Chris and Bud's Excellent Adventure

Vessel Name: sidebandit
Vessel Make/Model: OP 75
Hailing Port: Rochester, NY
Crew: Bud, Chris, Bob, and Mike, and JC
About: Two Sailors, an Uncle, and a Pilot, and a guy from th U.
Extra: Somewhere near Peoria we pick up JC. He's a licensed captian from Miami (who went to Miami University, the U).
24 October 2011 | Ft Lauderdale
23 October 2011 | Marco Island
22 October 2011 | Clearwater
21 October 2011 | The Gulf of Mexico
20 October 2011 | Pensacola
19 October 2011 | Blanton, MS
18 October 2011 | Columbus, MS
17 October 2011 | Grand Harbor Tennessee
16 October 2011 | Green Turtel Bay
15 October 2011 | Hobbie's Marina
14 October 2011 | Grafton
14 October 2011 | Peroria, IL
12 October 2011 | Seneca, IL
12 October 2011 | Hammond, IN
10 October 2011
10 October 2011 | Chicago
08 October 2011 | Betsie Bay, Frankfort, MI
07 October 2011 | Mackinaw City
Recent Blog Posts
24 October 2011 | Ft Lauderdale

Day Twenty (d)one

Day 21 Monday October, 24 We push away from the dock on what is supposed to be our last day of the trip at 9:00. It has rained overnight, but appears it will be yet another delightful day for us. (I'm not really fan of the word delightful, but I've grown tired of writing beautiful and perfect and [...]

23 October 2011 | Marco Island

Day 20 Final Stop

Day 20 Sunday October 23 Up early, because it's what we do now, but instead of leaving in the dark, we have a delicious and relaxing breakfast aboard the boat while we await the tide. After cleaning up, we're underway at 9:45.

22 October 2011 | Clearwater

Day 18 Part Two

Day 18 (continued) Saturday, October 22 .....Only serves to make us stronger. The second sunrise of our Day 18 looks a lot like the sunset did. As the sun is rising we get word from the Coast Guard that Tow Boat US has dispatched two boats and that they should get to us around 8:00. At 8:30 they arrive. After [...]

21 October 2011 | The Gulf of Mexico

Crossing the Gulf?

Day 18 Friday, October 21 We're up before the sun again and we follow a barge out the channel to the Gulf. By the time we actually enter the Gulf, the sun is rising. We get to the open water and pick up the pace.

20 October 2011 | Pensacola

Day 17 Leaving the River System

Day 17 Thursday October 20 We're up and ready to leave by 5:00, but again commercial traffic at our first lock keeps us at the dock. It's cold, 36 degrees, and foggy. So foggy you can't see the opposite shore. You can barely see the bow from the stern. But if you look up, there are stars everywhere. [...]

19 October 2011 | Blanton, MS

Bobby's Fish Camp

Day 16 Wednesday, October 19 Up at 5:00 and talking with the Lockmaster at Columbus Lock. He's got an upbound tug in the lock, so our 5:30 gets pushed out a little. After a relaxing cup of coffee we push away from the dock at 5:45 and head for our first dark lock in.

Tenn-Tombigbee Waterway

18 October 2011 | Columbus, MS
Chris/ Cloudy, Windy, Rainy
Day 14 Tuesday October 18 Looking at a potentially long day again, we're up and on the trail by 6:45. The day is off to another fabulous start, with a colorful pre-sunrise sky that reflects on the glassy water of the bay we're in. Looks like another perfect day ahead of us.

We leave the beauty of the Tennessee River (also know at this point as Pickwick Lake) and start on the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway. It starts out looking much like the Tennessee with the addition of a lot of islands. Quickly though it becomes a narrow channel with nothing but trees lining the shoreline. For those familiar, it looks like a slightly wider Murray Canal. That does not last long either though, as things start winding around like a snake covering a hundred miles.

After a few more miles the fun starts. The first of seven locks we have to go through before getting to the next spot that we can get into. We have to wait a little while, but not too long. The bad news is that we go in with a trawler. That means off course, that we exit with him. With six more locks and ninety miles to go, you understand why the day has potential to be a long one. We may be doing it at trawler pace if each lockmaster makes us wait for him.

