Thursday, July 5, 2012

Two Near Misses

  I didn't mention yesterday about an incident during my return from Aqua Yacht Harbor in the dinghy. I was just about to arrive at the entrance to Zippy Cove and another small boat was heading in the opposite direction with what looked like three men aboard. I waved as is my custom and they waved too. Shortly later, I spied out of the corner of my eye a boat fast approaching on my starboard quarter. The boat quickly was beside me and I was about to issue a complaint when I saw that it was the boat that I had waved to and it was Mississippi Law Enforcement wanting me to pull up. I asked them what was up and they said they had just missed seeing my registration and now they saw it, but seeing as how we were all stopped and all, could they see a life preserver? They were amused when I pulled open the lid to the cooler I sit on to drive and produced two life jackets and a throwable device. They also made a good natured comment about my choice of "flags" for our stern light considering it's an old bikini top of Rosie's. "I call that 'encouragement', but I never get any takers", I said, to which we all laughed. I told them to be safe out there and we all went on our ways. As I was later mounting our new chafe guard on the bow of Swing Set, they came back for a look see and we all said our howdies again.

  Zippy Cove got quite a few boats in it on the afternoon of the 4th, not too many, but good enough. We made some small talk with a few of the other boaters, but generally kept to ourselves and listened to music and drank beer. Let it be known that drinking beer on a boat in the fine state of Mississippi is an offense that will get you arrested, whether you are operating your vessel, or just at anchor. My familiarity with the small vessel that the Mississippi Law Enforcement were aboard earlier in the day came in handy when I noticed the same said vessel sneaking its way into the mouth of Zippy. I handed Rosie my beer and she hid both and when the three officers passed by, we were as innocent as lambs. Near miss number one.
  Now, I'm the captain of our little boat and I have two crew members, one of which is not easy to train. An incident occurred late in the afternoon and with captain and crew fueled with high octane barley burgers, along with nearly 100 degrees of heat, the incident escalated into a near mutiny, if not a downright desertion by at least one crew member. Eventually a summit was held and some concessions were made by me, the captain, and the upset crew member was somewhat mollified. The other crew member was oblivious to the proceedings and just was content with licking herself. If you cannot read between the lines here, you are getting a funnier picture here than the one I am painting. Nonetheless, near miss number two.
  Things settled down except for the heat, but we cranked up the A/C and had BBQ'd chicken thighs and macaroni and cheese for dinner. The high amount of activity for the day caused us to turn in even earlier than normal, but heat in the cabin with the air turned off made for a fitful nights sleep.
  Today was travel day. We fueled up at Grand Harbor and fuel was nearly as cheap as we paid all trip with our Boat U.S. discount. Florence, Alabama is 40 miles away where we will probably spend Friday night and we whacked off 30 miles of the trip this morning.

  As we made our way up the river, Rosie was making multiple trips down from the flybridge; not only to get cold water to drink, but she had business to attend to with St. Brendan's Isle about a letter we had gotten and they scanned wrong. With every trip she made, Holly kept a vigilant watch at the top of the flybridge steps until she returned. We had the fan trained on Holly for the whole trip and she was happily gnawing her bone when she wasn't on watch.

  I had to throw this picture in as it has meaning for us. It's the Natchez Trace Parkway Bridge and we have traveled over it on our motorcycle twice on a couple of our trips. While the Natchez is a nice road, it can't compare with the Blue Ridge Parkway, but it's worth a spin.
  A cove or two looked promising on our way upriver, one in particular, until I saw that it was near a coal plant and the cooling water from the plant fed into the river. One thing we didn't need was warmer water in this heat.

  Our chart promised a nice anchorage behind Seven Mile Island, about ten miles downstream from Florence and Muscle Shoals, so we headed up into the back channel and picked a real nice spot to toss the anchor. Even though it's hot, we have a decent breeze coming from the West and there is absolutely no one around. We had lunch and the signal we have is great, therefore I'm writing this blog post now.
  If there is one thing I learned from the books I've read about traveling on the river with regard to staying at marinas, it is to arrive early in the morning to maximize the amount of time you can spend at the marina, allowing you to get your shopping or anything else done that you need to do. By staying here tonight, we'll get to Florence Harbor early in the A.M. tomorrow so I can change oil and we can re-provision using their courtesy car.
  Meanwhile, we'll spend the afternoon soaking in the river with hopes that the Bluegill are not too hungry. The Bluegill, or Sunfish, were nipping at us like crazy back in Zippy Cove. I don't see much difference between Pirahnas and Sunfish except the Sunfish have smaller mouths and of course that pretty blue spot of their side. One nipped Rosie the other day and she made a noise that cannot be described here; I don't have a clue as to how I would spell it.


  1. How much further east do you plan to go after Florence? Really enjoy the blog. Thanks for the time and effort.

    1. We intend to go to Knoxville. Thanks for reading, glad you are enjoying the blog.