As I was blogging on Friday morning and Rosie was mopping the boat, she saw a tow head upriver. We are in no hurry, but a tow right in front of you that you can do something about is something that you should, well, do something about. Unfortunately, by the time we got going, the tow was about 40 minutes ahead of us on a 16 mile run. We weren't going to catch him in time for a gentlemanly pass, just to butt in front of him for a lock through. We kept at our slow speed and figured to just wait at the lock if we needed to.
One thing I've been noticing on our charts is that all of the cemetaries are listed on the charts. On one hand, I'd rather have grocery stores listed but we know grocery stores go out of business, but dead people generally stay dead. I guess cemetaries will stay put like most bridges do.
We caught the tow even with stopping twice to cool off in the river. They were just approaching the lock when we saw them about two miles ahead. I called the lockmaster and said we'd be waiting patiently below the dam on the hook having lunch. We were told that we would be next and that they would call us. Sweet. About an hour later, as it was a single, we were in the chamber and before we knew it, were spit out the top into Pickwick Lake.
We made our way over to the Pickwick Lake State Park Marina because they advertise a "ships store". We also wanted to confirm the proximity of a market that we found on the "Around Me" search site that I don't like but still use.
The poor kid came out of the hut at the gas dock to help tie us up and I'd wish he didn't. Everyone should know that just because someone is paying some 17 year old kid to work at a gas dock that they know what they are doing. Making fast a line on a cleat seems to be the minimum prerequisite, but some can't even pass that muster.
Be that as it may, we walked up to the ships store to see what they had to offer. I hate to continue this line of complaint, but I challenge anyone to run a ship with what they had to offer there. The four poor souls setting around in the store didn't seem too pleased to have any customers, let alone us sweaty shoppers. The answer to our question as to the availability of any groceries in there was met with the answer, "We have candy bars." If a pile of candy bars and a couple packages of ski rope can supply any ship you know of, you are in the wrong navy.
We were looking for a cove equipped with a waterfall that we visited 28 years ago but forgot where it was. We finally paged through our 28 year old chart book and found a note right where the cove is, which is just past the entrance to the Tenn-Tom. We pulled in there and just about had room to turn around. Lots of people were in there and actually invited us to stay a while, but we said we'd be back "in the little boat". We are such snobs.
I noticed a nice cove just down from Grand Harbor Marina on the Tenn-Tom and we went to seek it out. The picture above shows the back of what we learned was Zippy Cove. We anchored in there and cooled down in the water after dropping two hooks in order to keep the late sun on our bow. We swam some and let Holly play too. When we started up the genny to cool down the cabin for dinner, Rosie became concerned because Holly hadn't eaten her food all day. Rosie got involved with Holly as I checked our email and she came into the salon in a happy mood. "I got Holly to eat all of her food", Rosie said. "All I did was pretend to eat it myself and then she jumped right in and started eating it." I'm not sure what she meant by "pretending", but I think I heard crunching. On Rosies part.
This would be a good place to stop but I have to tell you about our Saturday. After our standard detail of mopping and some waxing on Swing Set, we set out in the dinghy on a mission to obtain some liquid refreshment for the weekend. We went right across the Tenn-Tom channel to Grand Harbor Marina and the place was hopping. We topped off the fuel in the dinghy and I went in to see what they had to sell in the store. They had a well stocked ship's store of sorts, but nothing I was in search of. I did buy three large bags of chips but was disappointed to find out that beer sales were forbidden on the water in the fine state of Mississippi. We were directed to a boat ramp in the same cove as Aqua Yacht Marina about a mile down the waterway where Sportsman's Shell Station is a short walk across the parking lot.
Our friend Jerry at Green Turtle Bay had already given us the lowdown on Sportsman's as having the best fried chicken around and we were pleased to find a fresh batch of chicken in the warmer, along with cold beer, hotdogs and a monster loaf of Wonder Bread, along with some other stuff one can get at a gas station convenience market. We walked back to the dinghy we left tied at the boat ramp dock with our arms loaded with our new found booty and headed back to Swing Set to drop off our purchases and collect Holly. It was back to Grand Harbor to purchase ice for the Bud Light and head for Waterfall Cove, a local hangout.
At 11 A.M. the cove was already filling up. I did a quick survey of the area, concentrating on a small beach where I knew from the day before that most of the people gathered. I picked the largest group of folks lounging in the water and pulled alongside a screaming orange 20 foot Baha where an attractive woman was perched on the sun pad. We asked if we could tie up and she became anxious and yelled over to her husband that "some people over here want to tie up to our boat".
I heard a "No" come from somewhere, so we tossed out the anchor and threw a stern line to another boat already pulled up on the beach. When the guy who owned the Baha saw Rosie in her bikini, or what there is of it, he scrabbled out of the water onto his boat and about knocked down his wife in order to get us tied up nice and tight against the side of his boat.
Sam and Lisa owned the Baha. Beau and Lynn owned the 44 foot Marine Trader up on the beach, Ricky Bobby owned the runabout and the pontoon sporting the Confederate flag was owned by a guy named Mike. He's in the picture with the hat talking to Rosie on the raft.
