Day's log for Friday, September 7th, 2001 - Mile 152 1/2, Tombigbee River, AL

0920 - raised anchors and got underway

0930 - passed mile 153.0

0951 - passed mile 154.5

1010 - passed mile 155.9

1049 - passed mile 158.0

1103 - passed "Patent Pending" power yacht. I called them on the VHF to find out about towboats to the north. They said there was one about 15 miles back. I figured their speed - 10 knots down river and my speed about 4 knots made good and the speed of a towboat coming down the river - about 8 knots made good and determined that I would meet them shortly.

1110 - passed mile 159.2

1210 - passed "Allison Haun". This must be the tow that "Patent Pending" was talking about. I asked "Allison Haun" if there were any tows behind him. His answer was one about 50 miles up river or so.

1215 - passed mile 162.5

1244 - passed "General Washington"

1319 - passed mile 166.8

1348 - passed mile 168.4

1415 - passed mile 170.2

1428 - passed mile 171.0

1442 - passed mile 171.8

1508 - passed through Meridian Bisbee Railroad bridge

1515 - passed mile 173.5

1532 - passed mile 175.2

1550 - passed mile 176.0

1615 - passed mile 178.0

1640 - passed "Aberdeen". Previously, I heard him announce his position on the VHF. This was a windy part of the river. I started announcing my position on the VHF also. As we got closer we discussed how to pass. Eventually we met on the two in a straight section.

1649 - passed 180.1

1725 - passed 182.4

1740 - passed 183.5

1804 - passed 184.3

1910 - anchored just off Chicasaw Bogue. This was a creek with a large section of river marked as off channel with the small bouys. It looked like the safest spot.

1920 - dinghied in to take soundings. I found the creek entrance extremely deep almost to near the banks. I also noticed that a whole tree that was standing up normally was almost completely submerged so I had to keep in mind how far and fast the river would drop over night. As I worked I noticed that my sounds made a strange echo off the banks. It appeared that there was a cave nearby. I considered further exploration. I was really enjoying this!

1930 - moved boat further close in to the creek.

1940 - both anchors are now set. It is also dark. I looked over my surroundings. As time passed a whole family of owls got into a big hooting match. I listened for a bit. Then it died down. I prepared dinner. I then came up to eat and heard a sound of a large animal on the attack. It seemed to be predation. My enthusiasm for exploration cooled more than a bit. I decided to close up both the hatch and the skylight and wait until the morning.

Below, I listened to fish splashes and other sounds. After finishing dinner I opened the hatch and shined my large light out to check for any change in the water level. I heard a fish splash nearby immediatly followed by the sound of gunfire. I had heard gunfire in the past and regarded it as people hunting for ducks. I heard it again. I turned out the light. Then I heard it a third time. I wanted to get the heck out but I could not run on the river at night. I turned out the cabin light and the anchor light and stayed down low in the cabin. I did not want to be seen. The steel hull and intervening interior structures would offer some protection from bullets. I did not hear any more shots after that.

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