Day's log for Tuesday, September 4th, 2001 - Alabama River Cutoff, Tombigbee River, AL

I noticed occasional bumping of the keel on the ground - I was really close to the bank and could almost reach out and touch the leaves. This was not serious enough to have to deal with. Then there was no more bumping. I didn't really think about it at the time.

1030 - started motor and pulled p anchors

I got going rather late - I must have been tired. Now the river was brown, the current was quick and there were logs and clods of brown foam. The Waterway guide said the best time of year to go up the Tenn-Tom was now - when there had been no Spring floods. This current was about 3 knots. I made the best way I could.

1055 - butterflies descended on the boat. One hung out on my elbow for a while. I thought Andrea Lynn was turning into a mobile Butterfly Pavillion. I was later told that they came seeking salt.

1056 - passed mile 54.3

1058 - dodging logs in the river

1116 - turbulence. Andrea Lynn would go this way and that. I madly turned the wheel to compensate. Turbulence was most prevalent at bends. The river here had plenty of bends. At times I would go about 5 miles around "S" turns and yet make only one mile good as the crow flies.

Just before night fall I got past the area where the Hendry dredging company has a lot of equipment staged. I then anchored in the Sunflower River lower cutoff. This was rather too narrow to actually go up in so I stayed at the mouth. I used the current to make pinpoint positioning of the anchor easier. I took soundings to make sure I was in plenty deep water if the river level should drop. I dropped the forward anchor and paid out a lot of chain. I figured Andrea Lynn would stay in one spot because of the current. However I noticed it dancing the figure 8. It would go forward on the chain until it built up slack and the current killed the forward momentum. Then it would fall back until the slack was gone. Then it would repeat the process. Also the boat would tend to go up on one tack and down on the other - hence the figure 8. The tacks were very slight. I decided to set the aft anchor to reduce this effect. I paid out 70 feet of nylon with it. The anchor rode aft with the current until it hit bottom about 15 feet aft. I got in the dinghy and pulled on the line until the chain appeared. I was aft about 50 feet and I got to the anchor chain. I dropped the anchor and went back to Andrea Lynn. I had dinner and turned in.

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