3-15-2014: Anchored out in the beautiful, clear blue water by Manjack Cay, Abaco, Bahamas

Saturday, October 20, 2012

October 20, 2012, Columbus Marina, MS

10-18-2012 Friday:  We got an early start again; 07:00. It was cool, about 60 degrees, and hazy but it turned into a beautiful, sunny day with the high in the 80's. We only had 3 miles to go for our first lock; Fulton Lock, we went down 30'. Shortly after the lock we had an engine alarm go off and the volt meter on the starboard side went down to zero so I drove and Keith went down to check things out in the engine department. Every thing looked OK, he wiggled a few wires, and came back to the bridge. By then, the RPM’s on the starboard side also registered zero. We called a few people to see if it was OK to keep going and it was decided we would go to Columbus and have it checked. Terry, our mechanic, thinks it is a loose ground wire and he will check it out tomorrow, Saturday.

When meeting our 2nd tow of the day at Mile 382.0, we saw a deer swimming across the waterway right in front of us, got a picture. We locked through Wilkins and Amory Locks, our 2nd and 3rd locks of the day, with Integrity from St. Petersburg, FL. There were 13.5 miles to the next lock and Integrity left us in her wake. By now, the starboard engine alarm went off again. We got to the marina by 14:30 and it was pretty full of loopers already. Elvie and I went to Walmart to pick up a few things. The marina sponsored a get-together tonight for all the boaters; there were about 35 attending. Everyone brought a dish to pass and T, the owner, furnished the meat. It was a very enjoyable evening. About half of the boaters were "Gold" loopers.

We have a discrepancy in the Port and Starboard meter readings, we think the Port is correct. We are wondering if this discrepancy has anything to do with our engine light going on. Every time we take a reading the gap gets larger; today there was a difference of 4.07 hours.


Date: 10-19-2012, Saturday

Roy and Elvie, of Roy El, took their car and ours to Panama City, FL, today.  We will leave our car at  Pirates Cove Marina.  After we get the boat to Pirates Cove we will leave it there and drive the Lincoln to Wisconsin and Montana over Thanksgiving. Roy and Elvie will be back tomorrow along with their friends, Carl and Greg, who are going to cruise with them the rest of the way down the Tenn-Tom. All 4 of them will be at Kim Jo IV for dinner tomorrow night.

I went to Walmart with our neighbor boaters from "Sea Biscuit" this morning. They will finish their loop in Sarasota, FL.  Keith stayed at the boat waiting for Terry, our mechanic, to get here. He will also be seeing several other boaters with problems, he is a busy guy and very helpful.

CO's comments:  Wonderful 2 days on the river.  We now have our problems fixed and they were minor.  Ready to get going.  More details later.

Leaving Midway Marina on 10-19-2012

Deer crossing at Mile 382.0 on Tenn-Tom

Cruising down the Tenn-Tom

Dinghy on the back of the boat

Thursday, October 18, 2012

October 18, 2012, Midway Marina on the Tenn-Tombigbee Waterway

We finally got going this morning but not without another little "surprise" late last night.  We both went to bed early and about 23:00 or so it started to rain and rain very hard.  Not long after it started raining we were both woke up to rain drops on our heads.  The escape hatch for our state room is right above our heads and it was leaking from all the rain.  It was leaking so bad I had to put buckets out to catch the water.  Needless to say, I moved to another bed but Keith was so stubborn, he refused to move, and went back to sleep next to the bucket in bed. 

We were up early and got ready to leave as soon as day broke.  We were both optimistic that we would have a good day, for sure, it was long over due.  Well, the locks were good to us and we made it through 3 locks and went 57 miles and still got to the marina by 14:00.  These were the first locks with the Gulf Star and it went real smooth and we went straight through all 3 of them.  We could have made it further but we decided not to push our luck. 


CO's comments:  Our Gulf Star is more than 10 feet longer than the Sea Ray and a foot wider.  Yet, going through the locks today was much easier.  It must be that it weighs more, has a deeper keel, and a bow thruster.  Also, the XO tells me that the side railing is higher and the walk way is wider and it makes her job much easier.

Entering the Whitten Lock Mile 411.9 on the Tenn-Tombigbee

First time using my new and bigger, homemade, bollard loop.  I left the other one in the Sea Ray for the new owners, whoever they will be.

Leaving Whitten Lock on October 18, 2012.  We went down 84'

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

October 17 2012, Iuka, MS

Well, we are still in Iuka, MS, at Aqua Yacht Harbor Marina.  We had another "surprise" with the boat and we had to order a part over night.  It was here by 13:00 and Terry, our marine diesel engine expert was here right away and everything was working by 16:00.  There is a storm heading this way for this evening so we decided to get an early start on Thursday AM and try to make it to Midway Marina which is 55 river miles and 3 Locks away.  We are thinking positive thoughts to make this happen.  It is not that we don't like it here but we have been here since September 4th and we are really ready to start cruising.

We have met some interesting people/boaters since we have been here.  The other day at the marina laundry I met 2 young girls, age 23, and they are doing the loop in a 27' CAT sail boat called Louise.  They left from northern Michigan and are also blogging.  We exchanged boat cards.  Very impressive young girls, they even change their own oil.

CO's comments:  The CO is ready to go!

Katie and Jessie aboard Louise.  They are cruising with a dog and a cat.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

October 13, 2012, Iuka, MS

Our maiden voyage; the first time out just the two of us.  All went good.  We just drove around for a while just to get the feel of everything.  Got a pump out on way back to our slip.   We changed all our lines to get ready to start cruising.

We are waiting on our name, Kim Jo IV, to be put on back and both sides and for Terry will put clamps on the starboard side turbo on Monday afternoon, 10-15-2012.   Otherwise, all is good to go except for a few little minor things that we can do while traveling down the river.  The plan is to leave here on Tuesday afternoon and anchor out in Zippy Cove across from Grand Harbor Marina and meet up with RoyEl and Eagle One; anchor for the night and start down the Tenn-Tom on Wednesday AM.

CO's comments:  On our old boat we used to call people with bow thrusters cheaters.  Now that we have a bow thruster, and it is on a 50'+ boat, they sure work good.  I wouldn't be without one.