Fw: Tombigbee Waterway

Ambler Isle
V and S
Wed 20 Oct 2010 20:58
34 58 851N
086 14 228W
We bypassed our usual stop at Bay Springs, and continued on.  At the Demopolis Lock we asked the lock tender about anchoring just the other side of the lock.  He said he'd seen others anchor there, although he could make no recommendations. So we anchored on the south side of the lock, by the spillway.  The water falls over the 1200' wall in a breathtaking cascade.  The anchorage was less than desirable, however, giving us a very rolly night.  And the nearby rocks gave us thoughts in the night, too.  But all went well and we continued onto Bobby's Fish Camp dock, some 70 miles away.  The dock had suffered a fire earlier that day, and two boats were destroyed. There is where we see our first alligators.  Sadly, we were informed that Bobby had passed away that spring, and his daughter was running the dock and restaurant.  After we tied up, a huge thunderstorm moved in for the night.  At dawn we went to Weather Underground Online to see what was happening.  TORNADOS!!!! As we studied the forecast map, a big tow/barge passed, heading for the Coffeeville lock.  Since they have priority over pleasure craft, we would have to wait.  A second boat had joined our dock at Bobby's, and was fueling when we left.  He promptly called the lock and asked them to wait for him.  More delays.  Finally at 10:00am it was our turn.  This would cause us to arrive at that night's anchorage at Lizard Creek after dark. Luckily we had entered the creek many times, and with radar, spotlight, and nav. charts we entered easily.  Another boat was already there, tucked into one of the arms of the creek, so we could not simply drop the hook in the entrance.  Instead we took the opposite arm and tied up for the night.  At dawn we went on to Mobile Bay.  The Bay is filled with huge commercial ships, boat yards, and spewing smoke stacks. Kind of a "Metal Storm" setting.  There we saw our first pelican, a white one.   We'd passed a total of 19 locks since Ft. Loudon.