Ahead is another possible slow down, a barge going in our direction. And a couple more coming at us. These could really make locking up tough.

But it's our day, and after the second lock we get word from the trawler that they will be going into a marina before the third lock and we won't have to wait for them any more. Not long after that, we manage to get around the first tug in tow going in our direction without having had to wait at a lock for him. It's a lot tighter in here than anywhere else we've been to date, and the pass is close. You get a good look at barges and tugs when you go by them in the Tenn-Tom.

We make good time through all the locks, with no real waits. There is not much other traffic in the waterway and we keep good pace all day. We get to Columbus, Mississippi around 4:30. We tie up for the night at the fuel dock and fuel up. We take 386 gallons today.

It has not been as long a day as we anticipated, it just seemed it. Somewhere along the line the sky clouded up and we did not have any fly bridge time today. It rained a couple times through the day. But as luck (or whatever) would have it, it was never raining while we had to be on deck for lock ins. After all the locks we've been through I feel a little like Monty Hall, "Lets see what's behind door number one, where Carol Merrill is standing. Oh, you've won a trip for five to the next lock."

Not to go all Forrest Gump, but I've learned something over the last few days. Locks are like snowflakes, no two are exactly alike. And while they're not bad, when too many of them accumulate, they can be really annoying.

Tomorrow that annoyance starts at 5:45 am. We have an appointment to go through the next lock at that time. The good news, we've had an early night tonight, having had dinner on the boat; and the lock is only about 1000 yards downstream.

One last note, today I got my first floating ballard pin ride. It's not Space Mountain, but it was kind of cool.



Comments
sidebandit's Photos - Main
Ft Lauderdale and the River Boat Show
53 Photos
Created 26 October 2011
Marco to Lauderdale
22 Photos
Created 26 October 2011
Clearwater, Anna Maria Island, and Marco Island
47 Photos
Created 24 October 2011
Day 18 and 19 going to Clearwater.
62 Photos
Created 23 October 2011
The Bay, the Gulf, and Florida
38 Photos
Created 23 October 2011
The riverfront of Mobile, AL
88 Photos
Created 23 October 2011
Clear sailing, so to speak, to Mobile
33 Photos
Created 23 October 2011
Leaving Bobbie's Fish Camp and Heading For Mobile.
23 Photos
Created 23 October 2011
From Demopolis to Bobbie's
34 Photos
Created 23 October 2011
Lunch and a tug tour
19 Photos
Created 20 October 2011
The early part of a day that started slowly.
73 Photos
Created 20 October 2011
A day that could have been much longer.
117 Photos
Created 18 October 2011
The Tennessee River is in lake mode again.
41 Photos
Created 18 October 2011
The Tennessee becomes a lake again.
32 Photos
Created 18 October 2011
Now it's a River.
53 Photos
Created 18 October 2011
The first half is lake like.
29 Photos
Created 18 October 2011
Off the Ohio and into the Tennessee
20 Photos
Created 18 October 2011
78 Photos
Created 18 October 2011
Leaving Hobbies Early And Heading For The Ohio
18 Photos
Created 17 October 2011
Beyond St. Louis to Hobbie's
16 Photos
Created 17 October 2011
40 Photos
Created 17 October 2011
75 Photos
Created 17 October 2011
73 Photos
Created 17 October 2011
Our one cloudy day so far.
87 Photos
Created 17 October 2011
The second part of the day, after leaving the Calumet
85 Photos
Created 17 October 2011
Our first day off the Great Lakes
54 Photos
Created 16 October 2011
Leaving Chitown and heading for the Calumet
28 Photos
Created 12 October 2011
Leaving Frankfort, Arriving Chicago, Burnham Marina, and Chicago
115 Photos
Created 9 October 2011
Leaving Mackinaw City to Frankfort
102 Photos
Created 9 October 2011
22 Photos
Created 9 October 2011
69 Photos
Created 9 October 2011
Mid River and Detroit
20 Photos
Created 9 October 2011
20 Photos
Created 9 October 2011
23 Photos
Created 9 October 2011
Pictures of The Wellend,
53 Photos
Created 9 October 2011

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