner Rick and the Captain decided to meet at 5:15 a.m. on Thursday morning to do a little bass fishing on Rick's boat. Thanks again for a wonderful and relaxing evening Rick & Peggy, your new home on the Black Warrior River is awesome!

Catching up and getting ready to grill.

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The view from the Black Warrior River.

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Piglet, this is NOT the Mediterranean so you don’t need a chandelier in your closet. Have you forgot you live in rural Alabama? Maybe you can take the country out of the girl??

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Now this is more like it, an Alabama hot tub! You pee in it to warm it up and fart to make bubbles!

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Thursday morning dawned early for the Captain. It’s important to note here that Todd and Rick have had an ongoing fishing competition for the last three years and the last time they met Rick put the hurt on Todd. Rick was once again confident that he would kick the Captain's butt since Todd had not fished in fresh water for quite a while. Let’s just say that Rick got spanked and the “Master” was back!!!!

Rick and Todd head out to slay the bass…or at least one of us!

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Another view of Casa Honeycutt from the Black Warrior River.

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Now who’s the Master? Maybe next time…NOT!

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After the fishing clinic that Todd put on for Rick he borrowed Rick’s truck so he and Everett could go shopping at Wally-World. Todd also took a side trip to Linden, AL to try and get a new driver's license at the courthouse. However he didn’t have all the proper identification to get the license, guess he will try to get this done when he’s back in MO in September. On our way back from Linden we stopped by the Hansard household and relieved their garden of some tomatoes and cukes, thanks Fred & Kim!

Thursday afternoon Todd had a good friend and previous manager who worked with him in MO stop by the Yacht Basin for a visit. Munawar and Todd worked together at Missouri State in Springfield for a number of years and it was great to catch up with Munawar who now works for Sodexho just outside of Birmingham.

Munawar and the Captain catching up on a rainy and cool afternoon. Thanks for taking the time to come see us Munawar, let’s not wait so long to do it again!

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It is now Thursday evening and Everett and Todd are making final preparations to depart Demopolis Friday morning. Our plans are to catch up with the wives, who will be driving in from MO, at Sumter Landing which is another 50 miles further north on the river. We hope to be reunited with our ladies by late tomorrow afternoon. We are both tired of looking at each other and are excited to have some “pretty people” on board! :-)