Tennessee- Tombigbee Waterway

Valt & Sandy
Fri 28 Jun 2013 19:07
34:99:131N 088:20:538W
June 26, 2013
Every part of this 800+ mile waterway is different. From the turning twisting snaky beginnings, to the bluffs, to sections of lush green shoreline vegetation, honeysuckle and mimosa trees. Some places sport commercial operations. The water changes from brown muddy color to refreshing green.
Maybe the jewel of the whole thing is Bay Springs. This lake is north of the Whitten Lock and sprawls out in numerous fingers. Spring fed,the water is some of the clearest on the river. We enjoy stopping here a few days. It is a good place to inspect the bottom of the boat for barnacles or prop damage. We know a few boaters in the area. Boat chores are interspersed with swimming several times a day. The only development on this lake are a marina and a TVA RV park and the RV park is a fun place to take a walk. We are always reluctant to leave.
But leave we must, so we enjoy a lock-free day as we leave the Tombigbee and turn east onto the Tennessee River. The river widens here and we pass lovely homes and beautiful forested shore. The next night would be interesting.
When it came time to anchor for the night, we could tell we had dropped the anchor on river rocks. The chain growled as it rolled over them. But if the weather stayed the same calm we'd had for 2 weeks it would not be a problem. We dropped more chain for good measure. Then dropped even more to let it all get a good wash. At 3:00am we awoke to a thunderstorm! But we checked our position and saw that the anchor was holding. The winds were decreasing. It rained a bit. And we went back to bed. Next morning when lifting the anchor we pulled up a big log. Once loosed from that, we pulled up more chain and found we'd wrapped around a tree!
Finally free, we headed to nearby Wilson Lock. The lock tender informed us the lock would close for the day in one hour for unscheduled maintenance. We would have to wait til it reopened at the end of the work day! Luckily, the Army Corps of Engineers barge was allowed to pass ahead of the closure, and we were allowed to go through with them. It was a little hair-raising to go into the lock chamber with such a behemoth, but we were glad to do it. A one hour delay at the next lock did not even faze us. We were so ahead of the game at that point.