If I lose my place on an entry with the iPad, I cannot seem to get back to that location and just have to post and continue on another page.
At the second lock we had an episode. We have on board a pair of “marriage savers”. These are headsets with microphone booms to communicate between the captain at the helm and the person working the lines in a lock. I was at the helm and Jan went out on deck in her life vest with headset. She will lasso the bollard in the lock wall as I maneuver the boat against the wall. She will then radio all secure and I will call the lockmaster on VHF to notify him we are secure to the wall. I cannot see Jan at this moment. All I hear in my headset is her garbled shout and then static and a splash. Falling between a 20,000 lb boat and a lock wall even in a life vest is a worst case scenario. I am shouting in my mic and getting nothing. Now I have to make a decision. Do I leave the helm in neutral and run down the ladder to the deck to see if she is in peril or stay at the helm and pray for the best? I ran down to help her. She was staring at the water below and I knew immediately what had happened. Her headset ($100) was overboard. Better it than her. I grabbed a boat pole while she finished tying us up and fished out the headset. How it floated is beyond me except the battery compartment has an air space that must have helped. I disassembled it immediately and started trying to dry it out. It did not work. So I tossed it in the sun on the dash and let it cook. By the way if you ever drop a cellphone or like object such as an MP3 in water you should immediately put it in a baggie and cover it in uncooked rice. Leave it overnight and it will absorb all the moisture. But for this to work one must have RICE. Anyway by the time we reached the next lock it was working but the lock was not.
The lockmaster said a valve was stuck and we were to standoff until a mechanic could be summoned and effect repairs. This took over an hour but we did not waste time or energy. It was perfectly calm and so we all spread out and cut our engines off. Then Jan and I began polishing the plastic windows on the flybridge.
A total of four locks today and 37 miles. We elected to stop at Smithville Marina, which is a quaint stop to say the least and the most interesting one I ever saw. The 85 year old owner Jesse Cox was killed in April during the horrible tornadoes that hit this area. His son Scott is trying to keep it going. Three of us pulled in here as that is all the space they had. A wonderful character met us and caught lines but he was deaf so it was dicey. We safely tied up and it is good to be here.
We took the courtesy car to Amory for Mexican at El Rey and it was excellent. A side trip to Walmart completed the day. Six of us in an Oldsmobile Cutlass found our weary way back to the dock. Glad this one is over. I need some rest tonight. Maybe the marina will not blow up while I sleep. If you saw the boat next to me that is a distinct possibility.