Champ III: Going Places

The adventure starts here.

Sumter Twp Recreation Anchorage, Alabama to Kingfisher Bay Marina, Demopolis, Alabama — November 2, 2013

We got up early today and Candy and I took the dingy to shore.  It was still dark and the number of stars you can see without any other light around is just incredible.  When we were ready to come back to the boat a tow went by northbound on the river and that was good to see.

I had looked out during the night and the Champ III was swinging on the anchor while the other boats appeared to be just sitting in place.  We came close to Blue Moon and Humbug but no problem.  I think their anchor rodes were all chain and the chain went straight down while we have 20’ of chain and the rest is rope.  This allows the champ to move even in the slightest breeze where their chains provide a lot more resistance to movement.

We tried to raise the 2 Looper boats that anchored 7 miles north of us at Cooks Cutoff.  We were only 3 miles from the Heflin Lock and wanted to find out their intentions and maybe everybody could lock thru together. No luck on getting them on the VHF and nobody had a mobile number for them.  We called the lock and he had no commercial traffic and could take us as soon as we got there.  All 5 boats made a mad dash out of the Sumter Township Recreation Anchorage.

The lock went smoothly and it was the only lock of the day.  We did pass several tows on the river and we were able to catch them in straight sections of the river so there was no delay getting around them.  We really made good time to the Kingfisher Bay Marina in Demopolis Alabama.

One of the really scenic parts of the day was passing the Epes Bluff not too far north of Demopolis. The Cliffs are white rock that has been carved by the water over the decades and centuries.  It was interesting that the fall color was fairly abundant right at the Epes Bluff but the other parts of the river did not have any fall color.  The cliffs are what are known as the Selma Chalk Formations and are the only part that is exposed for maybe a mile along the river bank.

We went with Pete and Carolyn to dinner last night at the restaurant that is on site at the Demopolis Yacht Basin. The Yacht Basin and Kingfisher Bay are owned by the same family. The distance from the boats to the restaurant and marina office are quite far so they provide courtesy golf carts to use.  Our cart ran out of gas about ¼ of the way there. Fortunately we were able to get a ride there from the restaurant and the marina had somebody gas up the cart and bring it to the restaurant for us to use to get back.

Anyway we were treated to some real southern hospitality at the New Orleans Bar & Grill.  We asked for a non-existent wine list but the waitress did offer that the bartender could write out a list.  Pete asked for a bottle of house Cabernet and we asked for a bottle of house Pinot Grigio.  The waitress brought 4 glasses of wine and Pete said we ordered a bottle. The waitress brought two 1.5 liter bottles.  The Cabernet looked like it was freshly opened and the Pinot Grigio was ¼ full. I don’t think that the normal patrons order wine by the bottle.  It was really hard not to laugh at the whole situation because the waitress was really trying to do the best she could.