(I was immediately skeptical of Mike due to the flag, just as I am of anyone with a swastika tattoo anywhere on their body.) These names are important, so try to follow along. Mike knowingly confided to us that Lynn "is a model, she does car shows and such". Impressive.
Things were going along well, we were making friends and the cove was filling up. The couple we started to tie the stern of the dinghy up to knew someone that worked at the beer factory and wondered if I knew him. "He's in charge of all the advertising", I was told. I was also told his name and that he was an 80 year old black man that they thought still worked there. Now two things are wrong here; First anyone 80 years old had to be hired some time ago. Now, A-B is pretty progressive now, but this guy had to be hired in the early 1950's and back then, black men and women were not employed at the beer factory. Secondly, there is no thing or no body that is 80 years old and still in use at the brewery unless it's a brick or a gargoyle, most of the experienced staff was flushed out after the buyout.
A word about the beach: There is no sand. The rocks that make up the small spit of land just at the entrance to this cove are small but cannot be called gravel. The lake is still too new for the small rocks to have worn down to a smooth pebblelike texture. I couldn't see how anyone would submit their nice fiberglass boats to the sharp surface like people were in fact doing. So you see why we didn't want to pull the dinghy up on the beach. Actually, the beach was packed anyway, so when a pontoon full of twenty somethings came pulling up without lines or fenders, they just crunched right in alongside the Marine Trader. The party had started.
Holly was making friends but her cuteness disappears once she is wringing wet and she is transformed into a barking rat. Nothing too attractive about a barking rat, but unfortunately she was still visited by the little kids swimming through the throng of adults.
Fueled by beer and other forms of alcohol, some of the women grew weary of the attention Rosie was getting in her thong, and decided to get adventurous and take off half of their bikinis. Unfortunately for those of us who appreciate such things, they took off their bikini bottoms. Now the water here in Pickwick Lake is pretty clear, but this activity was only witnessed by the minnows and the fish, to the dismay of the majority of the males gathered around. No wonder the fish aren't biting.
As it became late afternoon, things started going downhill. Take into account that we dropped in like paratroopers in the midst of enemy territory if you know anything about the typical female mind and a newcomer is in their midst. I could sense the claws coming out and we eventually saw more fangs than we did at the last Twilight movie. The catalyst was the fact that Lynn wasn't getting enough attention apparently and commenced to dancing on the deck of her Marine Trader. Confederate flag Mike told Rosie that he was tired of Lynn's routine week after week and that he would give Rosie $100 to show her up. Rosie wasn't interested in taking any money, but sport is sport, and the game was on. A tactical error was made by the fact that Lynn's husband Beau helped Rosie onto the deck of his boat because as anyone knows, the only thing better than a woman in a bikini dancing on your boat, is two women in bikinis dancing on your boat, unless of course you are the first woman doing the dancing and you don't want any competition. The first cross words were thrown when Lynn sidles up to Rosie mid-dance and says in a most unfriendly manner, "Just remember, this is my boat!"
This is juicy, isn't it?
Anyhow, we aren't on this trip to make enemies, so Rosie acquiesced and stepped aside off the boat. This didn't help matters as Lynn grabbed her husband and took him inside, but we could hear the yelling anyway. Beau came out and was sentenced to sit alone for his infraction and Lynn reappeared in yet a smaller bikini and was once again the star attraction.
Rosie sipped on her Bud Light and calculated her next move, and to make matters worse, Lynn was obviously gloating and enjoying every minute of it. Prompted by the owner of a nearby Jet Ski, Rosie climbed atop it and started skakin' whats she's got. I must say at this point that even though we are from the Show Me State, and Rosie at times forgets that we are the ones that are supposed to be shown, not the ones who are supposed to do the showing, Rosie did not remove any item of clothing, not that there was much to remove anyway. The show was over when one of the twenty somethings that pulled up in the pontoon boat said something to Rosie about "There's kids here!" Note that the same remark was not made to the 30 year old dancing on the deck of the Marine Trader.
How women that young can be offended by a 54 year old dancing, even if she's wearing a thong the size of an Easter Seal, I'll never figure it out. Rosie will be wearing a thong until she is much older and shrivels up to nothing. Think California Raisin wrapped in dental floss.
A side note here: We were visited by the Mississippi Water Patrol and everyone warned us to hide our beers, so we tucked the Bud Lights between our legs like 16 year olds drinking behind the garage. The patrol left without giving anyone any tickets for drinking in the fine state of Mississippi, but I think they did issue a citation to a 6 year old wearing her Barney swimsuit on inside out.
We don't leave with our tails tucked between our legs, so we stayed and finished all the beer in our cooler. Things settled down and Lynn even came down to join us in the water and tried to make nice, but we view jealous women with the same disdain as we do anyone still flying a Confederate flag. We were invited to come back on Sunday for another round, but the cove we are already in is a gathering spot too, so we think we'll just stay here and enjoy each others company unless someone approaches us first. We'll regroup and attack waterfall cove again later this weekend after arming Rosie with yet more revealing swimwear. Can't wait to spread more good will.