In the Pirate’s Cove

No pictures today due to no WIFI. Will fill in later.

This morning we fueled up and pumped out waste before heading further down the Tenn-Tom. We took on 52.6 gallons of diesel at $3.69 per gallon. This is pretty good fuel usage. We are averaging 2.61 mpg which is about what I expected. It is important that we keep accurate records of fuel usage, hours run and miles traveled. This is because we have little experience with this boat and when we get ready to cross the Gulf of Mexico there is no room for error. Running out of fuel even 10 miles offshore can be a deadly mistake depending on the weather and we will be over 70 miles offshore at times. So we want to collect data to use in calculating our fuel burn for that crossing. You cannot burn these tanks to the bottom or you are asking for trouble with clogged filters. You must try to keep a 25% reserve and if you have to use some of it you can feel reasonably assured that you will not clog up.

We went through the Columbus-Stennis Lock at about 0915. The rest was a pleasure ride. We say many interesting sights including two bald eagles but could not get a decent picture. One flew directly across our bow.

There are small communities of houses right on the waterway. Anything from mansions to campers. Everyone enjoying the river life.

Some of these people decorate their riverfront with eclectic items to express their individuality. We saw a telephone both, a totem pole and a lighthouse to name a few.

We arrived at the turnoff for Pirate’s Cove. I had met the Pirate, Ed Orton, years ago when I was into houseboats. He owned a marina up in Decatur, AL named Pirate’s Chest Marina. He saw an opportunity to move down on the Tenn-Tom where he could serve a more diverse boating community so he bought the Cove Marina and renamed it Pirate’s Cove. The location is incredible. It is tucked into a hidden cove just before the Bevill Lock. You make a blind turn to port off the river and it looks like you will run into a tree in mid channel. But just when you are ready to turn back there is a hidden turn back in the direction you had come from on the river and there it is. Also as you prepare to leave the river you seem to see an old paddlewheel steamboat blocking the entire river sideways and behind it a massive antebellum mansion. This is the Bevill Museum of the River and the steamboat is actually sitting in a dry dock as a permanent exhibit.

After tying up and cleaning up, we leave to tour the museum. $20BUCKS goes by dinghy and Jan and I decide to break out the folding bikes for a mile ride. They are Portrunner folding bikes that are stainless steel and aluminum so the salt will not destroy them so fast. Pictures will be posted.

The museum was beautiful. What gorgeous place sitting right next to the lock and dam. Then we walked aboard the steamboat. This is the Montgomery which is one of only two remaining steam powered snag boats. It was used to clear debris from navigable waterways including the Chattahoochee River that runs through my hometown. We took many photos which you will soon see.

Then back to the marina for a looper gathering. We had 14 people at one time and among them was a professional captain who was delivering a boat to the Lake Guntersville Yacht Club. And when he found out I was a member he asked questions about the marina and the location of the slip where he was tie up the boat. Now this is another of life’s great coincidences. He was going to slip 23B. We were docked in 25B right next to it before we left! Kind of scary.

Tomorrow will be a tough day. I want to go to Demopolis which is 91 miles and two locks away. It could mean arriving after dark if things do not go smoothly. We have only one bailout option at about 45 miles and once we pass it by we are committed. 20BUCK$ has opted to make it a two day trip but I am anxious to go all the way in order to see what we are capable of doing before we ever have to do it.