Mid Way up the Tombigee Waterway

Valt & Sandy
Sat 22 Jun 2013 16:34
34:29:693N 088:42:004W
June 22, 2013
We forget how dirty the boat gets running the river system. Unlike in salt water, bugs cover the deck every day. A fine layer of dust lines it, too. The anchor brings up mud each morning. The lock walls have a slimy mud that coats the fenders. And the tannins in the river from the years of downed trees brew a tea that stains the bow. Add a nightly dose of extremely heavy dew, and Amber Isle is a mess. And the spiders!!!! Haven't even seen a spider til we turned up the Mobile River. Their tiny bodies seem unable to take salt water. They say we missed the mayfly invasion 2 weeks ago when boats were covered 3" deep!
We hold 280 gallons of fresh water, but try to make it last between our very infrequent stops, so boat washing is not easy. The water maker is not really suited to fresh water, and the filters fill up quickly with the algae and sediments. We do not make drinking water from river water. Imagine our joy when we finally do pull into a marina........all the water we can use! We wash the boat, fill our water tank, clean, clean, clean! Our neighbors gape in amazement.
Mid Way Marina is a regular stop for us. It is a small, family run business. The grounds are nice. The club house has a modern laundry, free wifi, cable TV, courtesy car, and a book exchange. It also has a hot tub and a tiny spa pool. We made use of all the facilities. Sadly, weeds are a huge problem here, and many slips are almost totally clogged with them. The Army Corps of Engineers promises to come spray next week.
We have gone thru 8 locks, with four more to go before turning onto the Tennessee River some 55 miles north. Most are 30' or so lift. The last on the Tombigbee and first on Tennessee are huge, 83' and 94' respectively. Since our bad experience with Demopolis Lock, we have encountered only very pleasant, professional lock tenders. Amazingly, we have had no lock delays due to commercial traffic. But then, there are fewer barges this year than prior years. Almost no pleasure craft either except for small fishing boats. Another sign of our yet ailing economy?
Next stop is Bay Springs. A lake fed by underground prints, we are always happy to stop and swim in the clear water. Friends may meet us there. There is no commercial development on the lake except for a small marina and an RV park. Numerous coves invite anchoring.