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

Saturday, December 7, 2013

December 5, 6, and 7, 2013 Kingfisher Marina, Demopolis, AL

Thursday, called the lock and it was very foggy and there was a tow ahead of us waiting on the fog and he would go first.  We waited in our anchorage for about an hour and then got to the lock by 08:45.   Gayle Winds Again was in anchorage with us and we waited for them to get to the lock before we locked down.  We were out of lock by 09:45.  We got to Kingfisher Marina in Demopolis by 14:15 and Gayle Winds Again got there about 2 hours later. 

Friday and Saturday: Stayed 2 more days because of the weather and Keith had a big mess to clean up in the engine room.  We went to Walmart and got some groceries and to Napa and got oil and filters for our next oil change in Mobile.

Pumped out on Saturday afternoon; they have pump outs right at the slip and you pump out yourself.


CO’s comments: The more I think about it, since we are planning on doing the Upper Black Warrior River next summer, Kim Jo IV will not be going any further than Kingfisher Marina in Demopolis, AL, next summer.  It takes a lot of fuel to go all the way up the Tenn-Tom and part of the Tennessee River.

12-5-2013:  Spider web in the fog at Heflin Lock, by Gainesville, AL.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

December 1, 2, 3, and 4, 2013

12-1-2013, Swallow Bluff anchorage to Grand Harbor, Iuka, MS, Mile 449.7

Sunday:  We started the boat at 07:05 and Keith went down into the engine room to check on things and found we were  low on transmission fluid; evidently the mechanic didn’t completely fill it the other day.  Lesson learned; always double check after having work done on your boat.  Keith added a little less than a quart and we started engines again at 07:35.  I had trouble getting the anchor up over the roller and Keith had to manually bring it up; we were moving by 07:45.  We got to Iuka, MS, by15:00, took the courtesy car to the little grocery store for some steaks, etc. and then went to Freddy T’s for dinner.

It was overcast all day long and chilly in the morning but warmed up to about 60 degrees by afternoon.  We only saw a few fisherman all day, otherwise it was just us.  Only had the Pickwick Lock today and it went real fast and smooth, just the way we like it.


CO’s comments:  Sure is good to be moving again.

12-2-2013;  Grand Harbor to Midway Marina, Fulton, MS, Mile 394.0

Monday, Up at 05:30 and on our way by 06:30.  Cloudy and 50 degrees.  First lock was the Whitten Lock.  We had to wait 11/2 hour for a tow going north and it took ½ hour to lock down; second lock was the Montgomery Lock and we went straight through in about 20 minutes.  The 3rd was the Rankin Lock and we waited 1 ½ hours again for another tow and this one also took ½ hour to lock down..  By this time we were running out of day light.  We  had planned on one more lock but we found out there was another tow in that lock so we decided to stop at Midway Marina.  By the time we were settled in it was dark and we were glad we decided to stop.  This was not a good day for locks.  We only traveled 53 miles today and it took us 9 hours.  Yesterday we traveled 46 miles and it only took us 6 ½ hours.  Your fate depends on how many tows are in the area, hopefully tomorrow will be better.

Everyone at this marina is in the Christmas spirit and almost every boat is decorated with tons of Christmas lights.  Looks real nice, makes me want to put our up.   If I can, I will wait til after we cross the gulf.


CO’s comments:  There were a lot of weeds coming into this marina which gave false bottom readings.

12-2-2013, Midway Marina all decorated for Christmas.

12-3-2013; Midway Marina to Columbus Marina, Columbus, MS, Mile 335.0

Tuesday, It was a very foggy morning so I slept in another hour and got up at 06:00.  Keith had started the engines by 07:10 and was checking the engineer room while I called the Fulton Lock to see if the fog had lifted.  He said it was starting to lift and if we got there within ½ hour we could get ahead of the tow for the day that was going in the same direction we were.  We hurried and got there in 20 minutes just to find more fog had come back in and we couldn’t see a foot in front of us.  I sat out on the front of the boat watching for buoy’s, branches, logs, and what ever else could be out there.  We finally found the lock and locked down with another boat.  The lock master said we could sit in the lock til it cleared up as even the tows had stopped because of the fog.  We stayed and the other boat left.  We sat there for about an hour and decided to venture out as it looked like it was clearing again.  Wrong, the fog would get light for a while and then get dense for a while for the next 1 ½ hours, so I was out on the front of the boat again watching.  It finally cleared by 09:45 so we could pick up to our normal speed.  We got to the next lock, Amory, and locked straight through with the boat from last lock.  Here they hurried and drove in the fog and got to the next lock and had to wait for another tow so we caught up with them.  We traveled with this boat to the Aberdeen Lock, our last lock for the day for us.   We were told we had to wait for a tow anywhere from 1 to 2 hours!  Lucky for us, the tow was a Corp of Engineers work boat and the captain made one trip through and told the lock master he would wait until we locked down.  That saved us so we could get to Columbus Marina before dark.  Patty and Robert Mitchell from Montana were still here.  Very nice people.

CO’s comments:   Driving the boat in fog is like flying an airplane on Instrument Flight Rules.  Thank goodness for radar and the XO!

12-3-2013, The XO on deck for fog duty.

12-4-2013;  Columbus Marina, MS, to Sumter anchorage, AL, Mile 170.0

Wednesday, We were in the Stennis Lock by 06:45, the first of 2 locks for today.  When I came in from locking down, I smelled some fumes and we thought it was just from idling in the lock.   We continued on down the Tenn-Tom and the smell got worse.  I took over driving and Keith went down in the engine room to check on things.  We had a fuel line leak on the starboard engine.  We turned that engine off and drove with one engine til we could find a place to anchor.  At about 08:20 we were anchored with both engines off.  A tow (the Sabine Pass) came by shortly after and offered to help which we thought was very nice of him.    After checking, Keith found a high pressure fuel line fitting loose and tightened it.  Now we have a big mess in the engine room to clean up.   An hour after we stopped we were on our way again.  We got to the 2nd lock of the day, the Tom Bevil Lock, by 11:30 and we had to wait about 15 minutes for the lock master to turn the water around and we went through without any problem.  We got to our anchorage by 14:30, a nice  anchorage that we have been to several times before.  It had turned into a beautiful day with temp in the high 70's


CO’s comments:  The same thing happened to me when I was flying a Metro Liner.  As I was nearing Billings, a pilot called the tower and told them that I was trailing black smoke on my starboard engine.  There were no indication in the cockpit of anything wrong, just like today on our boat.  As a precaution, I shut the starboard engine down, landed and taxied in, and the mechanics met the aircraft.  They took the cowling off and asked me to start the engine.  Before it was completely  started they were screaming at me to shut it down.  The problem was a high pressure fuel line had come loose because a mechanic had not safety wired it and it was throwing fuel all over the engine creating the black smoke.  Thank goodness jet and diesel fuels do not burn like gas or I would have been on fire both days.

12-4-2013, Sumter anchorage, CO putting the anchor bridle on.

12-4-2013, Sumter anchorage, Gayle Winds Again in anchorage with us.