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.

Bobby's Fish Camp

19 October 2011 | Blanton, MS
Chris/ Clear and Cool
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.

It's a little chilly this morning, probably 45 or so and windy. Jackets and gloves are in order. By the time we exit the lock, the sky is getting light and the stars are fading. The key there is stars. It has cleared up overnight and it looks like yet another sunny day. Anybody that's praying that we get nice weather, please keep up the good work.

We've left Tennissippi, and the Tenn-Tom has very little scenery at this point. Daylight reveals very little. We pass a couple tugs in tow that we've passed before, as they run all night. The quarters are a little tighter this time around though. And again today it seems luck will be with us as we don't wait long at the next lock.

The first of the interesting things that we see is a floating, mobile, boat-up bait and tackle shop (sorry about the photo, tough to get the camera still at 33 knots). Not long after that we see a still on the bank, not very well hidden from the authorities. You have to love the south. (Sorry no pictures, the guys on board were afraid Bubba would shot at us if we took pictures).

At our second or third lock of the day, there is a huge paddle wheel boat in a swimming pool. As I have said, no two locks are exactly alike, but this one takes the prize for most unique.

A couple more tug passes and locks, and we get to the white cliffs of Alabama. They are really spectacular to see. The further along we go the whiter they become and cooler the formations become. They're really big and pictures don't quite do them justice. But they are beautiful.

At 1345 (1:45 in the afternoon for those who don't do military time) we pull into Demopolis to fuel up. They have a relatively nice restaurant (relative to where we'll be at dinner time) so we grab take out meals. We radio the next lock to see if we can get in, as it's just a mile away, and a tug we passed earlier went by while we were refueling. The lockmaster tells us it will be forty five minutes. Not too bad, so we eat our lunches in relaxed fashion.

The wait seemed unfortunate at first, but then luck (or whatever) steps in again. Mike and I take the opportunity go to Temple. I'm sure my father-in-law and my uncle would both approve of this. Temple in this case is the Temple Huckabee, a tug that is on the other side of the fuel dock, also refueling. We get a tour of the tug. It is way cool.

The galley is enormous with two huge restaurant sized side by side refrigerators and a couple freezers. We get a look at the crew quarters, which are reasonably nice, and big enough for a Lazyboy recliner. But the engine room is the coolest. The deck hand tells us the engines came off a train, and by the size of them, he may be telling us the truth. The tool room and mechanic's shop are sweet as well. What a great bonus to our day.

The tour ends just as the lockmaster radios that we can come ahead, and we're on our way again. We get through the lock and the waterway becomes even more winding. All in all we cover about 220 miles over the bottom to get about 112 as the crow flies. Apparently the crow has more important things to do than the river. Doing over 30 knots while weaving our way through Mississippi is really, really something. We'd love to see what the boat looks like from the shoreline make those turns in such a narrow body of water. We really have to stay alert for what's ahead of us at every turn.

Somewhere along the line we see our first wild hogs on the shore. The hunters in the crowd wish they had rifles with them. A little later we see a bald eagle leave the river with a fish in his talons. He flies right over us, what an awesome bird.

We arrive at 'Bobby's Fish Camp' at about 1730 and tie up for the night. Bobby (actually his daughter, Lora Jane now) has a little fishing camp with a floating dock in the river. Apparently there are often evenings when delivery crews and 'loopers' have boats rafted several deep off the dock, sticking well out into the river. But tonight it is only us. Once again, luck steps up.

It is suggested that we stay on board the boat after dark as there are lots of snakes and gators around. That's just fine with us. Tomorrow we have another 12-14 hour day as we need to get to Pensacola. We're pushing away at 0500. Soon enough we'll be off the river system.
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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