Fright Night Aboard Cbay

Again sorry but the beautiful photos I am taking cannot be uploaded until I get to a good WIFI which should be tomorrow in Columbus, MS. Until then you will have to imagine it but I promise to fill in all the pictures ASAP.

Part of this may sound like a rant but truly I deserve one so bear with me. I will start where I abruptly left off because I only have ATT 3G on an iPad to work with.

Those seagulls I told you about are transplants. Tropical storms and hurricanes blow some of them inland and not being migratory they have no internal compass and get stranded wherever they get blown. If it is too cold they die but if it is around here they adapt and flourish as these have done. It was just like being on a fishing boat in the Gulf as they whirl and dive around you.

When we anchored last evening we took out our dinghies (now I know a certain Texan who cannot let that straight line go) and motored around to all the other loopers to organize a flotilla for the next day. We got 6 participants and it would grow. 

A pleasant cocktail hour on 20BUCK$ and dinner aboard Cbay. We had been running the genset set to provide power to prepare dinner but turned it off to go to bed. Keep in mind that a diesel generator could run 24 hours a day with no trouble and there would be little danger of fumes because diesel does not produce much carbon monoxide (CO), like a gas engine, and at anchor the bow is always pointing into the wind so exhaust get blown away from the boat’s stern.

With apologies to “The Night Before Christmas”:

“When out on the boat there arose such a clatter, I sprang from my bed at 0126 to see what was the matter.

When what to my sleepy eyes and ears should appear but red flashing lights and shrieking beepers!!!!!”

Goblins were certainly aboard Cbay.

Yes friends we were on full alert as the CO detectors were going off from the master stateroom to the salon and no relief in sight. Remember, no panic allowed. I knew that there was no CO emergency for several reasons. First neither boat was running a generator and nothing was within a mile of us. So what could it be? Due to the time we had been running on battery power it was a low battery alarm. The twin refrigerators had sucked the house battery dry. This is no small feat as that one battery weighs over 150 lbs. So I had to crank the generator and run it until 0330 This powered everything up and reheated the boat. Our neighbors must have thought we sounded general quarters.

After just a couple of hours sleep I arose at 0600 to crank the genset again to heat the boat and prepare breakfast. There was ice on the deck and it was treacherous getting out.

We upped anchor at 0850 and formed the flotilla to head into Whitton lock. We had Cbay, 20BUCK$, Raydiance, Seabiscuit, and numerous others. They kept pulling out of coves to join us. We filled the lock chamber which is over 500 feet long and it was a sight.

On the Tenn-Tom all boats are governed by the slowest boat and a sailboat had joined us. By this I mean that if 10 boats exit a lock headed to the next one miles away, the next lockmaster will not close the chamber and let you up or down until all 10 are inside even if you have to wait an hour. It is certainly economical this way, but frustrating. One crazy lady on a non-looper trawler got mad and gave the lockmaster a piece of her mind. Not a good idea. She obviously did not comprehend that a lockmaster is god of his or her lock and like an airline pilot gets to decide who gets to ride. And she probably had to wait until his shift was over to move her boat downriver. We never saw her again.